Law is broken at Bradford as Symons makes strong point

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The Independent Football

Bradford City, once again struggling against relegation from the Nationwide First Division, sacked manager Nicky Law, who had been in charge at Valley Parade since January 2002, after their 1-1 home draw with Walsall left them one off the bottom and without a win in 11 matches. A club statement said: "The board felt they had given him as long as they could to turn current form around."

After yesterday's draw, Law said: "In the last two games we have improved, and I am sure we can take it on from there. The players have taken more responsibility and worked hard. We just need that vital win. At the end of the day, the chairman has shown faith in me and not made any rash decisions."

Little did he know. There have been persistent rumours that Stuart McCall, the Scottish international midfielder who had two spells as a Bantam, was being lined up for a player-coach role if results did not improve. Bradford's next match is on 22 November.

As one reign ended, another began at Crystal Palace, where Kit Symons made a point from his first match as the Eagles' caretaker player-manager after a 1-1 draw with Preston North End at Selhurst Park. "We deserved the point, if not all three," a pleased Symons said. "I was delighted with our second-half performance."

Elsewhere in Yorkshire, Sheffield United moved into second place thanks to a 1-0 win over Burnley at Bramall Lane. Michael Tonge scored the goal after Brian Jensen, in the Clarets' goal, misplaced a clearance to present the Blades midfielder with an open goal.

Norwich City moved up to third, Ian Henderson scoring twice in the first half as the Canaries kept their 100 per cent record at Carrow Road with a 3-1 win over Millwall. "There's a lot more to come from him," Nigel Worthington, the Norwich manager, said of the 18-year-old. "He's done nothing yet... he's had one-and-a-half games."

Sunderland were held to a goalless draw by Coventry City at the Stadium of Light and dropped to fifth.

Down among the strugglers, Rotherham moved out of the bottom three when Martin Butler and Chris Swailes scored late in the first half to set up a 3-1 defeat of Wimbledon at Millmoor. Derby County slipped into the bottom three when manager George Burley's former club, Ipswich Town, came back from a 2-0 deficit at Pride Park to draw 2-2. Watford gained a deserved point against Nottingham Forest when substitute Lee Cook made it 1-1 at the City Ground.

Gillingham beat Crewe 2-0, and Cardiff City's Robert Earnshaw took his season's tally to 19 goals when he scored twice in Cardiff City's 3-1 home defeat of Stoke City.

In the FA Cup first round, Burton Albion, Stevenage Borough and Scarborough all donned the non-League giant-killing mantle against League opposition. Nigel Clough's Burton, of the Conference, won 2-1 at Torquay United of the Third Division courtesy of a Steve Woods own goal and Robert Talbot's winner, while at Broadhall Way Dino Maamria scored both goals as Stevenage, also of the Conference, beat Second Division Stockport County 2-1.

Karl Rose scored the only goal as a third Conference side, Scarborough, went through against Third Division Doncaster. But just as impressive was the performance of Ryman Premier side Ford United, who drew 2-2 at Port Vale, several times leaders of the Second Division this year.

Weston-super-Mare of the Dr Martens Premier won 1-0 at Conference side Farnborough, and Unibond Premier team Stalybridge drew 2-2 at the Conference's Barnet.