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Sunday's Division One Round-Up: Week 2

By: Richard Lord
Date: 19/08/2001

AFTER Grimsby's 1-0 success at West Brom yesterday, the Mariners have pushed themselves up to fourth in the First Division.

Home > 2001-2002 Season > League Round-Ups > Week 2

This week's round-up concentrates on the top half of the table to see if Grimsby can realistically be sitting pretty at the top this time next week.

The Results

An Eoin Jess goal for Bradford at Fratton Park kept up the Bantam's 100% start to the season, despite being under the cosh for most of the game. After last week's success over local rivals and fellow Yorkshire team Barnsley, Jim Jefferies side are determined to bounce back to the Premiership at the first attempt and show that they are capable of keeping in the promotion race.

Crystal Palace have also started the season well with another win yesterday. They added to Stockport's woes after a 4-1 win over County at Selhurst Park. All the goals came in the second half with Palace dominating proceedings. The Eagles also maintain a 100% start to the season, with Finnish international Riihilahti also getting off to a good start after his brace yesterday.

After last week's success over Sheffield Wednesday, Burnley continued their rich vein of form with another victory, this time over Wimbledon. Former Grimsby loanee David Nielsen got the scoring underway at Turf Moor, but the home side fought back to win by the odd goal in five. It's now two wins out of two for the Claret and Blue who will be looking to show that last season's top half finish was not a fluke.

Possibly the surprise result of the day was Grimsby's 1-0 victory at the Hawthorns. Although the home side missed a penalty and had one converted against them, they could and perhaps should have won the game but for a world-class performance in the Grimsby goal by Danny Coyne.

Gillingham failed to keep their goalscoring form up, following up the 5-0 opening day victory over Preston with a 0-0 draw at Sheffield United. Carl Asaba failed to score against the club he left for £92,500 and chances were at a minimum.

Division One new-comers Rotherham were dealt another 3-2 defeat, this time at the hands of Watford. But the Millers gave a good account of themselves and are determined not to lie down with another battling performance. Although former Leicester and Norwich striker Mark Robins scored a couple, Watford scored the goals to give Gianluca Vialli his first win as boss of the Hornets.

Despite Sheffield Wednesday's 2-0 home defeat to Burnley live on ITV last weekend, the Yorkshire club forged out the reverse scoreline against Grimsby's victims of last week, Crewe. It leaves Crewe still looking for their first point and first goal of the season, but it gives the Hillsborough side the kick-start they need to push for promotion this season.

The Table

Just four teams at Saturday evening have a 100% record and it sees Bradford at the top of the table on goal difference. Palace, who escaped relegation on the last day of last season are second, with Burnley and Grimsby 'favourites-for-the-drop' Town in fourth.

Stockport and Crewe are the bottom clubs after just two games, and Portsmouth find themselves in a familiar position to last season in the bottom half already. West Brom look determined to repeat last season's slow start, although they must be aware to not get dragged into the relegation scrap as QPR and Huddersfield will testify.

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Next Week

Bradford don't play next Saturday, which means any of 5 or 6 clubs could find themselves top of the First Division this time next week. Grimsby will be looking to beat Preston, who on their last away trip, were beaten 5-0. Palace travel to the City Ground, Nottingham where Forest await their first win of the season. Burnley travel to Millwall and Man City play Crewe.

If results go the Mariners' way it is feasible they could be first next Saturday. However this is dependant on them gaining another three points against Preston, who beat the Mariners 2-1 on the opening day of last season at Blundell Park.

At the other end of the table, Man City would be expected to beat Crewe who, along with their injury problems, could well find themselves already in the relegation mire.

Sheffield Wednesday will be hoping to make it a second win on the trot and a third consecutive defeat for West Brom at Hillsborough, and Stockport are hosts to Portsmouth. Gillingham entertain Barnsley, Walsall face Birmingham and Wimbledon play Norwich.

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