Fry boils over at the Palace

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The Independent Online
Barry Fry, the Birmingham manager, was livid over the controversial goal that condemned his side to a 3-2 defeat at Crystal Palace on Tuesday night, which is a major setback to his side's Endsleigh League First Division promotion hopes.

Bruce Dyer's hat-trick gave Palace their third win in five matches under Dave Bassett but City's players disputed the second of Dyer's goals, claiming a foul in the area during the preceding scramble.

"If I had done it I would have been charged for GBH,'' Fry said. But Harry [Bassett] has got them buzzing. They are strong and will be right up there at the end for an automatic promotion place. As for us, we haven't a cat in hell's chance."

Teenager Michael Bridges struck a memorable first goal as Sunderland went second in the in the table with a 2-0 win at Southend. Bridges, 17, came on as a 79th-minute substitute and within 30 seconds scored the goal which sealed his side's third successive victory. Martin Scott had put Peter Reid's men ahead from the penalty spot after 53 minutes.

Barnsley defeated Millwall with two injury-time goals to complete a 3- 1 comeback win and go fifth. Transfer-listed Andy Payton and the Scotland Under-21 striker Andy Liddell staged the late show at Oakwell as the Tykes bounced back from Saturday's 1-0 setback at Sheffield United.

Payton, who now has 16 goals this season, had equalised German striker Uwe Fuchs' 42nd-minute opener for Millwall 13 minutes into the second half.

West Brom, who earlier this season suffered a club record 11 successive League defeats, continued their resurgence with a third win in four league matches.

Bob Taylor fired his 13th goal of the campaign after 37 minutes to clinch the 1-0 defeat of Oldham at The Hawthorns, leaving the Lancastrians 19th and Albion 21st.

Luton are sandwiched between the pair after surrendering the fifth-minute lead provided by Boncho Genchev's penalty and losing 2-1 to 18th-placed Reading, for whom Martin Booty (45) and Stuart Lovell (78) scored the goals.

Crewe closed the gap on their Second Division promotion rivals Blackpool by winning 3-2 at Shrewsbury while the Seasiders could only scrape a 1-1 draw at Stockport.

Mark Rivers struck an 89th-minute winner for Crewe - Rob Edwards had earlier taken his season's tally to 18 - while Tony Ellis fired an even later equaliser for Blackpool, who were trailing to Alun Armstrong's 15th of the term for Stockport.

Third-placed Crewe are now just a point adrift of Blackpool - and have two games in hand - while Notts County are in contention for one of the two automatic promotion spots after a 2-0 win at Bournemouth, where Paul Devlin and James Hunt scored to put their side fourth.

At the other end of the table, Jan Molby, Swansea's new manger, ended a six-match goal drought by helping his team beat Walsall 2-1 at the Vetch Field.

Steve Torpey scored his 14th goal of the season after 36 minutes - the scoreless spell had lasted 624 - and John Hodge made it two before Kyle Lightbourne got Walsall's last-minute reply.