Newcastle were left frustrated as they were held to a 0-0 draw away to a struggling Birmingham City side who now have only 2 wins to their name after the last 10 league games.
But promotion rivals Brighton were unable to capitalise on Newcastle’s dropped points as they were beaten by play off hopefuls Leeds 2-0 at Elland Road. Chris Wood kept up his rich vein of form as he scored a brace to take his tally to 24 goals for the season.
Wood gave Leeds the advantage after 63 minutes, by converting an inch perfect Charlie Taylor cross to give the home side the lead.
That lead was then doubled 5 minutes from time as Souleymane Doukara was fouled in the penalty area. Wood comfortably dispatched the penalty to close the gap on Brighton to 8 points with 8 games to play.
Huddersfield suffered a major dent to their automatic promotion hopes as they were thrashed 4-0 by relegation threatened Bristol City in a game which was overshadowed by an injury to Huddersfield midfielder Jonathan Hogg. Hogg collided with team mate Mark Hudson with a 14 minute delay after the clash as Hogg was treated on the pitch, in an injury which later proved to be a fracture in his neck.
Lee Tomlin gave Bristol City the lead after 30 minutes, a lead which was doubled in the 14th minute of injury time in the first half with a neat finish at the near post. An Aden Flint header header all but secured the win for the home side with 10 minutes remaining. But there was still time for David Cotterill to get on the scoresheet after Joe Bryan was fouled.
Reading made a massive step towards securing a play off spot with a hard fought 2-0 win over play off rivals Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
Ali Al-Habsi was the hero for the Royals, pulling off a string of impressive saves to keep the hosts at bay. It was the visitors who took the lead after 13 minutes when Frenchman Yann Kermorgant slotted calmly past Keiron Westwood after being played through by England youngster John Swift.
Reading produced a number of defensive heroics to thwart Wednesday with Al-Habsi denying striker Jordan Rhodes on a number of occasions. This proved pivotal as Reading punished their missed opportunities as Adrian Popa ran the length of the pitch to slot the ball home into an empty net to give an all important 3 points.
Fulham were unable to take advantage of this as they were surprisingly beaten 3-1 at home to Wolves. Ivan Cavaleiro gave the visitors the lead after 34 minutes and Derby loanee Andreas Weimann doubled that lead just after half time. Fulham gave themselves a lifeline by responding quickly and equalising after 54 minutes courtesy of Denis Odoi. But Dave Edwards had the final say as he converted Helder Costa’s cross to give Wolves breathing space from the relegation zone.
At the foot of the table Rotherham will have to pull of the most unlikely of survival bids as they are now 24 points off the relegation zone as they were thrashed 5-1 at QPR.
Matt Smith gave QPR the lead, before Joe Newell’s fine strike on 13 minutes gave Rotherham hope. But this was short lived as Luke Freeman restored the hosts’ lead 2 minutes later.
Ian Holloway’s side then ran riot in the 2nd half as goals from Yeni Ngbakoto, Massimo Luongo and Nedum Onuoha saw QPR ran out comfortable 5-1 winners.
Rotherham can mathematically survive if they are to win their remaining games but with a goal difference of -54 they are all but doomed to League 1 football next season.
Aston Villa have been dissapointing for the majority of the season but are having a mini revival under Steve Bruce with 5 wins from the last 6 as they beat Wigan 2-0.
Big money signing Scott Hogan scored his first goal for his new club, whilst James Chester added a 2nd 6 minutes from time to give Bruce’s side the 3 points.
Blackburn currently occupy the remaining relegation place after they were denied by a last minute Aiden McGeady strike to give Preston a share of the points.
Tom Barkhuizen gave Preston the lead but they were pegged back shortly before half time, with a goal from Elliot Bennett from 20 yards for Rovers. Craig Conway then gave Blackburn the lead, converting a Marvin Emnes cross by McGeady had the final say by earning North End a point, which will keep their faint play off hopes alive.
Brentford produced a stunning fightback to win 5-3 at Burton in an action packed game. Sergi Canos opened the scoring for the Bees after 10 minutes before a Marvin Sordell brace and Cauley Woodrow saw the hosts go into the break with a slender lead.
Striker Lasse Vibe then got a goal back shortly after the break, before Canos netted his 2nd goal of the game to level the tie. Vibe was then back on the scoresheet 5 minutes from time to send the travelling support into raptures. Jota sealed the win 60 seconds after to give Brentford a hard fought 3 points.
Daniel Pinillos salvaged what could be a vital point for Nottingham Forest in the East Midlands’ derby where Gary Rowett and Mark Warburton faced off in their first managerial games in charge.
Pinillos had a part in the opening goal for Forest as his inch perfect cross was converted by youngster Zac Clough. But Derby hit back through former Watford striker Matej Vydra and they were soon in front courtesy of a David Nugent header 6 minutes later.
But the home side’s resiliance shone through as Pinillos headed home in the 94th minute to keep Forest outside the relegation places.
Norwich kept their play off push alive with a comfortable 2-0 win over Barnsley. Josh Murphy and an Angus MacDonald own goal. The visitors did have their chances to punish the Canaries but Marley Watkins and Adam Hammill couldn’t convert good chances as Norwich move 5 points behind Sheffield Wednesday who occupy the last play off place.
Neil Warnock’s revival of Cardiff continues as they beat Ipswich 3-1. Kenneth Zohore was the difference between the sides as he scored in each half. The striker now has 9 goals in 10 appearances for the Bluebirds.
Luke Chambers gave the Tractor-boys the lead after 23 minutes before Zohore got his first of the game. That lead was doubled as Zohore netted his 2nd of the game after a fantastic team move. Joe Bennett made sure of the points as he scored his first Championship goal since 2014 and give Cardiff all 3 points.
GOOD WEEK FOR: Reading and Leeds
BAD WEEK FOR: Rotherham and Fulham