NORWICH MOVE SECOND AFTER WOLVES WIN
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Former Wolves favourite Iwan Roberts came back to haunt his old club as he gave the Norfolk side the lead after just seven minutes (pictured). Former Tottenham striker Paul McVeigh (33) then struck a second from 20 yards after good work from Mark Rivers to give The Canaries all three points, which takes them into second place - just two points behind their opponents.
Coventry missed their chance to go level on points with Wolves at the top of the table, as Roland Nilsson suffered his first defeat since taking charge of The Sky Blues. Steve Claridge gave the home side the lead after 55 minutes, only for Jairo Martinez (60) and substitute Jay Bothroyd (68) to put Coventry in front. Belgian winger Chris Kinet then brought Millwall level with just nine minutes left and City then had to cope with just ten men in the last few minutes as David Thompson received his marching orders. The Lions then made use of their extra man as Richard Sadlier scored in the very last minute.
Crystal Palace slipped down to fourth, following Norwich's win, but the troubled South London side will be happy to have taken a point from Walsall.
Without their manager Steve Bruce on the trip North they looked to be on their way to defeat after two goals from centre half Tony Barras (25 & 44) sandwiched an effort from Scottish international David Hopkin (30). But then with just 12 minutes left another Scottish player, Dougie Freedman, scored to give Palace a share of the points.
Manchester City stayed in fifth place despite their convincing 4-1 win over Gillingham at Maine Road. Shaun Goater grabbed a hat-trick (18, 20 & 53) which now means he has hit an incredible 20 goals already this season.
Darren Huckerby also netted on 35 minutes, but City could not keep a clean sheet as Marlon King scored a consolation for the Kent club with 20 minutes left.
The undoubted result of the day was at Deepdale as Preston dished out a footballing lesson to bottom-of-the-table Stockport. Man of the match David Healy claimed a first hat-trick (11,29 & 38) which virtually sealed the win, but David Moyes men pushed forward again in the second half and Chris Lucketti (54), Richard Cresswell (61) and Paul McKenna (85) made the score 6-0. County had earlier been reduced to ten men when full back Jason van Blerk was dismissed.
Portsmouth moved towards the play-off spots with a 3-2 win at Hillsborough over Sheffield Wednesday, who sink into the bottom three.
Simon Donnelly gave The Owls the lead after just 27 seconds as he fired past Japanese goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi, who was making his debut for Pompey. But Portsmouth came back and two goals from Peter Crouch (6 & 39) gave Graham Rix's side a half time lead. Neil Barrett then extended Pompey's lead, although a 67th minute penalty from Gerald Sibon made for a nervous last 20 minutes, but Portsmouth held on for three points.
Barnsley's miserable season continued at Vicarage Road as Watford recorded a comfortable 3-0 win. After a goalless first half Tommy Smith scored just five minutes into the second period, before two goals from Icelandic ace Heidar Helguson (61 & 90) wrapped up the win.
The final game of the day saw Wimbledon beat Grimsby 2-1 at Selhurst Park. Andy Roberts gave the home side the lead after 37 minutes, before Stuart Campbell equalised for The Mariners just after half time. But The Dons recorded victory when starlet Joel McAnuff scored with just seven minutes left.