CANARIES AND WOLVES CLOSE GAP
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Kevin Keegan's City side had closed the gap on league leaders Burnley with a 5-1 thrashing of The Clarets at Maine Road in the early game, and both Norwich and Wolves kept up the pressure at the top.
Norwich made a flying start at Hillsborough when Darren Kenton scored after five minutes and David Nielsen, on loan from Wimbledon, bagged a second in the 27th minute. Paul McLaren was then sent off for The Owls in the 21st minute and things went from bad to worse for Wednesday when Nielsen added his second six minutes later and Paul McVeigh made it 4-0 on 38 minutes.
Wolves also saw their Sheffield opposition reduced to ten men when transfer-listed Paul Devlin was given his marching orders in the 26th minute. Neil Warnock's side held on until the stroke of half time when Dean Sturridge grabbed what turned out to be the winner.
An ill-tempered game at The Priestfield saw the visitors reduced to ten men after just three minutes when former Gills star Tony Butler, who received a fiery reception from the home crowd, was sent off.
The Gills took advantage when Chris Hope scored on 45 minutes, just moments after Vince Bartram had saved Jason Roberts' penalty, which led to crowd trouble at half time resulting in a home steward involved in a scuffle with the away fans.
The Baggies came back in the second half and looked to have secured a point with Andy Johnson's 72nd minute equalizer only for Paul Smith to score the winner in the final minute.
Nicky Summerbee turned from hero to villain for Nottingham Forest at The City Ground when he scored the winner in their 2-1 victory over Coventry City but was then sent off.
Yousef Chippo gave The Sky Blues a 31st minute lead but a Stern John penalty equalized for Forest before Summerbee gave them the lead on 66 minutes, and the hosts held out for the win despite his dismissal ten minutes later.
Watford made a comfortable trip to the Midlands and came away from Walsall with a 3-0 win at The Bescot. Gary Fisken gave Gianluca Vialli's the lead after 21 minutes and Alan Nielsen made it 2-0 after 39 minutes before Tommy Smith sealed the win in the 83rd minute.
Stockport continued their shocking run of form as Birmingham City became the latest side to beat Carlton Palmer's men with a 3-0 win over the Hatters at Edgeley Park.
Steve Vickers 18 gave Steve Bruce's side the lead after 18 minutes and Marcelo got the second four minutes after the break, before Tommy Mooney sealed County's eighth successive defeat with his 76th minute strike.
Grimsby Town caretaker manager Paul Groves enjoyed his first win as The mariner came from behind to beat Portsmouth 3-1 at Blundell Park. Peter Crouch gave Graham Rix's side a 33rd minute lead but Phil Jevons (40) and Simon Ford (44) gave the hosts a 2-1 lead before Jevons made the game safe with his 80th minute penalty.
Crystal Palace earned a 2-1 win away at Bradford thanks to goals from Gregg Berhalter (34) and Trevor Benjamin (46), who scored the winner following Robbie Blake's 45th minute equalizer.
The points were shared in yet another Yorkshire derby at Millmoor as Rotherham drew 1-1 with Barnsley. Chris Morgan gave the visitors a 51st minute lead but Ronnie Moore's side grabbed a point with Richie Barker's reply seven minutes later.
Wimbledon left it late against Preston at Selhurst Park but two goals in the last two minutes gave them a 2-0 win over David Moyes' side. Neil Shipperley got the first in the 88th minute and Patrick Agyemang sealed the game on the stroke of full time.
In the other game of the day, Millwall secured a 2-0 win over Crewe at The New Den thanks to goals from Steve Reid (28) and Tim Cahill (78).
Click below for match summaries:
Bradford City v Crystal Palace
Gillingham v West Bromwich Albion
Grimsby Town v Portsmouth
Manchester City v Burnley
Millwall v Crewe
Nottingham Forest v Coventry
Rotherham United v Barnsley
Sheffield Wednesday v Norwich City
Stockport County v Birmingham
Walsall v Watford
Wimbledon v Preston North End
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Sheffield United
Click Here for Division One Table.