Vonk injury dulls Blades

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The Independent Online
Unfashionable, unfancied but very nicely-placed among the leading pack in the First Division, Barnsley took full advantage of Bolton's first home defeat of the season when they beat Tranmere Rovers 3-0 at Oakwell, to move to within a point of the leaders.

John Hendrie tucked away Martin Bullock's low cross for the first goal after 17 minutes, and Paul Wilkinson added the second from six yards when the Rovers goalkeeper, Eric Nixon, turned away Hendrie's 65th-minute shot. Neil Redfearn converted a late penalty for the third.

The win lifted the Yorkshiremen above their more feted neighbours Sheffield United who must have realised that their trip to Oxford United was ill- starred when the defender Michael Vonk injured himself during the warm- up and had to be withdrawn.

Martin Aldridge took full advantage, scoring a hat-trick - two headers and a tap-in - between the 13th and 33rd minutes. Nigel Jemson made it 4-0 with his 15th goal of the season before Andy Walker scored the Blades' late consolation. Oxford move up to fifth.

Mark McGhee had little cause to celebrate his first anniversary as manager of Wolves. They were beaten 1-0 by lowly Oldham Athletic at Molineux, their sixth home defeat of the season. Oldham's goal came in the 15th minute when Nick Henry crossed to the far post and Ian Ormondroyd headed in. Wolves laid seige to Oldham's goal thereafter, but were booed off at the end.

Queen's Park Rangers won their third consecutive game as woeful Southend United gave away a penalty and an own goal in the space of four minutes just before half-time at Loftus Road. John Spencer and Gavin Peacock completed the 4-0 rout in the second half.

Tony Naylor benefited from sloppy Charlton Athletic defending to score a hat-trick as Port Vale won 3-1 at The Valley, and Mark Stein scored both Stoke City's goals, his first since returning to the Potters on loan from Chelsea, in the 2-0 win over Swindon Town which takes them up to seventh. Matthias Svensson scored twice on his home debut for Portsmouth in their 3-1 defeat of Huddersfield Town.

Brentford went back to the top of the Second Division with a 2-1 win in front of 10,000 fans at Burnley while Millwall could only draw 1-1 at Bournemouth. Mark Bright began his loan spell from Sheffield Wednesday with the Lions' goal. Luton Town thrashed Crewe 6-0 at Kenilworth Road, Tony Thorpe claiming a hat-trick as the Hatters went third. Crewe were reduced to nine men when first Shaun Smith and then Ashley Westwood were sent off.

Peter Shilton made his 999th League appearance, helping Leyton Orient to a point at Third Division leaders Fulham. Paul Watson put the home side ahead and when Orient had Scott McGleish sent off with 17 minutes still to play it looked as though all the points were destined for west London. But Mark Warren equalised in the 89th minute. Which was 60 seconds before Paul Rogers levelled for fourth-placed Wigan in the 1-1 draw at second-placed Cambridge.

Lastly, a familiar face seen at Nottingham football again - if on the wrong side of the Trent. Brian Clough, the former Forest manager, was in the Meadow Lane directors' box, with son Nigel in tow, to watch Notts County's Second Division game against Rotherham. His recovery after treatment in a Staffordshire clinic last week might not have been aided by the 0- 0 draw.