PORTSMOUTH 1 SOUTHEND 0 LEE Russell's 67th minute strike was enough to give Portsmouth their first Nationwide League First Division win of the season against Ronnie Whelan's struggling Southend in midweek. And the goal came straight out of Terry Venables' coaching manual as Pompey worked an intricate four-man corner move which ended with Russell firing home a low cross from Fitzroy Simpson. Portsmouth should have gone on to extend their lead but were denied by Southend goalkeeper Simon Royce three times in an amazing goalmouth scramble which saw the 'keeper take a kick in the face. Southend should have gone in at half-time three goals up, but midfielder Phil Gridelet missed a trio of golden opportunities to put his side ahead. First he saw his curling shot clip the top of the crossbar after only 17 seconds, then could only divert an Andy Harris cross into the arms of goalkeeper Aaron Flahavan. But his worst miss of the night was when he nodded over the bar from six yards with a free header after Harris had again got down the right wing. Flahavan was called into action to make a fine low save to deny Harris' stinging shot heading to the bottom corner. PALACE 0 WEST BROM 0 PALACE and West Brom ended up deadlocked in a goalless draw as defences came out on top in a disappointing match at Selhurst Park. Richard Sneekes missed the best chance for the Baggies on the half-hour mark when, from only five yards out, he shot straight at Chris Day in the Palace goal. Palace had to wait for nearly an hour before they seriously worried the Albion defence when Dougie Freedman set up George Ndah, who succeeded only in hitting the foot of the post from 10 yards out. The Eagles then launched attack after attack as they searched desperately for their second consecutive win but Albion's defence, with Daryl Burgess outstanding, gave nothing away. IPSWICH 1 GRIMSBY 1 GRIMSBY weathered the storm after taking an early lead at Ipswich to collect their first First Division point of the season. It was a disappointing result for the home side, who paid the price as star striker Ian Marshall watched the game from the stands. Marshall is expected to complete an GBP800,000 move to Premiership outfit Leicester and saw his teammates - in particular former strike partner Alex Mathie - pass up a string of good scoring chances. But a point was no more than Grimsby deserved for their organisation at the back and some determined running from lone front-runner Clive Mendonca. He scored a hat-trick against Ipswich when the sides last met and it took him only nine minutes to find the target again this time. Grimsby produced the best move of the match with Gary Childs cutting inside, feeding Tommy Widdrington with a fine ball and he found Mendonca in acres of space to beat Ipswich goalkeeper Richard Wright. It took Ipswich only until the 21st minute to get back on terms and they did so from a super move started by Geraint Williams, who found Mathie. His cross was met on the run by Paul Mason, who rifled the ball home. Ipswich twice went close before half-time with the best chance falling to Marshall's replacement, James Scowcroft, but his close-range header flew over the crossbar. OXFORD 0 NORWICH 1 A GOAL by Neil Adams after 12 minutes was enough to give Norwich the points - and ended Oxford's 19-match unbeaten home run in the league. But the match was marred when an angry flare-up between David Rush and Norwich's Carl Bradshaw a minute from the end saw both players being sent off. Norwich scored their winner when full back Danny Mills worked his way to the byline, held off Les Robinson and crossed perfectly to Adams, who soared between Matt Elliott and Mike Ford to head in at the far post. Oxford pressed heavily after the resumption, but the Norwich defence stood firm and 'keeper Bryan Gunn was never seriously tested.