THE YORKSHIRE challenge at the top of the Nationwide First Division moved up a gear as narrow home wins for Huddersfield Town and Barnsley against Midlands opposition kept them handily placed among the pacemakers.
Huddersfield, in fact, moved up to second place after a hard- earned 1- 0 win over West Bromwich Albion. With supply to the Terriers' strikers Marcus Stewart and Clyde Wijnhard cut-off by Albion's packed midfield - "I have to admit they caught me out," their manager, Steve Bruce, admitted. "I thought they would play with five at the back but they went out 4-5- 1 and blocked out midfield" - it was left to their former Ajax winger, Dean Gorre, to grab the vital goal 10 minutes into the second half.
Barnsley, whose manager, Dave Bassett, has been strongly tipped as the man Blackburn Rovers think can lead them back to the Premiership, made it six wins in seven games with a 2-1 defeat of Birmingham City at Oakwell. After a tame first-half against resolute Brum defence, the Tykes scored twice in six minutes just before the hour through Eric Tinkler and Craig Hignett's penalty. The defender John Curtis, on loan from Manchester United, made an impressive debut.
Yorkshire's third First Division club, Sheffield United, is faring less well. A 1-1 draw against Stockport County, who played for an hour with 10 men, leaves them a place above the relegation berths. Marcus Bent put the Blades ahead after 17 minutes and 11 minutes later County's Chris Byrne was dismissed for serious foul play. …