Football / Round-Up: Machin leads raid at The Den

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BARNSLEY and Bury turned in the best performances yesterday. Mel Machin's Yorkshiremen recovered from last week's FA Cup defeat at Maine Road to thrash First Division promotion contenders Millwall 4-0 at The Den. The Lions, unbeaten in 13 home league games this season, found themselves 2-0 down after nine minutes, Owen Archdeacon and Wayne Biggins scoring, and they both grabbed another later.

Bury, who had lost 5-1 at Carlisle in September, returned the compliment with interest at Gigg Lane, scoring six without reply in the space of 30 first-half minutes. Then, presumably sated, they went a further 50 goalless minutes against Carlisle's 10 men, Darren Edmondson having been sent off.

BRISTOL ROVERS beat fifth- placed Tranmere Rovers, courtesy of a Carl Saunders volley, and leapt out of the First Division relegation zone.

Leicester City's former Cambridge United man, Lee Philpott, snatched a last-minute equaliser at Fratton Park, robbing Portsmouth of the chance to go third, while Swindon, sixth, lost at improving Cambridge.

WATFORD'S 2-1 win at the Baseball Ground marked the 10th home defeat in the league for that expensively-assembled aggregation known as Derby County. The Rams had Simon Coleman sent off in the 57th minute for a professional foul.

DESPITE Stoke's rampant progress at the top of the Second Division - their 1-0 win over Bradford extended their lead to 10 points - Stockport County are the form side. Last Tuesday they beat second-placed Port Vale and yesterday they put five past West Brom, who had been third. County are now a point behind yesterday's victims. Vale succumbed again, 4-1 to fellow promotion chasers Rotherham.

TALKING OF wobbling leaders and stuttering form, what's with York City? Blasting away at the top of the Third Division as Christmas approached, they lost 4-2 in a mid-December derby at Scarborough and have been looking back to the good old days ever since. Yesterday, they lost 1-0 at Torquay, who climbed off the bottom of the table.

Barnet re-established their seven point lead at the top with a 2-0 win over Doncaster, and then confirmed that they had put all their players up for sale to raise money to pay wages and other debts.

Barnet were fined pounds 50,000 in December for financial irregularities. Their manager, Barry Fry, said: 'I won't encourage any bids. I'd hate to throw the championship or promotion away.'

TODAY'S big game sees the First Division leaders, Newcastle, visit second-placed West Ham. Four weeks ago, the Hammers were 15 points adrift - the margin now is four. 'We have done well to get this close and if we win it will put more pressure on Newcastle,' West Ham's manager, Billy Bonds, said. 'We would like to go up with the title too.' One Newcastle player with a lot to prove this afternoon is the former Hammers striker, David Kelly, scorer of 17 goals this season.

DAVID WEBB, imprinted in Chelsea legend as the scorer of the 1970 FA Cup winning goal, makes his debut at Blackburn Rovers today as the club's latest manager pledging to emulate the success of his mentor, Dave Sexton, and make the side trophy-winners.

'We have an abundance of players here good enough to win things if they perform to their potential,' Webb said. 'Some people have said I won't be able to work with Ken Bates but my view is that we are both great fighters and could form the best tag-team that anybody's ever seen.' A boggler, huh?

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