Football: Wright restores Celtic's belief

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The Independent Online
CELTIC DID not allow their supporters to dwell too long on Scotland's lack of reward for last Wednesday's efforts by recovering from a nervous first-half performance to beat Hearts 2-1 at Tynecastle.

Mark Burchill had already spurned a chance to give Celtic the lead when Hearts went ahead in the third minute. Gary McSwegan, given time on the right, crossed and Colin Cameron turned the ball in. Hearts might have gone further ahead but Celtic reached without further damage.

In the second half, as tempers frayed, Cameron turned villain when he was involved in an off-the-ball incident with Jan Mjallby and was sent off by the referee, Mike McCurry.

In the 71st minute, the ball broke to Ian Wright on the edge of the Hearts penalty area and he fired in. Two minutes from then end, Lubomir Moravcik collected the ball, cut in and drove in a long-range strike as Celtic stayed in touch at the top of the Premier.

The Yorkshire challenge at the top of the Nationwide First Division moved up a gear as convincing home wins for Huddersfield Town and Barnsley against Midlands opposition kept up the pressure on the leaders.

Barnsley, whose manager, Dave Bassett, has been strongly tipped as the man Blackburn Rovers think can lead them back to the Premiership, won 2-1 against Birmingham City at Oakwell. After a tame first half against a resolute Brum defence, the Tykes scored twice in six minutes just before the hour through Eric Tinkler and Craig Hignett penalty. It was enough.

At the McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield went second after a hard-earned 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion. With supply to the Terriers' strikers Marcus Stewart and Clyde Wijnhard cut-off by Albion's packed midfield, it was left to Dean Gorre, 10 minutes into the second half, to grab the vital goal.

Yorkshire's third First Division club, Sheffield United, is faring less well. A 1-1 draw against Stockport County, who played for an hour with 10 men, leaves them a place above the relegation berths. Marcus Bent put the Blades ahead after 17 minutes and 11 minutes later County's Chris Byrne was dismissed for serious foul play. But they earned a point with Wayne Allison's strike.

Bolton put Grimsby Town under pressure for most of the first half at the Reebok Stadium but had to wait until five minutes into the second before Bo Hansen scored the first of his pair to set up a 2-0 win.

Crewe Alexandra won 2-0 at Portsmouth to move off the bottom, a place now occupied by Swindon Town, who will have been encouraged none the less by their 1-1 draw at Wolves. One place above them are Walsall who lost 2-1 at Queen's Park Rangers, two goals in three minutes from Stuart Wardley and Chris Kiwomya put the Londoners ahead on the half-hour. Port Vale and Crystal Palace drew.