Football / Round-Up: Fjortoft supplies stability

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The Independent Online
AFTER last season's dizzying free-fall out of the Premiership, Swindon Town are stabilising nicely. Their 1-0 win at Notts County lifted them up to second place in the Endsleigh First Division, three points behind the leaders. Jan Age Fjortoft's fourth goal of the season and indifferent County finishing secured the points.

While the elite enjoyed a Saturday off because of international demands, the Endsleigh foot soldiers at Stoke City went some way to proving the rule that footballers are not quick learners. Thrashed 4-0 at Reading last Tuesday after having two players sent off, the Potters shipped another four against Bolton Wanderers at Burnden Park. They did not even have the old excuse of the red card on this occasion.

The Coventry manager, Phil Neal, doubtless keen to spend some of the pounds 3.5m received from Liverpool for defender Phil Babb, was among the 9,000 crowd at The Valley for Charlton's match against Bristol City.

Defenders will not have impressed him as the home side won 3-2, their first victory of the season. 'When City put four men up front in the second half it became a real ding-dong battle. They were unlucky not to get a draw,' a relieved Charlton manager Alan Curbishley said.

Newly promoted Crewe are the only Second Division side with a 100 per cent record. They beat Blackpool in a 4-3 thriller at Gresty Road, thanks to Martyn Booty's late winner.

Mel Machin, the new manager of Bournemouth, got some measure of the grim task ahead when his side were drubbed 4-1 at home by York City, who had managed only one point from their first four games. Paul Barnes scored a hat-trick. Bournemouth are bottom of the division.

In the Third Division, Carlisle went top after Jeff Thorpe scored twice in the final two minutes at Scunthorpe to win

3-2. Torquay, who beat Fulham 2-1, also have 13 points.

England's favourite German, Jurgen Klinsmann, was voted Footballer of the Year in his own country for the second time in a poll of sportswriters. His national captain, Lothar Matthaus, came in second.