Football: Last-minute goal earns Bolton point

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The Independent Online
Chris Fairclough scored a last-minute equaliser to salvage a point for Bolton as the First Division leaders drew 1-1 at Crystal Palace last night.

After the country's two highest-scoring sides scrapped out a goalless first half, Palace raised the tempo early in the second half. They looked to be on their way to their second successive victory under their reappointed manager, Steve Coppell, when Andy Linighan put them ahead six minutes into the second period. Dean Gordon's inswinging corner found Linighan unmarked and the former Arsenal central defender scored with a glancing header.

Barnsley's hopes of clinching the second automatic promotion place were dented by a home draw with Swindon, which left them three points adrift of second-placed Wolves. Barnsley took a 35th-minute lead when Neil Redfearn scored from 30 yards, but Swindon equalised four minutes before the interval with a Peter Thorne header.

Sheffield United closed to within a point of Barnsley in fourth place by beating Port Vale 3-0 at Bramall Lane, but the victory was not as easy as the scoreline suggests. Vale should have gone ahead in the first half through Tony Naylor, but in the 62nd minute Dean Glover brought down Don Hutchison and Mitch Ward fired in the penalty. Once in front, the Blades sealed the points with further goals from Gareth Taylor and Jan Age Fjortoft.