Hamilton 1, Hearts 2: Wolves bare their teeth as Kightly cuts down Forest

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The Independent Football

Wolverhampton Wanderers' prolific goalscoring start to the season continued unabated at Molineux where Nottingham Forest were crushed 5-1 and goal difference took Mick McCarthy's side to the top of the table.

"As good a performance as I've seen from a team of mine, or anybody's, for a 45-minute period for a long time," McCarthy said of the first half.

The match was indeed effectively finished as a contest by half-time as David Jones's well-worked long-range strike, a Wes Morgan own goal, Michael Kightly's accurately struck 25-yard shot and Chris Iwelumo's finish from Matt Jarvis's cross put Wolves in total command as wingers Jarvis and Kightly ran riot. A Richard Stearman own goal gave Forest some respectability, promptly squandered when Kightly was allowed to score Wolves' fifth.

Birmingham City's credentials as promotion favourites were given a severe examination at Carrow Road where Norwich City were on top when Sebastian Larsson's near-post header five minutes before half-time gave Brum a flattering lead.

The second half was less than a minute old when Darel Russell levelled for the Canaries. It remained 1-1 and Birmingham slipped to third. "A tough game," Blues manager Alex Mcleish admitted, though he was baffled when Kevin Phillips missed a simple late winner. "I would have put my house on [the striker] and duly lost it," he said.

Preston North End's unbeaten start was tested by Charlton Athletic, who led at Deepdale through Andy Gray's penalty. The hosts levelled in the 58th minute when Neil Mellor fired in from six yards, eight minutes later Barry Nicholson poked in the winner. Preston are second.

Dexter Blackstock gave Queens Park Rangers the lead at unbeaten Bristol City, who equalised through Dele Adebola before QPR's Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma was sent off with 40 minutes remaining. His teammates held on for the 1-1 draw.

Sheffield United and Cardiff City drew 0-0 at Bramall Lane, the Welsh side's third draw in four matches. Crystal Palace, scored their first league goals of the season, a Nick Carle penalty and Calvin Andrews establishing a 2-1 lead at Reading. But Royals striker Kevin Doyle ended his goal drought with a hat-trick in the final 30 minutes to earn a 4-2 win.

There were draws between Swansea City and Sheffield Wednesday, 1-1, and a drab goalless affair at Turf Moor between Burnley and Plymouth Argyle.

Richard Wellens' early goal saw Doncaster Rovers beat Coventry City 1-0 and Barnsley earned their first points of the season beating hapless Derby County, 2-0. "A scrappy game but we took our chances," relieved Tykes manager Simon Davey said. Ben Burgess's penalty on the stroke of half-time saw Blackpool earn a first win of the season, 1-0 at Southampton.

Watford gave Ipswich a goal start but won 2-1 thanks to John Eustace's header and John-Joe O'Toole's late winner.

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