Football Round-Up: Derby rise from bottom

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HAVING spent pounds 12.25m on buying the club, paying off its debts and sending the manager Arthur Cox on a shopping spree for new players, Derby County's benefactor Lionel Pickering is at last seeing some return on his considerable investment. The Rams followed last weekend's 1-1 draw at West Ham with a 2-0 win over mighty Southend United, their first League win of the season. It was good enough to lift them off the bottom of the First Division. Marco Gabbiadini put County ahead on 70 minutes and Paul Simpson's penalty seven minutes from time made the game safe. But Newcastle remain the division's form team. Kevin Sheedy scored the only goal of the Magpies' game at Peterborough to make it eight wins out of eight matches as Kevin Keegan's team stride out at the top of the table.

DESPITE selling good young players like Anthony Barness and Robert Lee this season, Charlton Athletic continue to dog Newcastle's heels at the top of the First Division. Yesterday, against Glenn Hoddle's fancied Swindon side, a goal in each half from Scott Minto and the Ghanaian forward Kim Grant kept the Robins' fans in good voice as they prepare for December's return to the happy Valley.

THE Second Division leaders West Bromwich Albion recovered from last week's disappointment at Stoke to beat low-riding Exeter 2-0. Ian Hamilton, bought by Ossie Ardiles from Scunthorpe for pounds 170,000, and Bernard McNally scored. The Baggies took further comfort from the knowledge that they were the only side in the top eight to win. But Stoke carried on where they left off last week scoring another four as they beat Mansfield at Field Mill. Mark Stein, who scored twice in mid-week, bagged another pair.

JIMMY CASE'S influence is showing at The Shay. Brought in as player-coach in the summer, the former Liverpool and Southampton midfielder saw his new club achieve the performance of the day in the nether divisions as Halifax won 5-2 at Northampton in the Third. Ian Thompstone, a close-season free transfer from Exeter City, scored a hat-trick. The division's leaders, York, had won at Darlington on Friday night. Second-placed Barnet, in the news this week with another ruckus between players and chairman Stan Flashman, did likewise yesterday at Wrexham with goals by that most reliable of double acts, Bull and Carter, in a 3-2 win.

AFTER Chesterfield's fizzy exploits at Anfield in mid-week when they forced a 4-4 draw with Liverpool in the Coca-Cola Cup second round first leg, it was back to flat earth with a dull thud yesterday. Their coach was delayed by traffic on the M1, putting back the kick-off against Colchester by 15 minutes. Chesterfield lost 3-0. Probably saving themselves for the second leg.

IN SCOTLAND, Rangers limbered up for their European duties with a comfortable 4-0 win over Dundee United. They were missing the centre-backs Richard Gough and Dave McPherson, and attack proved the best method of defence as the Ibrox side scored twice in each half. Peter Huistra got two and Trevor Steven one, a useful reminder to the England manager Graham Taylor. With Celtic and Hearts also losing, Aberdeen hopped into second place, their three goals in the win at St Johnstone coming in as many minutes.

PROMOTION by Christmas? Wycombe Wanderers are setting a fierce pace in the GM Vauxhall and yesterday thrashed Kettering 4-0 away. They've scored over 30 goals in 10 Conference matches establishing an awesome early- season lead.

GOOD news for Manchester United despite the Premier points dropped at home against QPR yesterday. The crocks Bryan Robson, Paul Parker and Mike Phelan all came through unscathed in the A team's 6-0 win over Oldham's A side and they will all travel with the first-team squad for Tuesday's UEFA Cup first-round second-leg match against Moscow Torpedo.