Walker gives Blades victory at Palace

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The Independent Online
An Andy Walker goal earned Sheffield United a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace last night and put the Blades level on points with the Nationwide League First Division leaders, Bolton.

The Scottish international's 11th goal of the season was no more than the injury-hit Yorkshire side deserved. When the home defenders allowed the ball to bounce on the edge of the box a minute before the break, Andy Scott - signed from Sutton United by the Palace manager, Dave Bassett, during his Bramall Lane reign - sneaked in to loop the ball forward. While goalkeeper Chris Day stood and watched, Walker was awake to the chance, dribbling into the bottom corner.

It was more than enough, as, despite missing seven first-choice men, Howard Kendall's side stayed in comfortable control. The absent faces in Selhurst Park's lowest crowd of the season had picked the right game to miss as Palace's winless run extended to six matches.

In last night's other First Division fixture, Bradford City moved off the bottom of the table after a goalless draw at home to Reading. City created most of the chances, with Chris Waddle often involved to good effect, but their strikers looked out of touch.

Bradford gave a debut to the Finnish forward Jari Vanhala, signed on non-contract forms this week, when he went on as a substitute to join City's growing number of overseas players, but he had few chances to shine.

The Danish striker Erik Bo Andersen scored a hat-trick as Rangers beat Kilmarnock 4-2 at Ibrox to stretch their lead in the Bell's Scottish League to 12 points. The visitors had taken a surprise early lead through Ray Montgomerie but Andersen levelled just before half-time. David Robertson gave Rangers the lead and then Andersen, standing in for Ally McCoist, added two more goals before Mark Roberts struck a late consolation for the visitors. Just before half-time Paul Gascoigne missed his second successive penalty when his feeble spot kick was stopped by Kilmarnock's Serbian goalkeeper, Dragoje Lekovic.

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