Football: Gayle sent off as Blades are held

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BRIAN GAYLE, the Sheffield United captain, became the Blades' fifth player to be sent off this season as Sunderland earned a goalless draw at Bramall Lane last night. Gayle was shown the red card seven minutes from time for pulling back Don Goodman as he raced for goal.

Paul Gerrard was sent off for the second time in three games as Oldham lost 2-0 at home to Watford. The England Under- 21 goalkeeper was dismissed in the 83rd minute when he gave away a penalty, converted by Gary Porter. Dave Holdsworth had given Watford the lead in the 25th minute.

Notts County salvaged a 1-1 draw away to Barnsley thanks to a late equaliser by Gary Lund, who had come on the field as a substitute four minutes earlier. County had Martin Kuhl, on loan from Derby, sent off for head-butting Barnsley's Brendan O'Connell.

John McGinlay took his goal tally for the season to five as he struck twice in Bolton's 3-0 win at Luton. Clive Mendonca scored twice as Grimsby won 4-1 at home to Port Vale in front of a crowd of 3,216, Grimsby's lowest league gate for six years.

John Byrne returned from suspension to score two goals in four minutes as Oxford United beat Crewe Alexandra 2-1 to replace their visitors at the top of the Second Division.

Carlisle United stayed top of the Third Division, goals by David Currie and Rod Thomas preserving their unbeaten record in a 2-1 win at home to Mansfield Town. Dougie Freedman, a former Scottish schoolboy international released by Queen's Park Rangers in the summer, scored four times in Barnet's 6-2 win over Rochdale.

Mark Kinsella scored the winner in injury time as Colchester United won 3-2 at home to Walsall in a game which featured four goals in the last four minutes.