Football: Round-up: Beauchamp fells Forest

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The Independent Online
JOEY BEAUCHAMP, the Oxford United winger, scored twice at the City Ground to give Malcolm Shotton's reign as manager a 100 per cent start with a 3-1 win over the First Division leaders, Nottingham Forest.

Beauchamp's first, after eight minutes, came from a flick-on by Oxford's former Forest striker, Nigel Jemson, and, after Pierre van Hooijdonk's penalty brought the hosts level, Beauchamp again undid their defence with a sinewy run, beating Thierry Bonalair and Alan Rogers before firing past Dave Beasant.

Oxford defended with some comfort and scored a third on the break when the substitute Simon Weatherstone lobbed Beasant. "That's two successive wins for us since I came to the club," an elated Shotton said. "Beating a team like Forest is a massive boost. Six points from two games has taken some of the pressure off us and will hopefully have made a few people sit up and realise that we're not soft touches."

Fourth-placed Middlesbrough, five points behind with two games in hand, play Stoke City this afternoon.

Sunderland's good form continued with a 4-2 home win over Port Vale. They were three up in 20 minutes - Allan Johnston, Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn scoring - and cruised thereafter. "For 40 minutes I thought we were awesome," the Wearsiders' manager, Peter Reid, said. "No disrespect to Port Vale but we blew them away."

A typically tense Midlands derby at Molineux was settled when Andy Hunt's goal gave West Bromwich a 1-0 win over Wolves. It was Denis Smith's first win as the Albion manager. "I've been here a month and this is the first time I've seen a smile on the players' faces."

Tranmere Rovers created an unwanted League record when they recorded a fifth consecutive 0-0 draw, this time with Manchester City at Prenton Park.

Bradford City, at Ipswich Town, and Birmingham City, at Reading, both had two players sent off and lost. Paul Jewell, the new Bradford boss, was not best pleased. "The referee allowed a player to be punched in the first half and nothing was done. I cannot believe Eddie Youds [the second dismissal after Nigel Pepper's red card] was booked, never mind sent off."

Brum had Paul Furlong and Chris Marsden in the early bath. "My boys have never been afraid to mix it," the Reading manager Terry Bullivant said, "and I don't suppose Birmingham complained last week when Stockport were reduced to nine men."

It had been 50 games and 26 years since St Johnstone last beat Rangers but a goal in each half at McDiarmid Park saw Saints halt the procession of Walter Smith's side to another Premier title. "We are not showing great consistency or desire to win," Smith said. "We are at the top but have to fight to stay there."

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