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Championship: Four of top 6 win with Cardiff, Hull, Watford and Crystal Palace picking up 3 points

 

Cardiff maintained their lead at the top of the table with a 2-1 victory over Bristol City. a Brace from Fraizer Campbell, making his first start for the club, gave them the lead, with City gaining a late consolation through a Ben Nugent own goal in the dying minutes.

With Cardiff playing an early kick off, the pressure was on for the chasing pack to keep up, and Hull made sure the gap stayed at seven points with an efficient 1-0 victory over Charlton.

Gado gave the home side the lead just after the half hour mark, and despite pressure from Charlton in the second half they managed to hold their nerve and get all three points. 

With Leicester not playing, there was a chance for the sides below them to take advantage, and Watford and Crystal Palace did so in some style.

Watford went to struggling Birmingham and put on a fine display in the midlands, with a two goal lead at half time, with goals coming courtesy of    the in form Troy Deeney and Ikechi Anya just before the break. Deeney scored his second of the game just after the hour mark, with Almen Abdi compounding Birmingham's misery in last minute, with Watford moving to third.

Birmingham meanwhile lie in 17th place, only four points from safety, and with such a toothless display up front, Lee Clark may be regretting his comments made about front man Nicola Zigic this week.

There was an all top 6 clash at Selhurst Park, where Palace hosted out of sorts Middlesbrough. The home side were in the lead with less than ten minutes gone, with top scorer Glen Murray on the score sheet once again. It was more of the same after the break, with Peter Ramage finishing like a striker to put Palace 2-0 up within five minutes of the restart. 

Murray netted his second with just under and hour gone, and any hopes of a Middlesbrough comeback after Haroun grabbed a goal on the 80th minute were put to rest four minutes later when veteran striker Kevin Phillips put the game beyond doubt. The result sees Palace move to 4th, five points clear of Middlesbrough in 6th.

Elsewhere, Derby failed to overcome struggling Wolves at Pride Park, with both sides drawing a blank as the game finished 0-0, giving Wolves a one point cushion from the relegation zone, but without a win in nine.

Billy Davies' first game back in charge at Nottingham Forest ended all square, with Craig Davies cancelling out Andy Reid's fine effort for Forest. Although Marcos Alonso was sent off two bookings with ten minutes to go, Forest failed to capitalise of the extra man, and the game ended with both sides sharing the spoils.

Ipswich continued their progress under Mick McCarthy with a 1-0 win over still manager-less Blackpool, although Paul Ince, the man rumoured to be taking the Blackpool job, was in attendance. It was Michael Chopra with the decisive goal after 50 minutes, to see Ipswich move four points clear of the drop zone.


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