Football: Vale's bad boy off to a familiar start

ROUND-UP

CONSISTENCY AND luck, two hugely valued commodities in football, revealed their less helpful sides at St Andrews and Maine Road. At the former, the Port Vale defender, Tommy Widdrington, sent off in his final match of 1998-99, showed commendable reliability when he was sent off again, just 90 seconds into his first match of this season. He left his side with a hard day's work at Birmingham City. They held out for six minutes. Bryan Hughes gave Brum the lead and their fans settled to enjoy the rout. Ten minutes later Paul Furlong made it 2-0 but, after surviving almost constant pressure, Vale broke away to pull a goal back through Tony Rougier. Furlong restored Brum's two-goal cushion but Tony Naylor made it 3-2 before the break.

Six minutes into the second half Hughes' second made it 4-2 and that's how it ended. "You can't dive in like that and not expect not to be sent off," Brian Horton, the Vale manager, said of Widdrington's lunge. "He is an experienced player and should know better." Brum are third.

As for luck, a day after Mike McDonald announced he wanted to quit as chairman of First Division Sheffield United, Dame Fortune walked out on the club too. They lost 6-0 at Maine Road, conceded two penalties, and had their goalkeeper, Simon Tracey, sent off as hosts Manchester City scored their first league goals of the season.

The two penalties, converted by Kevin Horlock, came first, the second award leading to Tracey's red card for clattering Shaun Goater. City then ran amok with goals from Mark Kennedy, Goater, Paul Dickov and, to add insult, Gareth Taylor, the former Blades' favourite.

Blackburn Rovers' miserable start to the season continued when they lost 2-1 at home to Barnsley, who were gaining their first points of the season. Barnsley struck first after 65 minutes through Georgi Hristov. Rovers got back into it when Tony Bullock, the visitors' goalkeeper, fouled former Tyke Ashley Ward and Lee Carsley tucked away the 81st-minute penalty.

But four minutes later Neil Shipperley hit Barnsley's winner. "He's got a heart like a lion's and he never stopped running all afternoon," his manager, Dave Bassett, enthused.

Not surprisingly Brian Kidd, the Rovers manager, was less upbeat. "We looked frightened to death and that was a very poor performance. To say I'm disappointed is an understatement... but I am still confident we can get it right."

Stockport County had never won at Fratton Park, stuck to tradition and lost their 100 per cent record as Portsmouth confirmed their encouraging start with a 2-0 win. A dire first half - there was not a shot on target - was soon forgotten as goals by Stefano Miglioranzi and Rory Allen lifted Pompey to second.

Wolverhampton Wanderers began life after Robbie Keane with a 1-1 draw at Queen's Park Rangers. Steve Corica gave Wolves the lead; Gavin Peacock's fourth goal of the season gained Rangers a point.

Playing only their second game of the season, Charlton Athletic kept their perfect record intact with a 1-0 win over Norwich City at The Valley thanks to defender Richard Rufus's late strike. Swindon Town, mauled by Ipswich last week, regained self-respect with a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace.

The Second Division champions, Fulham, showed full acclimatisation to life at the higher level when they battled to parity at Grimsby Town. Both sides scored a goal, had a player sent off and made a point.

Not such a smooth transition for Walsall, promoted with Fulham. They lost 4-1 at home to Crewe Alexandra. "I feel raped," Ray Graydon, the Midlanders' less than tactful manager, said. "We played as good football as at any time since I have been here." Dario Gradi, his opposite number, admitted that, "At half-time I thought we had got off lightly. I won't get carried away. It was not a super performance but it was a super result."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...

Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Technical Support Engineer

£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

Recruitment Genius: Developer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future