Football: Sad Cox calls it a day

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The Independent Online
DERBY COUNTY will have a new man at the helm when they entertain West Bromwich in the First Division this afternoon. Arthur Cox, who had been in charge at the Baseball Ground since May 1984, resigned last night, with his assistant, Roy McFarland, stepping up to take over team affairs.

Cox has been suffering from a back injury and has missed County's last six matches. 'It is with great sadness, through being incapacitated due to a back injury, that I find it impossible to carry out my duties as manager to my own satisfaction,' he said. He had three years of his contract to run.

Lionel Pickering, Derby's millionaire owner, said :'Arthur felt that Derby needed an active manager so he decided to resign. No one could have made a more noble gesture.'

Devon White, who has spent much of his time at Queen's Park Rangers in the considerable shadow of Les Ferdinand, stepped into the spotlight when the England forward failed a fitness test before yesterday's home match against Ipswich. White, making his first starting appearance of the season, responded with two goals in five second-half minutes - sweeping in an Allen cross and heading in a David Bardsley centre - to give Rangers a grip that never loosened. Simon Barker added the third.

Two long-awaited hat-tricks in south-east London yesterday as John Salako announced his return to form and fitness with three strikes in Crystal Palace's 4-1 win over Stoke. The Eagles were as much indebted to goalkeeper Nigel Martyn's fine saves, though, as they flew back to the top of the First Division.

At the brave new Den, Millwall's Jon Goodman, in his first start of the season, scored three in a 5-0 thrashing of Watford, as the Lions ended a barren spell without a kill.

David Speedie has shepherded West Ham and Blackburn into the top division in the past two seasons. He is now hoping to do likewise for Leicester and scored twice as City beat Notts County, the second coming in the 89th minute. Across the Midlands, Steve Stone's injury-time goal salvaged a home point for Nottingham Forest against Portsmouth and third-placed Middlesbrough were also in stoppage time when Alan Moore equalised at Ayresome Park against Birmingham.

Goal-burst of the day was at Vale Park where Port Vale scored three in three minutes - Paul Kerr (46) and Nicky Cross (47, 48) - against Wrexham. The Hull City striker Dean Windass scored after 30 seconds against Bradford and was sent off after 10 minutes for two fouls - one against a player, another against the English language. Hull won 3-1 to go top of the Second Division. In the Third, Preston went top after Tony Ellis scored the only goal against Colchester.

In Scotland, two points cover the top six Premier teams. After European elimination, Walter Smith's side might have been expected to exact revenge at Stark's Park but Raith players scored both goals - one for Rangers unfortunately - in the 1-1 draw. The top two, Aberdeen and Motherwell, fought out a goalless stalemate.

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