Football round-up: Charlton cheer at Valley rally

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CLUBS at the top of the Endsleigh First Division have been changing places with the speed of cards shuffled and dealt at a Reno casino. For the time being, three London teams hold the aces. After home wins for Crystal Palace and Charlton Athletic, and Millwall's draw at West Brom, they occupy the top three places. But it was two of the clubs pursuing this trio from the Smoke who were the unlikely subjects of upsets.

Charlton's disappointment over last Sunday's last-minute defeat at Leicester seemed to have left a deep scar and struggling Barnsley had several first-half chances to lead at The Valley. But John Robinson's first goal of the season a minute after the break and Mark Robson's first since his move from West Ham secured the points.

At the Hawthorns, the Lions created the best scoring chances but found West Brom's goalkeeper Stuart Naylor in outstanding form, although Etienne Verveer missed an open goal. It was Albion's first clean sheet in nine games.

After their battling FA Cup performance at White Hart Lane, Peterborough continued in much the same vein in front of Portsmouth's biggest League gate of the season. Pompey, whose draws at Blackburn and Manchester United set up champagne replays for the Fratton Park faithful, had little stomach for the bread and butter of League work and fell to two goals from the striker Tony Adcock. It was Posh's first away League win of the season. Like Portsmouth, Bristol City suffered a Cup hangover, with several players looking jaded after their midweek exertions against Liverpool. Notts County took full advantage to claim only their second away win.

After being reduced to 10 men for the last 27 minutes when Ceri Hughes was sent off with the score at 1-1, Luton were hanging on at home against Derby. Then Scott Oakes picked up the ball midway inside his own half, beat seven Derby players before slamming the ball into the roof of the net making it three wins in eight days for the Hatters.

In the Second Division, Mark McGhee, the Reading manager and former Hamburg striker, used his German contacts to sign Uwe Hartenburger. Yesterday, Uwe came off the bench to score the only goal of the game against Exeter to maintain Reading's nine- point lead. Second-placed Plymouth won their predictably tight match against promotion rivals Burnley, and Andy Preece scored all three goals against Brighton as Stockport County kept up the pressure.

Cardiff's Garry Thompson was sent off for the second time in four days. This time his colleagues only had Barnet to face for 59 more minutes. The Bees' Zeke Rowe also headed down the tunnel early and alone. No one scored. Bleak.

Wycombe could only manage one goal against bottom-of- the-League Northampton but it was enough to move them into second place in the Third Division, seven points behind the leaders, Crewe, who won 2-1 at Hereford. Preston and Walsall were held at Chesterfield and Gillingham respectively. Doncaster yesterday appointed the former Colchester and Cambridge manager Ian Atkins to take over at Belle Vue and Rovers responded by beating Lincoln 1-0.