Football / Round-Up: Keane in trouble

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The Independent Online
ROY KEANE, Nottingham Forest's exceptional young midfielder, was arrested outside the Ritzy nightspot in the city's centre early on Thursday morning after a fracas outside the club. He was taken to Nottingham Central police station, warned about his behaviour but released without charge.

Forest players have been in 'festive mood' all week. Earlier, 20 Forest players - some dressed as dwarfs (no height at the back) and pantomime dames (they've got the legs for it) - were banned from the Old Vic bar in the city's Lace Market after allegedly kicking up a boozy rumpus on a Christmas fancy dress pub crawl. Keane, 21, was not involved.

The authorities possibly accept that this is normal preparation for a match against Wimbledon, whom Forest meet this afternoon. But not manager Brian Clough, who was said to be furious and demanded an inquiry into the incident.

ONLY two of the top eight Barclays First Division teams were in action yesterday. Conveniently, they played each other. Inconveniently for Wolves, they faced the Tranmere striker John Aldridge in merciless form. He opened the scoring in three minutes, chipping in Chris Malkin's pass, scored a second just after the hour and completed his hat-trick four minutes from time. Rovers trail Newcastle by six points.

Southend, the bottom team in the division, also had a good day, beating Barnsley 3-0 at Roots Hall. Stan Collymore, their recent signing from Crystal Palace, scored twice.

HALF-TIME team talk of the week was given by Bruce Rioch at Burnden Park where Second Division Bolton were drawing 0-0 with Frank Stapleton's improved Bradford City. Wanderers emerged to score five without reply.

The Prayers Answered Award in the division went to the leaders Stoke at Hartlepool. Nigel Gleghorn scored their winner in the last minute to extend the Potters' advantage to six points. Third-placed Port Vale were held 2-2 at home by Wigan. Vale's Robin van der Laan equalised three minutes from time.

THIRD Division football club in profit shock] Scarborough announced yesterday the conversion of a pounds 387,000 overdraft into a pounds 50,000 profit. Main reason for the change, chairman Geoffrey Richmond said, was their percentage of the pounds 2.5m sale of former Scarborough defender Craig Short from Notts County to Derby. 'The club is now in credit,' Richmond said. 'We have stability on and off the field.' Striker Darren Foreman hammered home the point by scoring a hat-trick in the first 20 minutes of their Yorkshire derby against top- of-the-table York. Boro won 4-2.

Elsewhere, the Rochdale striker Andy Flounders had fourth-placed Lincoln in a flap, scoring three in a 40-minute spell during their 5-1 win.

A BUMPER crowd of 5,495 at Yeovil's GM Vauxhall Conference 2-2 home draw against Bromsgrove Rovers sadly owed little to the allure of the opposition. Vouchers for Yeovil's upcoming FA Cup match against Arsenal were handed out at the match. Speaking of giantkillers, Cove Rangers beat Second Division Montrose 2-0 in the Tennents Scottish Cup second round.

LEEDS UNITED'S cavalry arrives in the shape of full-back Mel Sterland and midfielder David Batty, who both return to the 18- man squad for today's Premier League match at Crystal Palace after ankle injuries.

Sterland (ligaments) has played only 30 minutes reserve team football since March; Batty (hairline fracture) has missed the last seven games but are unlikely to start the match. Palace are aiming for their fourth consecutive win. Leeds have not won away this season.

ITALY'S captain Franco Baresi was sent off as his side narrowly beat mighty Malta 2-1 in Valletta to score their first 1994 World Cup qualifying win.

Goals by Gianluca Vialli and Giuseppe Signori put the visitors in control, but 68 minutes Baresi was dismissed for deliberate handball. Although Gianluca Pagliuca saved the resulting penalty, Italy were rocked. Malta scored five minutes from time through Michael Gregory.