Championship roundup: Norwich soar clear, Preston miss two penalties in a minute

Norwich took advantage of defeats for Brentford and Swansea to move seven points clear at the top of the Championship with a 1-0 victory over Rotherham at Carrow Road. Teemu Pukki’s 15th goal of the season secured the Canaries a third consecutive win, leaving Rotherham two points from safety.

Second-placed Brentford, without their 24-goal striker Ivan Toney, suffered a third consecutive loss after Coventry strengthened their survival hopes with a 2-0 win at St Andrew’s. Tyler Walker scored in each half, the first from the penalty spot, to move the Sky Blues five points clear of the bottom three.

Swansea missed the chance to move second after Huddersfield returned to form with a stunning 4-1 home win. Conor Hourihane got the Welsh side back in the game on the stroke of half-time with a brilliant free-kick, cancelling out Fraizer Campbell’s opener. But the Terriers responded in the first 10 minutes of the second half with a Lewis O’Brien goal and Duane Holmes’ double securing a first win in nine league games.

Cardiff City’s Dillon Phillips (far left) celebrates after saving a second penalty in a minute.
Cardiff City’s Dillon Phillips (far left) celebrates after saving a second penalty in a minute. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA

Cardiff and Middlesbrough moved to within three points of the playoff positions, after Bournemouth lost 2-1 at QPR. Goals from Stefan Johansen and Todd Kane, either side of Shane Long’s equaliser, gave Rangers a fourth successive triumph and ended Jonathan Woodgate’s unbeaten start as Cherries caretaker boss. Ashley Fletcher and Marc Bola struck in the first half for Middlesbrough in a 2-0 win at fifth-placed Reading.

Cardiff claimed a fifth consecutive win courtesy of a 4-0 victory over Preston, who missed two penalties in a minute. Kieffer Moore’s 16th goal of the season from the penalty spot gave the Bluebirds the lead early on before Josh Murphy netted the second.

North End had two chances to halve the deficit from the spot. Paul Gallagher missed first and after he was fouled attempting to tap in the rebound, Ched Evans was also thwarted by Dillon Phillips, with Marlon Pack and Mark Harris making them pay with further goals for Cardiff.

Nick Powell struck twice and Steven Fletcher was also on target as Stoke beat Luton 3-0 to stay in the hunt for a top-six spot.

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League Two roundup: Cambridge go clear

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Paul Mullin scored twice as League Two leaders Cambridge moved four points clear at the top with a 3-0 win at Mansfield

Mullin netted in the 57th and 65th minutes at the One Call Stadium to take his tally for the season to 22 league goals, before Harvey Knibbs added an effort in stoppage time. Mark Bonner’s men are four points ahead of second-placed Forest Green having played three games more – Rovers are in action on Sunday at Newport.

Cheltenham, a further point back in third, lost 2-0 at home to Bradford. Andy Cook scored both of the goals, heading the opener after 12 minutes and then doubling the advantage with a 51st-minute finish.

Morecambe moved up from eighth to fourth, a point behind Cheltenham, after winning 2-1 at second-bottom Barrow. Aaron Wildig and Kelvin Mellor scored either side of the break for the visitors before Scott Quigley’s reply.

Salford are fifth following a 1-1 home draw with Carlisle, in which James Wilson notched a 79th-minute equaliser for the Ammies to cancel out George Tanner’s early goal. Sixth-placed Tranmere also drew at home, being held 2-2 by 10-man Oldham.

Southend remain a point ahead of Barrow in 22nd after a late Shaun Miller goal condemned them to a 1-0 home loss to Bolton. Port Vale‘s first match under Darrell Clarke ended in a 1-1 draw at Leyton Orient

Clarke’s former club Walsall, now with Brian Dutton in charge, also drew 1-1, at Stevenage. Crawley beat Colchester 1-0 at home courtesy of James Tilley’s stoppage-time goal.

And Scunthorpe won 3-1 at home against Harrogate. After Devarn Green’s early opener for the Iron was cancelled out by a Josh March penalty, Ryan Loft restored the hosts’ lead and Lewis Spence wrapped things up late on.

Managerless Bristol City suffered a seventh consecutive loss in all competitions after Carlton Morris’ third goal in as many games gave Barnsley a 1-0 victory at Ashton Gate, while Millwall drew 0-0 with rock-bottom Wycombe.

Nottingham Forest condemned Blackburn to a fourth straight loss with a 1-0 success at the City Ground. Alex Mighten put Forest ahead in the 26th minute, with Adam Armstrong missing a penalty for Rovers in the second half.

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Birmingham won the bottom-of-the-table clash with Sheffield Wednesday 1-0. After Liam Shaw was sent off for the hosts in the 50th minute, Scott Hogan punished them to move Blues two points above the bottom three and leave Wednesday three points from safety.

source: theguardian.com