Football Round-up: Brady's blank start

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THERE were contrasting fortunes for two of the football league's newest-appointed managers yesterday, with Barry Fry marking his first home match in charge at Birmingham City with an unexpected victory and Liam Brady watching his first match in charge at Brighton end in a miserable defeat.

Birmingham's managing director, Karren Brady, described Fry as 'just the manager that the club needs' and the team rose to the occasion with a 1-0 victory against promotion challengers Charlton Athletic, City's first win in seven games.

Kenny Lowe, who played for Fry at Barnet but is now on loan from Stoke City, scored the winner on his debut with a powerful, swerving shot in the 52nd minute. Charlton do not seem to relish their trips to St Andrews. They have not won there since the 1938-39 season.

Brady, meanwhile, had his day spoiled by a Gary Williams winner for Bradford City in the 76th minute. Brighton are now second from bottom in the Second Division, their lowest league position for 19 years. The crowd of more than 6,000 may not be as large as Brady is used to, but it was still Brighton's highest of the season.

In the Premiership, Oldham picked up a useful point at Coventry City after falling behind to a Roy Wegerle goal in the 29th minute. The equaliser, a header from a corner, came in the 50th minute from Paul Bernard.

A truncated First Division programme saw Sunderland avenge an opening-day mauling by Derby County with a 1-0 home victory. Bolton, with their on-loan Chelsea striker Robert Fleck starting on the subs' bench, were held 1-1 at home by Grimsby. One of Barry Fry's former clubs, Barnet, were 3-1 up at Hull, but ended up drawing 4-4 as they picked up only their ninth point of the season. Dean Windass notched a hat-trick for the home side.

Reading stay top of that particular tree, despite being held 0-0 by Huddersfield at Elm Park. Port Vale moved up to fourth after a 1-1 draw with Burnley. Bernie Slaven gave them the lead but John Mullin levelled. Walsall stay fourth in the Third Division after their

1-0 win at Torquay, and Wycombe are just a point behind after a 2-0 triumph over Carlisle. The hapless Northampton are still bottom after losing 1-0 at home to Bury, their 12th defeat in 19 league games.

For individual, speedy, goal-scoring feats one had to look north of the border. The earliest hat-trick of the day, owing to an early kick-off, came from the former Manchester United player Tommy Sloan who scored all four goals in Stranraer's 4-0 drubbing of Whitehill in a Tennents Cup first-round replay.

Tommy Bryce took only 10 minutes to score a hat-trick, though, as Queen of the South coasted to a 6-0 victory against Arbroath in the Scottish Second Division. He too added a fourth goal in the second half.

At the top of the Premier Division both Aberdeen, 3-1 winners at home to Kilmarnock, and Motherwell, 3-1 winners at Dundee kept up the pressure on Rangers. All three teams have 28 points.