Football Round-up: Taggart goes all the way

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The Independent Online
LIKE a pub with no fizzy lager, a Saturday without FA Carling Premiership football had much to recommend it. Plenty of goals and sightings rarer than Halley's Comet, like Celtic winning at home and Barnsley's Gerry Taggart, sent off three times this season and twice in the last eight days, actually getting through the game against Charlton.

He nearly made it three consecutive dismissals when he brought down Carl Leaburn, who had a free run on goal, and was fortunate only to be booked. Taggart, player-manager Viv Anderson and player- coach Danny Wilson had a chat with referee Robbie Hart before the start of the second- half - not about the quality of the Barnsley Earl Grey - but Charlton, who hadn't won at Oakwell since 1936, hung on to a one-goal advantage. Another rarity.

SECOND Division strikers seem to have been at the patented Chinese caterpillar fungus and turtle essence. At Exeter, City boss Alan Ball saw Reading, who gave Manchester City a fright in midweek, sprint into a 4-1 lead. With the hour just passed, Exeter had recovered to 4-4 but Jimmy Quinn and Scott Taylor saw Reading safely home.

SEVEN goals were shared between Bristol Rovers and Bradford, Rovers claiming the lions' share but City were ahead three minutes from time. And the Second Division's biggest crowd saw Burnley put four past Peter Shilton, who has lately returned to duty between the sticks for Plymouth. Perhaps not for long.

Third Division Shrewsbury, who made sinners out of Southampton on Wednesday, beat Carlisle 1-0 but Crewe's 6-0 thumping of Hereford was the day's biggest win.

HIBERNIAN consolidated their position as top of the Scots with an impressive 2-0 win at third-placed Motherwell but the most remarkable Scottish Premier result, Celtic aside, was Partick's 3-2 defeat of Aberdeen. Alex Taylor, with a free-kick, and Albert Craig gave Thistle a 2-0 lead after only five minutes but the Dons hauled themselves back into the game. Roddy Grant restored Partick's lead with 19 minutes remaining to record a famous win.

THIS afternoon, Middlesbrough go to Vicarage Road where they can expect anything but a tea party if Watford's disciplinary record this season is anything to go by. The Hornets have had seven players sent off so far. Boro striker Paul Wilkinson has extended his contract to 1995. 'Middlesbrough could get back to the top flight,' he said. 'The First Division is wide open this season,' he said. At both ends.

AFTER twice winning the junior World Cup, Nigeria at last booked their place in the senior competition's finals after a hard-fought 1-1 draw in Algeria thanks to a first-half goal and a defiant display by keeper Wilfred Agbonavbare.

AND, of course, the round-up would not be complete without our weekly Marseille offering. Now that they have been banned from every competition bar the South Of France Beach Football League, Bernard Tapie's financially (very) strapped club is ready to sell some star players sooner than expected. The Croat striker Alen Boksic could be off to Lazio; and the French internationals, Didier Deschamps and Basile Boli, finish their contracts this season.