Football Round-up: Barnet go up despite defeat

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The Independent Online
WELL, they did it. Despite the slings and arrows of outrageous Stan Flashman, despite the loss of their much put-upon manager, Barry Fry, to Southend United a few weeks ago, despite investigations into their club's finances by the Football Association, and despite not being paid for periods of the season, the players of Barnet FC yesterday won promotion to the Second Division. Despite being beaten.

Needing a point to make certain of going up, they lost 2-0 away to Scunthorpe United. But York City's 1-0 defeat at Rochdale meant that the Bees and Cardiff City, who did not even play yesterday, have booked two of the Third Division's three automatic promotion places. Both clubs should buy Rochdale's John Bowden an orange juice. His goal sank City at Spotland. Barnet might be facing the other Bees, Brentford, in the Second Division. Their 1-0 defeat at Watford continued a depressing sequence of results and dropped them into the First Division relegation zone.

NERVOUS days in the First Division play-off places. Fifth-placed Leicester City, who had been rattling along very nicely, hit the buffers with a crunch at Peterborough United. After Tony Philliskirk and Tony Adcock had given Posh a 2-0 half-time lead, Brian Little, the Leicester manager, sent on both his substitutes at the start of the second half, David Lowe and Tony James replacing Steve Agnew and Lee Philpott - but to little avail. Marcus Ebdon added insult and Peterborough's third midway through the last period.

Swindon (fourth) and Tranmere (sixth) both drew with relegation strugglers, leaving Millwall the beneficiaries. Their 1-0 home win in the south-east London derby against Charlton kept alive the Lions' play-off dreams.

FIFA'S decision to free players from the Welsh World Cup squad certainly paid dividends for clubs, if not country. Swindon Town's Paul Bodin scored the penalty at Meadow Lane, which equalised David Reeves' first goal for Notts County since joining them from Bolton. Andy Melville, like Bodin freed by Fifa, scored the only goal of Oxford United's game at Barnsley to ease their relegation worries.

BOLTON WANDERERS and West Bromwich Albion, two of the pack chasing Stoke at the top of the Second Division, showed no signs of nerves by thrashing teams in the relegation zone. Already- doomed Chester City were only

1-0 down eight minutes from time at Burnden Park, but conceded four in the last seven minutes as Wanderers proved and scored a handful. Albion scored five after Wigan Athletic had the temerity to take the lead at the Hawthorns. Bob Taylor scored the first and last goals of West Brom's riposte, bringing his season's tally to 35. However, Port Vale's 1-0 win at Plymouth kept them in second place. Peter Shilton, Argyle's player-manager, played his first game since January, but was beaten by Nicky Cross's early goal. Marksman of the day was Crewe's Tony Naylor, who scored five as they overwhelmed Colchester 7-1.

WITH a free Saturday near the end of a long and stressful season, what does the caring Premier League club do? Correct. It ships its players halfway round the world for a friendly in the Land of the Rising Sun. Thus, the players of Manchester City made an exhibition match of themselves against Mitsubishi Urawa FC yesterday. Without wishing to confirm racial stereotypes, the Japanese appeared to be vulnerable in the air as Rick Holden supplied crosses for headers by David Kerr and Adrian Mike in City's 2-0 win.

'THIS game is tailor-made for a shock. Pride and passion is at stake and we enjoy a scrap.' Terry Butcher, player-manager of Sunderland, looking at today's derby against Newcastle United in a positive frame of mind. He is probably the only person expecting an upset. United's Sunderland-born centre-back, Steve Howey, has recovered from a groin strain and replaces Brian Kilcline. Sunderland have won only four games in 17 since Butcher took over.

THE Scotland coach, Andy Roxburgh, has more problems for Wednesday's crucial World Cup qualifier against Portugal in Lisbon. Tom Boyd and Alan McLaren failed fitness tests on ankle ligament damage at Celtic Park yesterday and withdrew. Roxburgh also sent home midfield man Ian Ferguson (flu), while goalkeeper Andy Goram (knee) and midfielder Jim McInally (groin) did not train.

NORTHERN IRELAND'S Oxford United midfielder Jim Magilton (knee) has pulled out of the squad for Wednesday's World Cup qualifier against Spain in Seville. He is replaced by Wolves' Robbie Dennison.