Football: Tskhadadze confirms City revival

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MANCHESTER CITY stirred up the First Division relegation battle last night by winning 3-1 away to Huddersfield Town.

City went into the match level with Huddersfield on 36 points, but Joe Royle emerged from the match all smiles after his side capitalised on a 10th-minute opener headed in by Gerard Weikens.

Although Paul Dalton scored his 13th goal of the season from the penalty spot to equalise, Lee Briscoe put City back in front on the stroke of half-time and the Georgian Kakhaber Tskhadadze then made it three to give City two wins in a row for the first time in 11 months.

Portsmouth, after four successive wins, had to settle for a 1-1 draw against fellow strugglers Bury. The Shakers opened the scoring courtesy of a Lenny Johnrose goal in the 21st minute, the first time Pompey had conceded a goal in six and a half hours of play. The south coast side hit back when Dean Kiely failed to hold Steve Claridge's 68th-minute shot, John Aloisi following up to earn a point.

At the top, Charlton moved level on points with third-placed Sunderland by trouncing West Bromwich Albion 5-0. It was their third successive victory as they strengthened their claims for a place in the Premiership next season.

Their veteran striker, Mark Bright, opened the scoring a minute before the interval at The Valley and Shaun Newton made it 2-0 on 53 minutes. West Brom then fell apart as Clive Mendonca netted a penalty, Mark Kinsella scored a fourth and Mendonca added a fifth. West Brom have now won only three games out of 15 under Denis Smith's management.

Stockport crushed Reading 5-1, with Chris Byrne and Brett Angell scoring twice each.

Doncaster's smallest crowd in their history watched them beaten 2-0 at home by Barnet. Only 739 people turned up to see the Third Division side, who are 10 points adrift at the foot of the Football League, suffer their 26th defeat of the season.

l Ajax face an uphill task to reach the last four of the Uefa Cup after the Dutch club were beaten 3-1 at home by Spartak Moscow in the quarter- final first leg. Alexander Shirko scored twice for the Russian champions to make them favourites to go through after the return match in two weeks' time.