Football Round-up: Roker rolls out red carpet

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SUNDERLAND could not have been more helpful or obliging at Roker Park yesterday where the visitors, Charlton Athletic, were aiming to stay top of the First Division. After 15 minutes the Wearsiders had defender John Kay sent off. After the hour, seeing that Athletic were getting nowhere against 10 men, the hospitality went into overdrive. First Terry Butcher, the former Coventry manager and England international, put through his own goal. Just like old times. Not to be outdone, his fellow centre-back, Gary Bennett, doubled Charlton's lead with his own own goal.

Newcastle United, Charlton's closest pursuers and Sunderland's north-eastern neighbours, came from behind to beat Bristol Rovers 2-1 at Twerton Park, Kevin Sheedy and Liam O'Brien scoring.

GOAL-CRAZY elsewhere in the First. Birmingham went down with a bump to their first League defeat of the season, 4-0 to Portsmouth at Fratton Park. Guy Whittingham claimed his fifth goal of the season. Wild times, too, at Kenilworth Road where Luton and Tranmere shared six. Pat Nevin scored his first for the visitors, John Aldridge got his customary goal, but Scott Oakes squared it.

At Molineux, unbeaten Wolves had it wrapped up against Peterborough with three goals in five minutes to put them 4-1 up after 50 minutes. Peterborough fought back to 4-3 but the scoring stopped on 87 minutes just as Jon Goodman's goal for Millwall at The Den was ending Swindon's unbeaten sequence.

WEST BROM dropped their first points of the season when Fulham's Sean Farrell, set up by the new 'boy' Steve Archibald, equalised Bob Taylor's second-minute goal. Next, the Garth Crooks comeback. Albion lead Hull on goals scored. Huddersfield, who play today, are the only pointless club in the Premier and Barclays leagues.

LITTLE joy at the top of the Third. York were beaten 3-1 by Walsall after taking a first-minute lead and Cardiff lost at Torquay, for whom Justin Fashanu scored in the first half and was sent off in the second. Barnet, now second, won 2-0. Goals by Carter and Bull, a familiar refrain.

NORWICH CITY's Mike Walker, in his first season as Carrow Road boss, is the Premier League's first Barclays manager of the month. He is no stranger to the award. In October 1987, he won the Fourth Division award with Colchester. The club's directors were so impressed they sacked him before the presentation could be made. Walker went to Norwich and Colchester were soon relegated, albeit briefly, to the GM Vauxhall Conference. See, there is justice in football after all.

THE Middlesbrough physiotherapist, Mark Nile, has been fined pounds 500, suspended from match duties until 30 September and ordered to pay costs by the FA after its commission found him guilty of 'manhandling a linesman' during Boro's game at Coventry City. Hey, he is a physio. Manhandling comes naturally.