Football Round-Up: Summerbee leads the fightback

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The Independent Online
AN EVENTFUL time at Swindon began before the kick-off of their First Division match against Charlton yesterday when Glenn Hoddle felt a twinge and declared himself unfit to play, promoting Nick Summerbee to the starting line-up and Ross McLaren to the substitutes' bench. Confused? Swindon were and promptly conceded two goals to the visitors, whose own injury problems were so severe that co-manager Alan Curbishley had to be drafted into their line-up for his first League game match of the season. Phew.

Eleven minutes from half-time, the Wiltshire Robins began their fight back against the Cockney Robins. Summerbee scored and six minutes later Colin Calderwood equalised. This was enough excitement for the afternoon. It remained 2-2.

LAST Sunday at Derby, West Ham lost defender Alvin Martin through injury after five minutes, had left-back Julian Dicks sent off after 30 minutes but still won 2-0 with some ease. Against Portsmouth, who harbour promotion aspirations of their own, the Hammers lost leading scorer Clive Allen after eight minutes. But they had little trouble in completing the double over Pompey.

Trevor Morley, who had already missed two good chances, put them ahead after 26 minutes and Colin Foster completed the day's work on 55 minutes. Jim Smith, the Portsmouth manager, was impressed. 'West Ham are the best team we have played this season. I think they will be up there with Newcastle at the end of the season.'

SPEAKING of leaders Newcastle: they won, as is traditional. The former Charlton winger, Robert Lee, scored twice in their comfortable 3-0 home win over Peterborough. Leicester routed Watford 5-2 after Steve Perryman's side had fought back from 3-0 to 3-2. The former Cambridge winger, Lee Philpott, started proceedings in the ninth minute with his first goal for Leicester and 80 minutes later finished the day's scoring at Filbert Street with his second and City's fifth. Philpott's former team-mates presented Ian Atkins with his first League win as Cambridge United manager, beating Grimsby 2-0 at the Abbey Stadium.

THE GOOD people of Luton showed commendable taste in staying away from the Hatters' bottom-of-the-table clash with Notts County, who had sacked manager Neil Warnock during the week. It was a dour 0-0 draw with Luton creating what chances there were, as Phil Gray hit the woodwork twice.

BRISTOL ROVERS probably had Wednesday night's FA Cup replay against Aston Villa on their minds yesterday which allowed Sunderland to steal a two-goal lead at Twerton Park. But Marcus Stewart pulled one back before half time. A minute from time, the immutable football law - 'a former player shall undo ye' - came into play when Paul Hardyman, bought from Sunderland in the summer, equalised.

THE Second Division leaders, Stoke, thrashed Mansfield 4-0, but second-placed West Brom needed a penalty six minutes from time at Exeter to take three points home, Ian Hamilton converting the penalty after Exeter's goalkeeper had been sent off. Third-placed Leyton Orient had their second consecutive 0-0 draw, away at Hull this time, allowing Port Vale, 2-1 winners at Chester, to move to within a point. Rotherham, who were fourth, lost to lowly Blackpool. Bolton, Liverpool's midweek conquerors, found Plymouth no more challenging, beating them 3-1 to go sixth.

CONTROVERSY and adversity off the pitch have done nothing to dull the cutting edge of Barnet. At Underhill yesterday, the Third Division leaders beat third-placed Wrexham 3-1 while second-placed York City could only manage a goalless draw at home with Darlington.

ABERDEEN wasted no time in demonstrating their superiority over Airdrieonians at Pittodrie in one of only two Scottish Premier League games to escape postponement. Mixu Paatelainen gave them the lead after two minutes, young striker Eoin Jess doubled Airdrie's deficit after 16 and by half-time the Finnish international, Paatelainen, had completed his hat-trick. To their credit, Airdrie came out of the dressing room for the second half. It finished 7-0, with Paatelainen adding his fourth after 78 minutes. The Dons are five points behind leaders Rangers, whose match at Motherwell was one of 13 games lost north of the border.

AFTER the Camillagate Tapes, we bring you The Ferdigate Quotes. Commenting on the absence of Ray Wilkins (broken leg), Queen's Park Rangers' captain and pivotal midfielder, from their meeting with Championship favourites Manchester United tomorrow night, striker Les Ferdinand said: 'We'll miss him badly. As far as I'm concerned, though, at least I'll get some peace. Ray has been on to me all the time this season, geeing me up. You couldn't print some of the things he has said to me.' Fear of Calcutt is everywhere.

Last season, Rangers thrashed Manchester United 4-1 at Old Trafford and thereafter the Reds' confidence drained away with alarming ease. Tomorrow, Alan McDonald will take over as QPR's captain and Ian Holloway will replace Wilkins in midfield.

TITLE contenders Aston Villa face Middlesbrough at Villa Park this afternoon. Last Wednesday, Boro won their first game in six and could have their former Celtic defender, Derek Whyte, back after injury. Villa, who face a tricky FA Cup replay at Bristol Rovers on Wednesday, could again be without their top-scorer Dalian Atkinson (groin injury), who has played in only two of the last eight games.

JURGEN KLINSMANN scored his fifth goal in eight days to take Monaco a point clear of Nantes at the top of the French First Division last night. The German striker, who hit four against Auxerre last Saturday, scored the only goal in the 1-0 victory over struggling Nmes. In Spain, Atletico Madrid profited from the return of Bernd Schuster after nine games out with an ankle injury as they drew 1-1 with Real Madrid.