Sky Bet Championship Roundup 04/10/14
Alex Pritchard celebrates his goal against Reading

Norwich City remain top of the Championship table after drawing 1-1 with newly-promoted Rotherham on an unremarkable day in the second division. With previous leaders Nottingham Forest not playing until Sunday, Watford have leapfrogged them into second while Middlesbrough returned to the top six with a home win over relegated Fulham.

In Saturday's early kickoff, Sheffield Wednesday travelled to Leeds in what turned out to be a hotly-contested Yorkshire derby at Elland Road. Both teams had a number of chances but also a number of yellow cards in a game which saw seven players enter the referee's notebook, with both sides now sitting in mid-table. Twice-capped Scotland forward Chris Maguire gave the visitors the lead shortly after half-time from outside the penalty area but his passionate celebration in front of the home crowd only served to jolt Leeds into life. Kieren Westwood kept them at bay for some time in between the posts but Guiseppe Bellusci tied things up with just over ten minutes to play with a half-volley after a costless kick was not properly dealt with. Gary Madine almost won it late on for Wednesday but it remained all-square at the final whistle, leaving Leeds boss Darko Milanic still looking for his first win.

Elsewhere, profligate finishing from Blackburn saw them held to a goalless draw at home to Huddersfield, with star forward Jordan Rhodes putting a penalty wide in the second half. The hosts controlled the game but failed to take any of their chances and Rhodes summed up a poor performance in front of goal when he sent his spot-kick past the left post on the hour mark after former Wigan man Grant Holt handled in the area. Nakhi Wells had Huddersfield's best chance of the game late on but somehow managed to miss the target with a header with the goal at his mercy. Rovers remain just inside the top half for the time being, while the Terriers inched marginally further away from the drop zone; they are now five points clear of Fulham in 22nd.

Callum Wilson's second half double was enough to give Bournemouth all three points away at Bolton, the day after their hosts announced the departure of manager Dougie Freedman. Lee Turner and Andy Hughes took charge of the home side for this weekend but a fifth consecutive defeat in all competitions has left them at the foot of the league table. Bournemouth played most of the game with ten men after Yann Kermorgant was sent off for a foul after half an hour, but they showed no signs of missing him as Wilson put his first goal of the afternoon through the legs of the goalkeeper just after the interval. Jay Spearing equalised as captain from 25 yards out but parity did not last long as Wilson found the bottom corner from inside the area. Bournemouth are up to 11th, but Bolton are sinking without trace.

An impressive performance from Brentford saw them record a 3-1 victory at home to Reading, with goals from Jota, Alex Pritchard and Jonathan Douglas cancelling out Simon Cox' second-half consolation. Former Celta Vigo man Jota tapped in a rebound after ten minutes and Pritchard found the back of the net to double their advantage with just half an hour played and though the away side saw more of the ball, they couldn't muster an adequate response. Cox managed to scramble the ball in with 40 minutes still to play but the hosts largely dealt with their attacking threat and sealed the win late on, with Douglas heading in from close range following Pritchard's corner. The result means the Bees have moved ahead of their opponents and break into the top ten - just two points away from the playoffs.

Charlton continued their unbeaten start to the league season with a one-all draw at home to Birmingham, who remain in trouble with just 11 points from 11 games. Angola forward Igor Vetokele powered in an early header from Frederic Bulot's cross, but the visitors had a goal chalked off seemingly incorrectly when Clayton Donaldson was flagged for offside as teenager Koby Arthur poked the ball home. Blues manager Lee Clark was incensed by the decision but had something to cheer shortly after when David Davis drove a shot home from outside the area following a corner. The visitors continued to press and could have won it when Wes Thomas was presented with a late chance, but he slipped while taking the shot and the chance of three points slipped away with it.

Steve McClaren's Derby could have gone top of the table with a win today but were held to a deserved 0-0 draw by a battling Millwall side. Lee Gregory went close on more than one occasion for the Lions and had a reasonable penalty shout waved away but in truth it was a first half devoid of quality or cutting edge. The home side improved slightly after the break but were unable to pick their way through a resolute Millwall defence and finished the half without a single shot on target, though they have taken their unbeaten run to ten games. They currently reside in fourth poition, while Millwall made the trip back to London in 16th position with a five-point gap between themselves and the bottom three.

An illness had affected as many as five first team players for Middlesbrough since their midweek game with Blackpool but they managed to record a 2-0 win over in-form Fulham which lifts the Teessiders up to fifth. The London side had the best of the opening 45 minutes but it was Boro who created the best opening, Ghana winger Albert Adomah striking the post after being played through by Spurs youngster Ryan Fredericks. Less than a minute after half-time, home-grown winger Adam Reach turned in Lee Tomlin's acrobatic effort to give the home side the lead and Adomah doubled their advantage with ten minutes to play following clever hold-up play from Spanish forward Kike. Fulham hit the crossbar and saw a shot cleared off the line as they pushed for an equaliser at 1-1 but interim manager Kit Symons was left to rue their bad luck as they remained inside the relegation zone.

Leaders Norwich remained at the top of the table for the time being after drawing at home with Rotherham despite dominating proceedings at Carrow Road. Matt Derbyshire found himself through on goal only to be fouled by Canaries keeper John Ruddy, and Paul Green sent the former England man the wrong way with his penalty into the bottom right corner. Lewis Grabban and Cameron Jerome both had chances to level things up but were denied by the goalkeeper or their own poor finishing, but Jerome made up for his errors with a quarter of an hour to play by turning in the rebound from Kyle Lafferty's costless kick against the post. The Millers held on to claim a difficult point against a side who are sure to be fighting for promotion come the end of the season but manager Steve Evans maintains that his side could well have scored a second to seal a precious victory.

Brighton held Watford to a 1-1 draw at Vicarage Road, but it was a result which saw the home side move up to second in the table. The first half was something of a non-event before Daniel Tozser made the most of a poorly-constructed defensive wall to curl in a costless kick from 25 yards for the home side, but Lewis Dunk headed in a late corner to give Sami Hyypia's men a share of the spoils. Matej Vydra skied the best chance of the game over the bar from Juan Carlos Paredes' through ball, but Hornets manager Billy McKinlay was satisfied with the performances of his back four especially. Brighton go into the international break with only a four-point buffer between themselves and the relegation zone.

Wolves conceded their eighth goal in three games but talismanic winger Bakary Sako rescued a point in their 2-2 draw at home with Wigan. Dave Edwards was left unmarked after half an hour to head home former Heerenveen winger Rajiv Van La Parra's cross from twelve yards but the Latics were level just two minutes later as James Maloney scored a header of his own from Shaun Maloney's dangerous costless kick. Marc-Antoine Fortune powered a shot past Carl Ikeme moments before half time but Sako levelled things up in the second half, sliding the ball in from the edge of the area after Scott Golbourne's corner was not successfully cleared. Matt Doherty struck the bar with a header in the closing minutes but neither side could find the decisive goal in a game from which Wigan will be satisfied with a point. Wolves remain just outside the top six on goal difference, while Uwe Rosler sees his side sitting in 21st, with only three points separating themselves and Fulham.

VAVEL Logo