Football: Pressure on Hoddle

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HODDLE'S wobbles continued yesterday as Swindon's fragile away form was in evidence at Fratton Park. Portsmouth won comfortably 3-1 and the booking of the Town player-manager, Glenn Hoddle, spoke volumes for his frustration. The bottom club, Barnsley, won at home at last. Luton, quite predictably, were the victims.

LIKE animals plodding into Noah's Ark, players took early baths two-by-two yesterday. Grimsby had Graham Rodger and the goalkeeper Rhys Wilmott, who had already saved a penalty, sent off at Notts County. To add insult, it was a former Mariners striker, Gary Lund, who scored the game's only goal for County. At Doncaster, another keeper got his marching orders - Gillingham's Scott Barrett. He saw red at Bury seven weeks ago.

CERTAINLY no love lost at Love Street in Paisley where St Mirren, second in the Scottish First Division, met Raith Rovers, who are top. The Buddies, as St Mirren are amicably known, did not find their guests in a chummy mood. Rovers took a first-half lead, which St Mirren equalised as Raith had Shaun Dennis and John McStay sent off in a heated denouement.

OSSIE ARDILES' West Bromwich Albion, the leaders of the Second Division, second- placed Leyton Orient, and Stockport County, third, all lost, enabling Hartlepool to make up ground. They trailed briefly at Bolton but Lenny Johnrose equalised and Andy Saville scored the winner nine minutes from time. 'Pool go second.

CREWE ALEXANDRA, still smiling after their midweek 2-0 Coca-Cola Cup defeat of West Ham, got off to a flying start at Gresty Road yesterday. The Third Division side were two up against fifth-placed Cardiff City before the half-hour with goals from Mark Gardiner and the striker Craig Hignett. It stayed 2-0 to lift Crewe into third place.