Pompey stunned by Dons
By Mark Buckingham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
PORTSMOUTH'S First Division championship charge was checked at Selhurst Park as Wimbledon battled back for a 2-1 triumph.
Wimbledon dominated the early exchanges in the capital as Pompey struggled to adapt their slick passing game to the pitch conditions.
But on 26 minutes, they found their feet as the previously anonymous Paul Merson lashed a shot into the top corner.
The Dons kept badgering the table-toppers and snatched an equaliser through substitute Patrick Agyemang's sweet strike midway through the second period.
With the contest heading towards a stalemate, Gareth Ainsworth pounced on a rebound with three minutes remaining to stun Harry Redknapp's troops.
Portsmouth's nearest pursuers Leicester City endured an equally frustrating night against a resilient Bradford City side.
The Foxes controlled proceedings at Valley Parade but Matt Elliott's effort which crashed off the crossbar was the closest they came to breaking the deadlock.
Nottingham Forest moved into third in the table with a brutal demolition of Gillingham.
On-loan striker Darren Huckerby produced a stunning volley to put the visitors ahead on seven minutes and he doubled the lead on 17 minutes.
Forest grabbed their third through Marlon Harewood just 12 seconds after the interval and John Thompson's glancing header completed the rout, although Rod Wallace poached a consolation for The Gills.
Sheffield United bounced back to form with a comprehensive success in an ill-tempered affair at Grimsby Town.
The Blades took an iron-grip on the game in the first half as Dean Windass gave them an early lead, which was extended by Steve Kabba on 25 minutes.
Rob Kozluk unleashed a rasping drive from 30 yards on 32 minutes before Stuart Campbell reduced the arrears moments later.
In the second half, the match turned sour in a flurry of bookings for the home side as Alan Pouton was shown his second yellow card to cap a miserable evening for The Mariners which was compounded by Michael Brown's goal on 86 minutes.
Burnley failed to revive their play-off ambitions as they were pegged back by an inexperienced Millwall side at The New Den.
Ian Moore fired home the opening goal on 18 minutes when the ball fell kindly into his path for the striker to finish from close range but substitute Richard Sadlier earned a point for The Lions late on.
Sean Dyche was the villain at Vicarage Road as Watford slipped to defeat against Preston.
Dyche conceded the crucial 19th minute penalty after a foul on Richard Cresswell with the spot kick converted by Graham Alexander.
The Hornet was then sent off just past the half-hour mark for a second bookable offence after barging into Preston goalkeeper Jonathan Gould.
In a dour tussle at Millmoor, Rotherham's Paul Warne was the closest to bagging a goal as he rattled the woodwork of Walsall's goal.
Click below for an individual match summary:
Bradford City 0-0 Leicester City
Gillingham 1-4 Nottingham Forest
Grimsby Town 1-4 Sheffield United
Millwall 1-1 Burnley
Rotherham United 0-0 Walsall
Watford 0-1 Preston North End
Wimbledon 2-1 Portsmouth