Newcastle’s game against Burton was overshadowed by a bizarre incident involving a Matt Ritchie penalty. Newcastle won the game 1-0 thanks to Ritchie’s second half strike. But they could have been leading earlier in the first half as Ritchie fired home a penalty after Dwight Gayle had been fouled in the area. But referee Keith Stroud disallowed the goal and instead of having the penalty retaken, awarded a free kick to Burton inside the penalty area. Bizarre, yes I agree. Newcastle weren’t made to pay for the error as Ritchie did find the back of the Burton net to give Newcastle an all important 3 points.
Brighton kept the pressure on Newcastle at the top of the Championship table as they ran out comfortable 3-1 winners over Gianfranco Zola’s Birmingham side who will nervously be looking over their shoulder at the teams involved in the relegation fight.
Goals from Tomer Hemed, Glenn Murray and a first for the club for Uwe Hunemeier gave Chris Hughton’s team all 3 points. Che Adams pulled a goal back late on for Birmingham who’s fans will still be frustrated at Zola who they will feel hasn’t fared very well since taking over from the impressive Gary Rowett.
Huddersfield kept their faint chances of automatic promotion alive as they comfortably beat Norwich 3-0 on Wednesday night. Cameron Jerome had 2 goals chalked off during the game for Norwich. One was for offside and the other, he was adjudged to have fouled a defender whilst heading home. This proved the difference as goals from Elias Kachunga, Aaron Mooy and Nahki Wells saw Huddersfield move to within 9 points of Brighton with a game in hand.
Reading solidified their play off position with a well earned 3-1 win over Blackburn at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday night. A brace from the in form Yann Kermorgant had put the Royals in a commanding position but the lead was halved as a fantastic Elliot Bennett strike from the edge of the area gave Rovers hope. However, that hope was short lived as substitute Gareth McCleary’s well hit shot found the corner of the net only 60 seconds after Bennet’s goal.
Leeds made it 2 defeats from 2 as they suffered a 2-0 defeat to Brentford. Defender Liam Cooper wasn’t involved for Gary Monk’s side after being banned by the FA for a stamp on Reading’s Reece Oxford late on in the 1-0 defeat to the Berkshire-based side. Pontus Jansson returned to the side but was unable to stop Lasse Vibe and Romaine Sawyers scoring for Brentford who move up to…. In the table.
Fulham suffered a surprise defeat away to Derby on Tuesday night. The Rams ran riot as a hat trick from David Nugent and a goal from Johnny Russell kept Derby’s faint play off hopes alive. A Floyd Ayite double was on hand for Fulham who will be looking to bounce back with a win against Ipswich at Craven Cottage. The Cottagers will need to start picking up maximum points as they arguably have the toughest run in of all the side around them in the hunt for the play-off places.
Sheffield Wednesday capitalised on Fulham dropping points as they comfortably beat already relegated Rotherham 2-0 at the New York Stadium. A brace from Steven Fletcher gave them the 3 points. They face Newcastle at home in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Saturday evening.
Preston are the in form side chasing the play off places, and they kept that up with a 5-0 thrashing of Lee Johnson’s Bristol City. Johnson is coming under intense pressure from the fans to deliver results for a Bristol City side who sit just a point above the relegation places. Goals from Aiden McGeady, Tom Clarke, Tom Barkhuizen and a double from Callum Robinson gave Preston a convincing and fully deserved 3 points.
Aston Villa have started to hit a good run of form as they beat QPR at Villa Park 1-0. The only goal of the game came from Jonathan Kodjia after 5 minutes. The hosts pressed for further goals but Nathan Baker had a header cleared off the line in the second half as QPR slipped to 16th in the table. After their fourth win in a row, Villa are now 9 points off the final play off spot with 6 games to play.
A Freddie Sears brace and David McGoldrick goal eased Ipswich’s slim relegation fears with a comfortable 3-0 win against Wigan at Portman Road. Wigan are now 7 points from safety and will be looking to pick up maximum points in their next 2 home games against Rotherham and Barnsley.
Nouha Dicko was the match winner for Wolves who rise to 15th in the table as his strike was the difference between Wolves and Nottingham Forest. The only goal of the game came from a swift counter attack as Britt Assombalonga had a shot cleared off the line by Connor Coady at one end of the pitch and Wolves broke quickly with Dicko scoring his first goal at Molineux since May 2015 after a long injury lay off.
Barnsley and Cardiff played out a stalemate at Oakwell. Chances were a rarity throughout the game but the result means that Cardiff are still without an away win since February. They will also be sweating on the fitness of Sol Bamba and Alan McGregor who were both withdrawn during the game through injury. Cardiff face Brentford at home on Saturday whilst Barnsley travel to Blackburn.
That concludes my round up for the midweek Championship action! Stay tuned next week when I round up the weekend’s games in a pivotal week for clubs at the top and bottom!
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