Albion Gain Ground But Not A Day Of Disasters

Last updated : 31 January 2010 By Footy Mad - Editor

Leicester 0 Newcastle 0
Derby 1 Nottm Forest 0
West Brom 3 Sheff Utd 1
Cardiff 2 Doncaster 1
Middlesbrough 0 Bristol C 0
Preston 2 Ipswich 0
Reading 1 Barnsley 0
QPR 0 Scunthorpe 1
Palace 2 Peterborough 0
Sheff Wed 2 Plymouth 1
Coventry 1 Blackpool 1

West Brom moved back within touching distance of an automatic promotion place in the Coca-Cola Championship with a 3-1 victory over Sheffield United at The Hawthorns.

Jerome Thomas deflected 50th-minute effort effectively ended the contest after a first-half penalty from Graham Dorrans and a second from Roman Bednar on the half-hour mark.

Darius Henderson reduced the deficit for the Blades from the spot but the home side were always in command and Thomas' effort ensured they reduced the gap to second-placed Nottingham Forest to two points with a game in hand.

Forest had seen their 19-game unbeaten league run ended in the early kick-off when they were beaten 1-0 in a bruising clash at local rivals Derby, Rob Hulse heading home in the 78th minute in a game that ended in a mass brawl.

Cardiff also kept up the pace in fourth place but only just as they had to rely on Jay Bothroyd's 90th-minute header to squeak a 2-1 win over Doncaster.

The Bluebirds went into the game in good heart after their 6-0 thrashing of Bristol City and things looked even better when Michael Chopra opened the scoring on nine minutes. But Gareth Roberts' 65th-minute equaliser threatened to spoil the party.

A 10-point penalty and the impending departure of star man Victor Moses could not stop Crystal Palace getting back to winning ways as Neil Danns' double eased them to a 2-0 win over rock-bottom Peterborough at Selhurst Park.

Ten-man Blackpool looked to be heading for a superb win over Coventry at the Ricoh Arena when on-loan Barry Bannan fired them in front in the 69th minute despite Brett Ormerod's earlier sending-off.

But an own goal seven minutes from time by Alex Baptiste handed the Sky Blues a point and left the Seasiders still hovering a point outside the play-off places.

Gordon Strachan's Middlesbrough failed to step up their challenge for a top-six place as they ground out a goalless draw at home to Bristol City, and also had Barry Robson sent off in the 55th minute for two bookable offences.

Darren Ferguson's first home game in charge of Preston brought a 2-0 win over Ipswich. Substitute Neill Collins headed home in the 64th minute and new boy Danny Welbeck wrapped up victory with a delicious chip six minutes from time.

QPR's dismal season continued as they were beaten 1-0 at home by Scunthorpe, Garry Thompson firing home 16 minutes from time to ease the relegation fears of Iron boss Nigel Adkins.

Luke Varney scored twice as Sheffield Wednesday boosted their battle to beat the drop with a come-from-behind win over fellow strugglers Plymouth.

Rory Fallon put Argyle ahead in the 24th minute but Varney equalised almost immediately. Varney's second on 42 minutes proved enough to lift Alan Irvine's Owls five points clear of the bottom three.

Reading are still firmly rooted in the drop zone but they celebrated the permanent appointment of Brian McDermott as their boss with a 1-0 home win over Barnsley courtesy of Shane Long's 29th-minute effort.