GOATER GIVES CITY LATE WIN
By Ciaran Baynes
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
West Brom, who slip into the relegation zone, took the lead on the hour through Lee Hughes` fine strike, but City pulled level through a Mark Kennedy free kick 13 minutes from time.
It seemed like Albion were going to survive the City onslaught until Goater, with one of the last kicks of the game, diverted home Paul Dickov`s cross to seal a crucial victory for City that puts them into third place - two points behind Ipswich.
In a day of late strikes in the division, Martin Reuser scored a crucial last-minute winner for Ipswich to give them a 1-0 victory over Fulham at Portman Road and move George Burley`s side into second-place.
The Dutch striker, who arrived on loan at the East Anglian outfit in a deadline day switch from Ajax, netted from close range to put Town above Barnsley, who play Grimsby on Sunday.
Meanwhile, leaders Charlton retained their unassailable 13-point lead at the top of the division with a 1-0 victory in the South London derby against Crystal Palace after Paul Kitson poked home Chris Powell`s cross eight minutes from time.
Elsewhere, Huddersfield and Birmingham kept their play-off charge going with victories over Crewe and Sheffield United respectively.
The Terriers thrashed Crewe 3-0, thanks to two goals from Chris Beech and one from Kevin Gray.
The Blues faced a tougher proposition away to Sheffield United and fell a goal behind through Marcus Bent after 10 minutes.
Trevor Francis` side equalised seven minutes after half-time through a Kozluk own goal and two minutes later Bryan Hughes netted the eventual winner.
Bolton kept in touch with the play-off chase with a 2-1 victory over Port Vale.
Eidar Gudjohnsen opened the scoring for The Trotters after 12 minutes and doubled their lead shortly before half-time though on-loan Allan Johnston.
The Valiants pulled a goal back eight minutes after the restart through Ville Viljanen but it was all to no avail.
At the other end of the table, Portsmouth did their chances of survival no harm when they beat bottom-side Swindon 4-1 as Lee Bradbury smashed a hat-trick and Adrian Whitbread also scored, while Wayne Gray scored a consolidation for The Robins.
Pompey`s win was especially pleasing for manager Tony Pulis as Nottingham Forest were beaten 1-0 at home to Blackburn, courtesy of Ashley Ward`s seven minute strike.
This result leaves Nottingham Forest two points clear of Walsall who moved out of the bottom-three after Michael Ricketts` penalty sealed a draw for The Saddlers at Tranmere after Wayne Allison had earlier put John Aldridge`s side ahead.
Wolves kept their faint hopes of a play-off spot after they salvaged a point at home to Stockport, courtesy of Neil Emblen`s last minute strike.
Ian Lawson and Tony Dinning had earlier put County ahead with Keith Curle netting the first equaliser two minutes before the break.
Finally, in a mid-table goalfest, Chris Kiwomya twice equalised Lee Marshall`s strikes to give QPR a 2-2 draw with Norwich at Loftus Road.