What price a proven Premiership goalscorer in the Championship? James Beattie at Sheffield United, Kevin Phillips for West Bromwich Albion and Paul Gallagher, on loan from Blackburn at Preston North End, all gave masterclasses in finishing to earn their sides a win.
West Bromwich moved up to third after Phillips scored twice late on in a 4-0 win over Ipswich Town at the Hawthorns. Ishmael Miller gave them an early lead, Ipswich missed several chances to level and paid for it when Filipe Teixeira and that Phillips double in the final four minutes sent West Bromwich out of sight. "A strange game," their relieved manager, Tony Mowbray, said. "We capitalised by scoring late on the break. The scoreline was very harsh on Ipswich."
At Bramall Lane, the Blades were trailing to Stephen Elliott's 24th-minute goal for Wolves when Beattie headed in a 57th-minute equaliser and eight minutes from the end drew a foul, got up and scored the penalty. Jon Stead made it 3-1 for the Blades in time added on.
Preston have struggled to get their season started but the visit of the bottom side, Sheffield Wednesday, saw Gallagher react first when Lee Grant saved Andy Carroll's shot to turn in the ball. The 1-0 defeat was the Owls' fifth consecutive loss, the worst start to a season in the club's history. In his first match as Leicester City manager, Gary Megson saw them dominate visitors Queens Park Rangers, take the lead with an Iain Hume penalty, but drop two points when Mikele Leigertwood earned QPR a 1-1 draw.
Stoke were leading 1-0 at Hull City when the Tigers brought on their ex-Premiership star Jay-Jay Okocha. "Only when he came on did we feel they might be able to go through us," Stoke's manager, Tony Pulis, said. They did. David Livermore's late equaliserearned Hull a point from the1-1 draw. David Strihavka, leading scorer in the Czech league last season, scored the goal that saw Norwich City beat Crystal Palace 1-0 at Carrow Road.
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake scored twice for Plymouth Argyle, but Cardiff forced a 2-2 draw.
Colchester led Charlton 2-0 at Layer Road with goals by Mark Yeates and Kevin Lisbie, against his former club, but Svetoslav Todorov pulled a goal back, the hosts had Matt Connolly sent off, and Zhi Zheng made it 2-2.
Blackpool twice came from behind to draw 2-2 in the Lancashire derby at Burnley; Scunthorpe lost 2-0 at Barnsley.
In Scotland, Rangers dropped their first SPL points of the season as Hearts recorded their first win, beating the deposed leaders 4-2 at Tynecastle with goals by Andrew Driver, Ibrahim Tall, a Michael Stewart penalty and Kestutis Ivaskevicius.
In the Premiership tomorrow, Derby, beaten 6-0 last time out, will be seeking a first win ofthe season, against Newcastle United, while this afternoon Aston Villa, recent 2-0 winners over Chelsea, go to strong starters Manchester City.
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