Outside the Box: After barren patch Sheringham bore fruit in Swedes' garden

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The Independent Football

Following last week's appeal for any challengers to either Ryan Giggs for scoring in 20 successive seasons in the top flight, or Teddy Sheringham's 23 in a row at all levels, a Sheringham fan points out that he can legitimately claim 25 – if foreign loans are included. After scoring in his second game for Millwall aged 17 in January 1984, he failed to find the net during the following season when briefly on loan to Aldershot, but he did score prolifically for Djurgaarden in Sweden. So his run arguably began in 1983-84 and did not finish until the 2007-08 campaign, when he knocked in three for Colchester as a 41-year-old. Last season was definitely a blank, however, and contrary to a recent publicity stunt, he has no intention of turning out at 43 for Beckenham Town.

Hart in the wrong place

Paul Hart's embarrassment as his Portsmouth side suffer their worst-ever start to a season has been compounded by bookmakers taking the faintly distasteful step of offering odds on who Hart's replacement will be, even though owner Sulaiman al-Fahim insists he will not be sacked. Slaven Bilic is the 4-1 favourite with Sky Bet, with the former Southampton manager Graeme Souness the surprise 11-2 second favourite and Alan Curbishley and Gordon Strachan at 8-1. Souness recently said he could not contemplate working with overpaid modern-day players. Perhaps the bookies believe Pompey's wage bill is not as Sky-Bet-high as we have been led to believe.

Highlights and low lights

Best gig of the week? Surely last Tuesday's tournament which starred an amateur side from north London playing in Western Australia. Sony flew Ellis United's Powerleague team out to the Pinnacles Desert near Perth, a spectacular site (and sight) with thousands of huge limestone pillars, on a five-day, expenses-paid trip to promote low-light camera technology. The company arranged seven games around the world, at venues such as Argentina's vast waterfall Iguacu Falls, one next to a glacier in Chamonix, France, a game reserve in South Africa, a bullfighting arena in Spain, a floating barge in Venice and Tintagel Castle in Cornwall.

Sporting take their chances

Encouraging news of two clubs mentioned here last season for their inability to win (m)any games. Sporting Bengal, who made history as the first team to lose every match in a full season in the Kent League, began this campaign in familiar fashion, losing 6-0 to Tunbridge Wells, but recovered magnificently to record two wins in three games since, beating both Norton Sports and Corinthian 3-1; they now sit in an unprecedented 10th position out of 16. Meanwhile Fort William, who made history in the Highland League last season by amassing just one point from 28 games, briefly had two teams below them in the table, despite losing their first five matches. The current record may be six defeats out of six, but a goal difference of 1-25 is still better than that of Rothes (6-34) and that keeps them off the bottom. No help yet, however, from the American film producer who wants to import players from the United States and make a reality television programme about the club, 'From Worst To First'. Despite the vacancy created by the axing of 'Big Brother', the show is on hold until next season at the earliest.

s.tongue@independent.co.uk

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