Football: Francis's delight at comeback

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The Independent Online
TREVOR FRANCIS, the Birmingham City manager, knew all about the dangers of Gigg Lane, but watched his side enhance their Premiership credentials with a handsome 4-2 victory at Bury yesterday.

The Blues are now third in the Nationwide League First Division. They slipped behind to a Laurent D'Jaffo goal but fought back through Paul Furlong, who scored twice, Martin O'Connor and Dele Adebola. Then D'Jaffo collected his second from the penalty spot five minutes from time.

Francis said: "I think when you come to Bury you know what to expect. Out of their 28 points, 24 have come at home. They are very strong. But after the early setback of the goal, which really rocked us, we came back strongly and I was pleased with the performance."

Francis also praised his strike force. "Adebola, [Peter] Ndlovu and Furlong playing together will always be a problem and in the second half they ran riot," he said. "It's great to be up there in the league."

Bradford City are now fourth after their eighth victory in 12 games at Valley Parade, as goals from Robert Blake and Lee Mills, with his 15th of the season, earned a 2-0 win over Tranmere Rovers.

In a Yorkshire derby at Bramall Lane, a 90th-minute winner from Michael Twiss, who is on loan from Manchester United, allowed Sheffield United to beat Huddersfield Town 2-1. A Kevin Gray own goal in the 49th minute gave the Blades the lead before a Marcus Stewart penalty 22 minutes later set up Town for a point - until the late intervention from Twiss.

Barnsley continue to prove there is life without Ashley Ward as they made it three wins in four games in which the striker has been suspended with a 1-0 victory over Queen's Park Rangers. Craig Hignett hit an 81st- minute winner, while Ward was apparently talking terms with Blackburn Rovers.

In the Second Division, the leaders, Fulham, were held to a 1-1 draw at lowly Northampton Town. Geoff Horsfield scored his 13th of the season, and his fifth in a Fulham shirt following his recent move from Halifax, but the Londoners were forced to settle for a point when Chris Freestone struck a 68th-minute equaliser.

Brentford cut Cardiff City's lead at the top of the Third Division to four points by beating the Welsh side 1-0 at Griffin Park. Hermann Hreidarsson's winner lifted the west London side up to second place - and they have two games in hand.

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