Inspired Rovers move up to third

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The Independent Online

Ewood Park bade a fond and highly emotional farewell to Jack Walker, Blackburn Rovers' former chairman, financial saviour and architect of their present prosperity, who died earlier this month, with a silent tribute before the start of their match against Norwich City. And it was no surprise that Rovers started the game in subdued fashion.

Ewood Park bade a fond and highly emotional farewell to Jack Walker, Blackburn Rovers' former chairman, financial saviour and architect of their present prosperity, who died earlier this month, with a silent tribute before the start of their match against Norwich City. And it was no surprise that Rovers started the game in subdued fashion.

But they had got going well before the 24th minute, when Nathan Blake was hauled down by goalkeeper Andy Marshall. David Dunn's penalty sent Marshall the wrong way. Blake increased Rovers' lead seven minutes into the second half, but Iwan Roberts, with Norwich's first goal of the season - and the first Rovers had conceded - got them back in the game. But Matt Jansen made it safe for the home side. It ended 3-2 and Rovers moved up to third.

Fourth-placed Watford lost their 100 per cent record when they could only draw 0-0 with Wimbledon at Selhurst Park. The Dons welcomed John Hartson back to their strike force but he headed his best chance, from six yards out, straight into goalkeeper Espen Baardsen's arms. Watford were the livelier side but Tommy Smith, Tom Mooney and Neil Cox all missed good chances.

A familiar sound returned to the City Ground as Nottingham Forest, 2-0 down to Birmingham City after goals by the Brazilian striker Marcelo and Nicky Eaden's header at the far post, were booed off at half-time. David Platt, the Forest manager, changed Forest's formation and they put Brum under intense pressure. Chris Bart-Williams pulled one back, but it stayed 2-1.

A Steve Sedgley goal gave Wolves a 1-0 win over Burnley and two goals by Marcus Bent - he had scored a Worthington Cup hat-trick in the week - gave Sheffield United a 2-0 win over Tranmere Rovers, their first defeat.

Queen's Park Rangers are unbeaten, but yesterday's 1-0 win over Crewe was won by a calamitous goal for Jason Kearton, the Crewe goalkeeper. His clearance hit Paul Furlong, the QPR striker, and bounced into the empty net.

Crystal Palace got their first win of the season, away to Huddersfield Town, who have lost both home matches this season. Yet all the luck looked to be going the Terriers' way when defender Chris Lucketti's long ball to Clyde Wijnhard was missed by the striker and bounced fortuitously into the far corner of the net.

Julian Gray headed Palace level just before the break and six minutes into the second half Neil Ruddock put them ahead. Hayden Mullins missed a penalty that would have made the closing stages less fraught for Palace, but they hung on.

Having sacked manager Alan Buckley last week, Grimsby Town, without a League win since March, did what they are best at and lost again, 1-0 to Sheffield Wednesday at Blundell Park, Paul Jewell's first win as the Owls' manager. At least the watching Lennie Lawrence, who is expected to be named as manager next week, is in no doubt as to the extent of his task.

But West Bromwich Albion are in even worse trouble after suffering a third consecutive defeat when Barnsley thrashed them 4-1 at Oakwell despite West Brom leading 1-0 at half-time thanks to a Lee Hughes strike. Lee Jones and Neil Shipperley scored two apiece as the Tykes thundered back after the break.

In the Second Division, top- of-the-table Walsall maintained their perfect start with a 4-1 win at Swindon Town, but Millwall were beaten 2-1 at the New Den by Wycombe and had David Livermore and Steve Reid sent off. Peterborough, second, won 4-1 at Oldham. At the bottom, Oxford made it three defeats in three starts when Brentford's Tony Folan scored the only goal of the match at the Manor Ground.

The Third Division pace is being set by Chesterfield, who kept their 100 per cent record, David Reeves scoring twice in a 3-0 defeat of Shrewsbury.

In Scotland, Hibs stay top of the Premier, four points clear, after beating St Mirren 2-0.

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