Wrong for Wright

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The Independent Online
IAN WRIGHT has surprised Arsenal by handing in a transfer request, prompting speculation that Chelsea could make a move for the former England striker. "I am not happy any more," he said. "There have been certain things that have happened this season which hurt me." Wright added: "You don't decide to walk out on a great club like Arsenal in an afternoon. I have spent ages tormenting myself over what to do for the best. The bottom line is that I have not been happy for some time now."

The Endsleigh First Division sides in or near the play-off places spent much of yesterday agitatedly jockeying for position. Barnsley betrayed their nerves with a remarkable display of stupidity. Three-nil ahead with five minutes left of their home game against promotion rivals Ipswich, thoughts were turning to tea and crumpets. Then the Yorkshire side's goalkeeper, Dave Watson, tried to beat Ian Marshall, failed, and gave away a needless goal.

Three minutes later, Marshall raced on to Simon Milton's pass to make it 3-2. Thoroughly panicked, Barnsley watched as Alex Mathie crossed and Milton headed a last minute equaliser.

South London's challengers both won at home, Charlton 2-1 in a derby against Millwall, while Dougie Freedman's goal against West Brom gave Crystal Palace the points. Last week, Huddersfield bought Crewe's leading scorer, Rob Edwards. He it was who scored the only goal of the game against Luton. Norwich drew 1-1 with Portsmouth at Carrow Road, the Canaries 12th home match without a win.

Emile Heskey scored twice as Leicester beat Grimsby 2-1 to keep similar hopes alive at Filbert Street but the man most likely to remember the day was linesman John Wilkinson. He collided with the corner flag - and you thought only referees needed glasses - and required touchline treatment before giving way to the reserve official.

At the bottom, Graham Taylor celebrated his first win since his return to Watford, Craig Ramage scoring twice as the Hornets beat fellow strugglers Oldham 2-1. A place above them, Port Vale beat Southend to improve their chances of survival and Reading needed no motivation to make their point in a 1-1 draw at Wolves, managed by former boss Mark McGhee.

In the Second Division, Blackpool went second after beating Notts County 1-0 while Crewe slipped up, losing 2-1 at home to Bristol Rovers. In the Third, Preston, second, drew at leaders Gillingham but Darlington lost at home to Torquay, bottom of the entire league.