Wigan spoil Dons' leaving party

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The Independent Football

Wimbledon bade farewell to Selhurst Park, their temporary home for the past 12 years, and prepared for their controversial and much-delayed move to Milton Keynes with a 4-2 defeat by Wigan Athletic. The win lifted Paul Jewell's newly promoted side to second in the Nationwide First Division.

Watched by a crowd of 1,054 - 452 of them from Wigan - the Dons were 3-0 down in just 33 minutes. Wigan's new striker, Geoff Horsfield, signed for £1m from Birmingham City, set up the second and scored the third. Patrick Agyemang inspired the Dons' comeback, scoring one and creating Joel McAnuff's goal. But Nathan Ellington added Wigan's fourth to ensure the Dons got a muted send-off.

"I would dearly love not to play here again," Stuart Murdoch, the Dons' manager, said. "The players will get slaughtered for making mistakes if we had a vocal crowd and that would give them a kick up the backside. Today we have scored two goals and hit the post which should have been enough to win, schoolboy errors put the game beyond us."

Sunderland moved up to fourth when Marcus Stewart's injury-time penalty quashed Crystal Palace's fight-back at the Stadium of Light. Kevin Kyle put the Wearsiders ahead 52 seconds into the second half. Andrew Johnson seemed to have salvaged a point for Palace with an equaliser 30 seconds from the end, but Stewart's nerve held.

Nottingham Forest went fifth after Marlon Harewood scored twice in a 3-1 win over Sheffield United, who had Chris Morgan sent off. Forest's David Johnson fractured a leg. There was an even more extravagant example of the goalscoring art at Ninian Park, where Robert Earnshaw scored four in Cardiff City's 5-0 humbling of Gillingham. At 3-0, the Gills' incensed player-manager, Andy Hessenthaler, was dismissed from the dugout. So he went on to the pitch as a substitute.

Nigel Worthington acted quickly to resolve Norwich City's stuttering start, signing Darren Huckerby (Manchester City) and Peter Crouch (Aston Villa) on loan, and the latter scored in the 2-0 win over Burnley at Carrow Road.

Watford won a League match for the first time this season when, with the score 1-1 and half-time seconds away, the Millwall defender Kevin Muscat stamped on Jimmy Webber, gave away a penalty, converted by Neil Cox, and was sent off. Ashley Young scored with the last kick of the game to make it 3-1.

Coventry City won at home for the first time in 2003, thumping Stoke City 4-2, while Derby County got their first victory of the season, Junior scoring the only goal of their game at Walsall, where he was leading scorer last season. Bradford City's first home win, 2-1, came at the expense of Preston. New signing Nicky Summerbee got the winner. Crewe won 2-0 at Rotherham.

In the Second Division, Port Vale went back to the top after they beat former leaders Barnsley 3-1 at Vale Park. At the bottom, Notts County, reprieved from liquidation last week, won their first match of the season beating the new bottom side, Chesterfield, 1-0. Oxford United were held 1-1 by Mansfield Town but still lead the Third Division.

In Scotland, Bobo Balde's early header earned Celtic a 1-0 win at Dundee. The Glasgow side played with 10 men from the 25th minute after Didier Agathe was sent off, stiff preparation for Wednesday's Champions' League match at Bayern Munich.

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