Wolves fans stage protest

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The Independent Football

Now that the league tables have taken shape and fans can see whether it is to be a season of challenge, struggle or treading water, some of the natives are getting restless. There were demonstrations outside the McAlpine Stadium and Molineux by Huddersfield Town and Wolves supporters dismayed at the dire form of the teams.

Now that the league tables have taken shape and fans can see whether it is to be a season of challenge, struggle or treading water, some of the natives are getting restless. There were demonstrations outside the McAlpine Stadium and Molineux by Huddersfield Town and Wolves supporters dismayed at the dire form of the teams.

Wolves lost 3-1 at home, the latest victims of the remarkable Crystal Palace revival. Clinton Morrison scored twice after Dougie Freedman, once sold by Wolves, opened the scoring. Freedman was later involved in an incident with the Wolves defender Ludovic Pollet, who was stretchered off.

"He was taken off with a gash over his cheekbone caused by studs being thrust into his face," Colin Lee, the Wolves' angry manager said. "We believe Freedman was responsible because of the reaction of the supporters but we will need to see the video."

Wolves have earned only six points from their last eight games and the demonstrations by fans outside Molineux after the game called for the resignation of the chief executive, Jez Moxey.

But their plight is not as bad as Huddersfield's, who after losing 2-0 to West Bromwich Albion are still without a home win in nine attempts, have not won anywhere for 15 matches and have gone seven games and 11 hours without scoring. Over 200 fans demanded that Barry Rubery, who owns the club, go and that former manager Peter Jackson be reinstated. The associated director Terry Fisher, a former chairman of the club, said, "I am just as disappointed as the fans are but I don't think demonstrations outside the boardroom are the way forward." Mr Rubery is on holiday in Barbados.

At the top of the Nationwide First Division, Watford lost their second league match of the week and top spot. Their first league defeat this season came at home to Sheffield Wednesday in midweek and they went down again yesterday, 2-0 at Tranmere Rovers. "A very disjointed display with no end product," Graham Taylor, The Hornets' manager, said.

Wednesday, meanwhile, won again, beating Norwich City 3-2 at Hillsborough. "Following the run of eight straight defeats confidence was low," Paul Jewell, The Owls' manager, admitted, "but the players have knuckled down, worked hard and everyone is now fighting for their shirts."

Back at the top, the Lancashire challenge kept up its momentum with 2-0 home wins for third-placed Bolton and Burnley, who are fourth. Wanderers beat Barnsley, while Andy Payton scored twice as Burnley overcame Sheffield United at Turf Moor.

Stockport trailed Queen's Park Rangers after only 62 seconds at Edgeley Park thanks to Clark Carlisle's lightning strike, built up a 2-1 lead but slipped up again as Richard Langley equalised for Rangers in the 88th minute. They both stay in the relegation places.

In the Second Division, Wigan went top after beating Cambridge United 2-1 while Walsall were held to a goalless draw at Bristol Rovers. The bottom club, Oxford United, won their first away points of the season by beating Swansea City 2-1.

In the Third Division, the leaders Chesterfield beat Hull City 1-0 but the match was held up for four minutes as police with dogs and stewards struggled to control fans fighting in the area for away supporters.

Finally, in an ever-changing world it is comforting to know some things are set in stone. As is the custom, Tony Cottee scored on his debut. Barnet's new player-manager was on target at Underhill against Blackpool after 18 minutes to set his new charges on their way to a 7-0 win.

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