Beattie’s late beauty lifts Baggies

CRAIG BEATTIE ensured West Brom remained hot on the heels of Championship leaders Watford with a late, but well-earned, winner at Leicester on Saturday.

After Zoltan Gera’s opener the Foxes drew level in bizarre circumstances when goalkeeper Marton Fulop launched a kick the length of the pitch and Iain Hume’s challenge on West Brom debutant Luke Steele forced the ball over the goal-line.

Manager Tony Mowbray was unhappy with the award of the goal, claiming Steele was on the wrong end of an illegal challenge but was placated by three welcome points.

“Ultimately I feel that justice was done and we got all three points,” he said. “It was a richly deserved win and if you watched the game you’d have to say the best team won. In my eyes it would have been an injustice if they had got a point with a goal like that.”

Leicester boss Ian Holloway, meanwhile, cursed his team’s luck despite admitting there was an element of fortune in the equaliser.

“Our goal could have been a foul but that was a turning point and after that we were the only team who looked like winning.

“But one breakaway and an out-of-this-world goal from a bloke who’s had a nightmare at West Brom so far, and the game is over.

“I watched him for their reserves last week and he got booed on by a 12-year-old kid, so fair play to him to score a goal like that but he’s ruined my weekend.”

At the other end of the table, Glenn Roeder continued his good work at Norwich with victory against Sheffield United – a result which lifted them out of the relegation zone after being five points adrift at the bottom less than a month ago.

On-loan Manchester City teenager Ched Evans’ second goal in as many games was the difference and left the former West Ham and Newcastle manager hailing his players’ efforts.

Roeder said: “To have come so far in such a short space of time is a fantastic effort by the players, and I’ve got to pay tribute to them.

“Not so long ago we were adrift at the bottom. But they have won four matches out of five now. I’m absolutely delighted.”

Charlton fans are also beginning to rediscover their affection for their side after a 3-1 win over Ipswich lifted them to third place.

Darren Ambrose, with two, and Chris Iwelumo were on target for the Addicks, whose boss Alan Pardew reflected: “In the first half we were sublime. It’s nice to be able to show the fans what we can do.”

In Saturday’s other matches Cardiff hammered Colchester 4-1, Plymouth drew 1-1 with Bristol City and Scunthorpe and QPR battled out a 2-2 draw.

Burnley beat Wolves 3-2 at Molineux, Southampton humbled visiting Hull 4-0, Wes Hoolahan got the only goal of the game for Blackpool against struggling Preston and Barnsley and Crystal Palace finished scoreless.

Sheffield Wednesday’s match against Coventry at Hillsborough lasted just 27 minutes before being called off due to adverse weather.

In League One, a crowd of over 32,000 saw Leeds thrash Huddersfield 4-0.

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