Jones begins long international ban

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Vinnie Jones will not play for Wales again until well into next season after being suspended by Uefa, European football's governinmg body, for five international games.

The Wimbledon midfielder received his ban, which rules him out of Wales' final three Euro '96 qualifiers, plus possibly their two opening games in the World Cup qualifying campaign - for treading on Mikhail Kavelashvili while playing for the Welsh in a European Championship qualifying match against Georgia.

Jones, who was sent off after only 28 minutes of the 7 June game in Cardiff, started his suspension last night when Wales, who have no chance of qualifying for the finals in England next year, played Moldova. It was Jones's fourth international appearance.

Gareth Taylor's rapid rise through the ranks of Welsh football continued when Bobby Gould, the new Wales coach, called him into the squad for last night's qualifier with Moldova.

The tall Bristol Rovers frontman gave another impressive and dominant display as the Welsh Under-21 side beat Moldova 1-0 at Cardiff Arms Park club ground on Tuesday. The east Europeans had no answer to the aerial ability of the 22-year-old, although it was a debut goal from the Jonathan Coates, the Swansea winger, that secured the points. When Taylor went into the dressing-room after the match, he received the call from Gould to join the full party.

"Bobby told me I'd done well, and when he asked me to join up with the full squad I was over the moon," Taylor said. "It was a bit of a surprise because I didn't think it would come so quickly but you can bet there will be nobody prouder than me to be involved. It's just brilliant."

He was looking for to the experience. "The chance to play with players like Ian Rush, Mark Hughes and Neville Southall is something you can only hope for. I've only been involved at Under-21 level for a year and it will be another important stage in my education," he said.

Taylor's display was once again put under the microscope by the Crystal Palace chairman, Ron Noades, and the club's director of football, Steve Coppell, but the striker - the subject of a reported pounds 1.4m bid - was not too concerned. "I'm getting used to it now," he said. "They must have watched every match this season."

Jimmy Shoulder, who took temporary control of the Under-21s in the absence of Brian Flynn, admitted his side had suffered an anxious last few minutes, with two great saves by goalkeeper Darren Ward, of Mansfield, keeping them ahead.

"We played very well in the first half, but not nearly so well in the second," said Shoulder, who rightly praised the contribution of Crewe's Robbie Savage. "The funny thing has been that we've not been able to put two halves together in any game so far. I was more than happy with the way we defended as a group and Darren made two great saves at the end. Another plus is that apart from a couple of players this was essentially next season's team, a very young side."

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