Championship Weekend Review
All the games and all the goals as Vital QPR takes a look at the weekend`s action in the Championship.
With Rangers stumbling away from home in South Yorkshire, we take a look at how the other sides are getting on as the Championship season begins to hot up.
Barnsley 2-1 QPR
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Bristol City 0 - 0 Blackpool
The Tangerines held resurgent Bristol City at Ashton Gate to halt a run of two successive defeats and put a dent in the Robins promotion hopes having won the previous three home games.
The visitors` defence had to deal with the majority of the action with the returning Paul Rachubka denying numerous efforts to save his side from defeat.
Blackpool could only muster the occasional foray forward with fans favourite Brett Ormerod giving Adriano Basso a rare test when his spin and shot was comfortably saved by the Brazilian.
Stern John could have won it for Bristol City in the second period but his header was cleared off the line as Michael McIdoe drew a stunning final save from Rachubka as the host piled on the pressure, but a point wasn`t enough for either side.
Burnley 2 - 4 Sheffield Wednesday
The Clarets stumbled at home to the side that defeated them soundly on the first game of the season. Marcus Tudgay opened the scoring inside 20 minutes as he skipped over a challenge and slammed a left footed effort beyond Brian Jensen.
Chris McCann equalised following a sloppy free kick given away by Mark Beevers. The free kick from the left Lee Grant flapping and McCann nodded home on the far post with ease. The Owls weren`t to be denied as their free flowing football rewarded them with more goals.
Sean McAlister`s excellent ball over the top prompted Marcus Tudgay to break the offside trap and place home his 12th of the season. Leon Clarke`s performance had earned him a goal and he took it with aplomb firing home a scintillating left footed effort past Jensen.
Clarke doubled his goal tally for the day against a forlorn Burnley rearguard when he raced away on the counter attack, over the halfway line and fairly clipped the ball over Jensen in a thumping victory for the Owls. All Burnley could offer in reposte was a classy Chris Eagles free-kick reduce the arrears.
Doncaster Rovers 2 - 1 Derby County
Doncaster`s recent revival means they are only ten points off the playoffs as they dispatched of Derby County in another surprising result on Friday night. Their good run was under threat when Robbie Savage handed Derby the lead five minutes after the break with a curling right footed free kick.
But Doncaster, who have now only lost one game in ten, pegged them back when Paul Heffernan got his fourth goal in six games by rolling home inside the area. Stephen Bywater will be disappointed with the effort that beat him to win the game for Rovers.
Mark Wilson`s first goal of the season saw him fire the ball from distance towards the Derby target, which looked relatively comfortable for Bywater, but nevertheless crept in the corner as Doncaster sealed another excellent home win.
Norwich City 1 - 2 Coventry City
The Canaries fight against relegation got that little more desperate when they were defeated at home a resurgent Coventry City side intent on a late run for the playoffs.
Ex Norwich winger David Bell got the ball rolling when his trickery down the left found Sunderland loanee Jordan Henderson for his first senior goal, sidefooting home past David Marhsall. Norwich equalised in the second period when indecision from a corner led to Jonathan Grounds bagging his third goal for the Canaries as he slammed home from close range.
A point wasn`t enough for the hosts who had to go for the victory, in doing so they were punnished by Dan Fox`s outstanding solo effort. Having set up a goal last week he took the bull by the horns and bamboozled Carl Cort four times in the area before curling a delightful left footed effort in off the left hand upright to hand the visitors the win.
Preston North End 3 - 2 Ipswich Town
Alan Irvine praised his side for a hard-fought victory against a side on stunning away form in Ipswich Town. The Tractor Boys were a goal down after an horrendous challenge by Alex Bruce as he hauled down Stephen Elliott in the box. Callum Davidson was fortunate to see his penalty home as it squirmed under Richard Wright.
Town were level moments later as good interplay saw Luiciano Civelli find Tommy Miller in the area and he slid the home to the left of Andy Lonergan. But Richard Wright handed Preston the lead for the second time as he miscalculated an aerial challenge with Jon Parkin, with the man mountain forward nodding home into an empty net.
A two goal advantage was secured as Elliott tapped home unmarked on the far post from a set-piece before Tommy Miller reduced the arrears with an excellent free-kick that flew into the top right hand corner. An entertaining affair at Deepdale.
Reading 0 - 1 Nottingham Forest
Lewis McGugan`s stunning solo effort was enough to separate the two sides at the Madejski Stadium in the shock of the day in the Championship.
Steve Coppell`s men have now gone four successive games without troubling the scorers and their plight looked desperate when Lewis McGugan`s mazy run just after the hour mark culminated in a left footed effort into the bottom right hand corner, handing keeper Adam Federici little chance.
The victory hands Billy Davies` men their first win in six games and back to back defeats for the Royals who are one of many sides seemingly intent on throwing away the initiative at the top.
Southampton 1 - 0 Cardiff City
A game of two decisions as Southampton continue their drive away from the relegation zone and make it back to back wins at St Marys. The linesman perfectly picked out a correct handball decision against left back Mark Kennedy from a Lloyd James cross.
David McGoldrick dispatched that penalty with ease just after the ten minute mark, but what was to come was the real talking point as Cardiff`s 13 game unbeaten run was shattered after Chris Perry`s handball went unspotted by the previously eagle eyed linesman down the right.
Swansea City 1 - 1 Charlton Athletic
A stalemate at the Liberty Stadium as Charlton try to discover a resilient streak to pull them away from the perilous position they find themselves in. The Championship`s basement side went a goal down three minutes before the break as Jordi Gomez picked out Nathan Dyer who in turn slid the ball past Rob Elliott.
The Addicks weren`t to be denied however as Nick Bailey`s effort took a wicked deflection off defender Alan Tate leaving Dorus de Vries rooted to the floor as the ball fizzed past him into the bottom left hand corner.
A cruel twist fate for the Swans who had thoroughly dominated the game as expected but came away with only a point, which was in fact no good for either side in their respective tests in the Championship.
Watford 2 - 0 Crystal Palace
The Eagles have nose-dived into the bottom half after this thoroughly disappointing display at Vicarage Road. Watford in turn looked impressive in their bid to stay in the Championship and were driven forward by their latest signing Don Cowie.
The signing from Inverness broke the Palace offiside trap to place the ball home through the legs of Julian Speroni just after the 20 minute mark. He created the second of the game to belie their lowly status as his cross was turned over the line by a combination of former Palace winger Jobi McAnuff, and he man eventually credited with the goal - Jose Fonte.
Three games without a win for Palace to be matched by three successive wins for the Hornets who have began to pull away from the Championship drop zone under the guidance of Brendan Rodgers.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 - 1 Plymouth Argyle
Another shock result on the day as Mick McCarthy was left fuming by his side`s performance, as they continue to throw away their hard work at the top of the Championship. A long ball into the box wasn`t ably dealt with by the home rearguard and allowed loanee Paul Gallagher to dispatch with a neat overhead kick into the top right hand corner in the opening minute of the game.
This brought down the curtain on a torrid run for the Pilgrims who had failed to win in nine games while Wolves are without a win in five games. A run epitomised by the tame effort of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake to fire well over from close range.
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