Scowcroft's strike keeps Ipswich in contention

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Ipswich Town maintained the pressure on the First Division leaders with a 1-0 win over Stockport County yesterday thanks in large to their goalkeeper Richard Wright, who saved a penalty from Tony Dinning, and then pulled off another save from the follow-up.

Ipswich Town maintained the pressure on the First Division leaders with a 1-0 win over Stockport County yesterday thanks in large to their goalkeeper Richard Wright, who saved a penalty from Tony Dinning, and then pulled off another save from the follow-up.

Stockport saw their four-match winning run ended by Jamie Scowcroft's 34th-minute goal to leave Ipswich unbeaten in 10 games.

Barnsley struggled to break down an unadventurous Port Vale but ended 3-1 winners after Eric Tinkler broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute. Darren Barnard made it two before Steve Rimmer was sent off for serious foul play. Despite Vale pulling one back through Jeff Minton, Neil Shipperley made sure of the victory against the 10 men.

Norwich have won only once in 18 visits to Molineux and their luck was out yesterday when Chris Llewellyn turned the ball into his own net to give Wolves a 1-0 victory.

Fulham looked to be heading for their fifth successive goalless draw until Paul Devlin broke the deadlock for Sheffield United. Two minutes later Marcus Bent side-footed home a volley to give Sheffield United a second Christmas win by 2-0. Fulham are now without a goal in more than seven-and-a-half hours.

Portsmouth went in front through Steve Claridge after 14 minutes against Blackburn. But Christian Dailly equalised after a corner on 33 minutes and Egil Ostenstad made the result 2-1, condemning Portsmouth to a 15th game without a win.

There were three goals in as many minutes at Prenton Park where Tranmere led after 11 minutes against the bottom club Swindon, who struck back through Chris Hay. Wayne Allison then scored twice as Tranmere ran out 3-1 winners.

In the Second Division, Wigan maintained their unbeaten league record after scoring the fastest goal of the day as Alan McLoughlin seized the advantage over Gillingham within a minute. Darren Sheridan made it 2-0 and kept Wigan on top of the table.

Preston moved back into second place after edging out Bristol Rovers, who led after 43 minutes through a deflected shot from Mark Walters. Rovers were shaken by Graham Alexander's 63rd-minute penalty and Preston were stirred when Jonathan Macken's 16th of the season after 72 minutes gave them a 2-1 win.

Gavin Mahon scored Brentford's first goal against Millwall and despite a 59th minute equaliser from Neil Harris, the West London side must have thought they had won when Martin Rowlands restored the lead with only four minutes left. But two in a minute from Paul Shaw and David Livermore gave Millwall a 3-2 win.

Cambridge kept a clean sheet at the 23rd time of asking but it was against a Cardiff team who finished with eight men. Russell Perrett, Craig Middleton and Lee Phillips were all sent off but Cambridge still could not manage a goal.

In the Third Division, Chester City's American owner, Terry Smith, decided to step down from running the team after watching his bottom-placed side lose 5-1 at home to fellow strugglers Leyton Orient. Barnet stayed on top despite losing at home for only the second time this season. John Cullen, on loan from Sheffield United, scored for Halifax, ending Barnet's six-match unbeaten run.

Rotherham missed the chance to move above Barnet, losing 3-1 at home to Brighton, while Walter Boyd gave Swansea their sixth win on the trot at the expense of Plymouth. The Welshmen have not conceded a goal in 751 minutes.

Comments