Football / First Division Round-Up: Smith aghast at 'worst ever decision'

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The Independent Online
THE SOUND of baying for the blood of Graham Turner, the Wolves manager, at Molineux yesterday followed a gentle crescendo until the closing minutes when it was silenced by a controversial penalty, writes Owen Slot. And after Wolves' Paul Cook had equalised from the spot and Kevin Keen had scored an 86th-minute home winner, the fury was all Denis Smith's, the Oxford manager, who could not believe the penalty decision by John Watson, the referee. 'Whether the gentleman should ever referee another game is open to question,' Smith said. 'It was the worst decision I have ever seen.'

Oxford, struggling at the foot of the First Division, had outplayed Wolves, who had been severely lacking in inspiration, and looked to have won the match in the 80th minute with a glancing header from Matthew Elliott. Then followed the penalty incident, a foul which Smith believed was actually committed by a Wolves player. 'Steve Bull jumped straight at our keeper when Wolves were awarded their penalty,' Smith said. 'The linesman even said to one of our players he had seen the foul by Bull.'

Despite defeat, Oxford stay second from bottom as Peterborough were also beaten 2-1, though Posh scored in the 90th minute and had Watford worried in a frantic four minutes of injury time. Just 24 hours after netting two in the 4-4 leveller at Leicester, Paul Furlong scored both Watford's goals to end a 10-match winless run.

The top of the table was in Millwall's sights yesterday - an 11-goal victory was the ticket - but the Lions ended 10 goals and a victory short. Millwall were looking good at 1-1 against Sunderland when Craig Russell headed the home side's 55th-minute winner.

Portsmouth's challenge at the top was dented by their second scoreless draw in two days. Paul Walsh should have scored against Bolton, though Robert Fleck, on loan from Chelsea, matched his misses.