The fall of Jordan

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JOE JORDAN, called in to steer Bristol City to Endsleigh First Division safety five months ago, saw them founder on the rock of a striker who joined Watford from non-League football at roughly the same time.

"We have been among the bottom five practically all season," Jordan said after the 1-0 defeat at Vicarage Road. "Our biggest problem was that we did not score enough goals." Perhaps he should have watched Baldock Town. That was where the Hornets found the game's liveliest player, Kevin Phillips, just before Christmas. Phillips headed in a Craig Ramage cross for his seventh goal in 12 games.

"Everyone kept telling me to buy a striker but I did not have any money to buy one," Jordan said. "I intend to alter many things next season." The summer sales will soon be here.

In the Second Division, Brentford beat Cardiff 2-0 to go back to the top and condemn the Welsh club to the Third Division. Bristol Rovers, Wycombe and Oxford all won to keep alive their play-off hopes; while any two from Cambridge, Bournemouth or Plymouth will be relegated.

In the Third Division, Bury won handsomely at Gigg Lane and Walsall beat Wigan to maintain pressure on Chesterfield for the automatic promotion place not reserved for Carlisle.

The persistent ankle ligament injury which has plagued the Celtic captain and midfielder Paul McStay during the past few weeks has ruled him out of Scotland's squad for the European Championship Group Eight qualifier in San Marino on Wednesday.

"It's the last thing you want," McStay said. "It's an annoying injury and I have not been training full out for the past few weeks." He has missed three of Scotland's past four internationals so manager Craig Brown is accustomed to doing without his most experienced player.

Brown had better news when the Tranmere winger Pat Nevin and Bolton's striker John McGinlay emerged physically intact after Friday night defeats to join the squad after a day off.

The Barnsley defenders Gerry Taggart (groin) and Gary Fleming (Achilles tendon) plus Sunderland's Philip Gray have withdrawn from the Northern Ireland squad for Wednesday's Group Six match in Latvia.