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Sunday's Division One Round-Up: Week 5
By: Richard Lord
GRIMSBY TOWN kept up their amazing start to the season with a 1-0 win at midlands giants Coventry City. Their victory at Highfield Road sparked off protests from Sky Blues fans to oust the Chairman and manager from the club.
The defeat left Coventry without at win since the first day of the season and still awaiting their first league goal at home. In a contrast of fortunes, Grimsby keep their unaccustomed second spot in the table after collecting 13 points from their first 6 league games.
Barnsley 2-2 Stockport
Birmingham 2-0 Sheff Wed
Burnley 3-0 Rotherham
Coventry 0-1 Grimsby
Crewe 2-1 Walsall
Crystal Palace 1-3 Millwall
Norwich 1-0 Notts Forest
Portsmouth 2-1 Gillingham
Preston 1-2 Wolves
Sheff Utd 2-2 Bradford
West Brom 4-0 Man City
Gillingham lost their unbeaten start to the season with a defeat at Portsmouth, and Norwich won once more to lift them up to fourth in the table. They have won all four league games since their opening day defeat at Millwall and have not conceded since. In turn, Millwall hadn't won since their defeat of the Canaries, until yesterday afternoon when they beat Palace at Selhurst Park.
Stockport earned their first point of the season at Oakwell with a last-minute goal. Rotherham manager Ronnie Moore saw his son open the scoring against his team at Burnley, which leaves the Millers searching for that elusive first win.
Wolves and Sheff Utd kept up their unbeaten starts to the season, but it's now 5 draws on the trot for the Blades, which must be making Neil Warnock contemplate if his side will ever win. The biggest win of the day came at the Hawthorns where West Brom undid Man City's defence on four occasions.
Wins for Burnley and Grimsby keep them in top and second place respectively, whilst a 2-0 win for Birmingham lifts them up to third. Norwich and Wolves both gained three points and they sit fourth and fifth with a game in hand over the top two. Bradford and Portsmouth have crept their way up unnoticed into the top 8.
After three straight defeats to start the campaign, Crewe have moved into mid-table obscurity after collecting 6 points out of 6. Nott'm Forest, Sheff Utd, Barnsley and Wimbledon have all failed to get going this season and they find themselves in the bottom half.
Coventry are with Walsall on 4 points, and at the bottom Preston and Rotherham sit just above Stockport, all three still waiting for their first victories.
Wimbledon play Portsmouth during midweek, and Bradford host Gillingham on the Friday. Next Saturday Crewe go searching for points at Barnsley whilst Burnley look to keep up their winning ways at home to Walsall.
Forest's mediocre start will hopefully continue at Grimsby, and an early kick-off sees Man City take on Birmingham. Portsmouth play Palace and Preston play Millwall, with form team Norwich travelling to Rotherham.
Troubled Coventry seek a win at Sheff Utd and West Brom will look to keep up the good form with another win at Watford. Wimbledon entertain Sheff Wed and Wolves play Stockport.
Veteran Steve Claridge (left) helped Millwall to a 3-1 win at Palace. His brace secured three points for the Lions at Selhurst Park. Clinton Morrison scored in the same game and he is expected to get into double figures for the season.
Forest striker Marlon Harewood (below) will be one to watch in the clash at Blundell Park next week, but it's unknown if Jack Lester is due to line up against his old team.
Mike Sheron, who missed a couple of good chances against the Mariners last week, opened the scoring in Barnsley's 2-2 draw with Stockport, and Rodney Jack did the same for his club in Crewe's 2-1 defeat of Walsall.
Despite Man City's blank at the Hawthorn's, they still have the Division's top scorer - Shaun Goater, with 6 to his name.
Experienced centre-back Chris Lucketti (left) made his Preston debut against the Mariners two weeks ago, and yesterday grabbed his first goal for the Lillywhites. Despite scoring the goal which put Preston in the lead, Wolves fought back in the second half to win 2-1 at Deepdale.
Eion Jess is enjoying life in Division 1 and already has a few goals to his credit for Bradford. The former Aberdeen player left Pittodrie to join up with fellow Scotsman and manager Jim Jefferies, whose tactics obviously play to Jess's strengths.
One of the most talented teams in the division must be Nottm Forest. They have a string of youngsters progressing from their well-acclaimed youth academy and they are beginning to reap the benefits as the youngsters begin to break through into the first team. Despite Forest's slow start to the season, they have the players to pull off a win against any team in the division, and their team is lead by inspirational skipper Chris Bart-Williams (right).
Path for Grimsby
After Grimsby's fourth 1-0 success of the season, the Mariners now have to take on Forest at home. The Forest game is followed by two away trips: Palace during the week, and Stockport the following Saturday.
With the league Cup second round being played this Tuesday, the Mariners' squad depth will be tested to the limit, and the circumstances may perhaps force Lennie Lawrence's hand to rotate the squad in case of injuries.
A home game against Gillingham is on September 25 - another midweek game - with a trip to Bradford at the end of the month. So a busy next three weeks is in store for the manager, and it is these next six games that will really assess the team's strength.
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- Sunday's Division One Round-Up: Week 3
- Division One Round-Up: Week 3, Part 2
- Out of the Blue: Coventry Report
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