Wallwork double works wonders for Bradford

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The Independent Football

Time is running out for the sides struggling to avoid relegation from the Nationwide First Division, but Bradford City gave themselves a glimmer of hope when Ronnie Wallwork scored two first-half goals at Millmoor to inspire a 2-1 defeat of Rotherham.

Wallwork struck twice in five minutes as half-time approached. Danny Cadamarteri's dummy set up the first, and the same player's cross from the right laid on the second. Paul Hurst pulled a goal back for Rotherham midway through the second half, but the Bantams hung on for the win. They remain nine points from safety, though. "We still believe we can avoid the drop," the Bantams' assistant manager, Colin Todd, said. "We have to build on this performance, there is still belief in the team that we can do it."

They go to Watford on Tuesday who yesterday lost at Stoke City, Ade Akinbiyi scoring two goals in the Potters' 3-1 win. Stoke are three points off a play-place. "No one here is getting carried away," manager Tony Pulis said. "This is a season of transition. We are doing the best with what resources are available."

Elsewhere at the bottom, Nottingham Forest lost 2-1 at Gillingham after Nick Barmby had given them the lead. But in the 34th minute the Forest defenders backed off Patrick Agyemang and he fired in from 25 yards. Danny Spiller scored to give the Gills a first win in five matches and move above Forest, who had Alan Rogers sent off in injury time. "We got our goal and never saw Gillingham as a problem," the Forest manager, Joe Kinnear, said. "They were caused by the referee who was an absolute clown."

Nearer the top of the table, the North-west derby between Burnley and Preston North End ended all square at 1-1. Robbie Blake gave Burnley a 19th-minute lead, but a disputed penalty, awarded when Ricardo Fuller fell under Mo Camara's tackle, gave Graham Alexander the chance to level.

Fuller was later sent off. "The referee said Ricardo had thrown a punch and if he did then he deserved to go," Craig Brown, Preston's manager, said. "But no one else seemed to see it that way. He was just using his hand to hold off an opponent."

Three Second Division clubs made managerial changes last week and, perhaps uniquely, none of them - Plymouth Argyle, Barnsley and Grimsby Town - were in a relegation place. Top-of-the-table Argyle's Paul Sturrock left for Premiership pastures and yesterday's 0-0 draw at Notts County kept his former side on course for promotion.

Paul Hart replaced Gudjon Thordarson, sacked by the Tykes, and the former Nottingham Forest manager also presided over a goalless draw, with Luton Town at Oakwell.

Grimsby had moved out of the bottom four under caretaker-manager Graham Rodger, but with Nicky Law newly installed as manager for their trip to Wrexham the Mariners went down 3-0, an inauspicious start.

In the Third Division, second-placed Hull City lost 1-0 at Mansfield Town to leave Doncaster Rovers' six-point lead intact, while Oxford United, third, lost at home in the League for the first time this season when Efetobore Sodje's goal earned Huddersfield Town a 1-0 win there.