Sky Bet Championship round-up: Cruising Canaries extend lead at the top whilst Birmingham City bridge five point gap above the drop zone 
Photo by William Early via Getty Images 

32 goals across a full round of Sky Bet Championship fixtures meant for drama at both ends of the division. Norwich City tightened their impressive grip at the top of the league with a 2-0 victory at Adams Park over bottom club Wycombe Wanderers, whilst Brentford also took advantage of Watford and Swansea City defeats.

Lata drama at the St Andrews Trillion Trophy Stadium saw the Blues open up a healthy five point gap over Rotherham United who have now failed to score in their past four league matches. 

Derby County 1-1 Nottingham Forest 

An eagerly awaited East Midlands Derby underneath the floodlights opened this weekend's round of fixtures, however, a third straight 1-1 draw in this fixture ensured neither side stole the bragging rights. 

Both clubs have massively underachieved given their respective squads and ambitions at the beginning of the season, however, they met on Friday night while both sides were enjoying their best runs of the season thus far. 

James Garner, who joined Chris Hughton's Nottingham Forest side in January, opened the scoring when he volleyed home his first senior professional goal from just inside the 18-yard area. 

Derby County stopper David Marshall left the pitch moments later with a back injury, but the Scottish international will have felt he could've done better with Forest's opener as he fumbled it into the net. 

The visitors missed chances to double their advantage in the second-half and were punished with five minutes to play. Derby frontman Colin Kazim-Richards made the most of a ball that fell into his path and sweetly struck the ball with venom past Brice Samba who desperately tried to claw it away. 

The shared points mean Forest have now lost just two in their last 15 league outings, whilst Derby continue their resurgence under Wayne Rooney - losing one of their past five fixtures. 

Swansea City 1-3 Bristol City 

A second successive 3-1 away victory continued Nigel Pearson's successful start at the helm of Bristol City. 

It puts an awful week to an end for the Swans, after losing two of their three matches and conceding a total of seven across them games. 

Former Swansea loanee Kasey Palmer conceded a penalty 10 minutes into second-half proceedings, when he was adjudged to have controlled the ball using his arm. 

Swans top-scorer Andre Ayew made no mistake from the spot and cooly slotted home his 10th goal of the campaign. 

A lapse in concentration from the hosts defence allowed Bristol City a way back into the game 11 minutes later. Nahki Wells was afforded too much space and arrived to connect with Zak Vyner's low cross, to swoop the Robins level. 

Bristol City had their eyes on all three points though, and weren't willing to set for just the one. They were rewarded them in bizarre but lucrative fashion, with the Robins second coming directly from a corner. 

Palmer, who conceded the earlier penalty, delivered the corner 10 minutes from time and it curled over a hapless Freddie Woodman and the Swans defence. 

Deep into second-half stoppage time in the seventh minute, Antoine Semenyo was quick to close down Woodman and the Newcastle United loanee struck the ball off the flailing leg of Semenyo to round off a complete away performance in South Wales. 

It's a missed opportunity to keep ground on the top-two, but the Swans occupy fourth and will be confident they can re-gain momentum from their two games in hand on fellow promotion rivals. 

Wycombe Wanderers 0-2 Norwich City 

A routine victory from league leaders Norwich saw them extend their healthy cushion in the automatic promotion spots to 10 points. 

It was always going to be tough for the Chairboys, but they were unable to build on their 1-0 victory over Reading the week prior and are now 11 points from safety. 

The dynamic duo of Emi Buendia and Teemu Pukki linked up once more for the Canaries first. 

Pukki was aided by a deflection that wrong-footed David Stockdale in the Wycombe net, as it trickled home for the Finnish frontman's 18th league goal. 

Youngster Adam Uche Idah confirmed all three points would be going back to East Anglia when he doubled the visitors advantage three minutes from time. 

The 20-year-old had only been on the pitch for three minutes when he prodded home from close range following a loose ball after a corner. 

It's a fifth consecutive win now for the Canaries, with an impressive three clean sheets being accumulated over that time. The run has seen Norwich open up a seven point gap at the top and 10 above the automatics. 

Luton Town 3-2 Sheffield Wednesday 

The Owls surrendered an early two-goal lead and were condemned to a huge defeat at Kenilworth Road. 

A fourth straight defeat leaves them slumped in 23rd position and six points adrift of safety. 

Sheffield Wednesday pounced on a defensive mistake by the hosts and Josh Windass was in the right place at the right time to slot away the opener. 

Windass had a golden opportunity to add a second when he was put through on goal, however, he blazed over and squandered the chance. 

Despite rueing the missed chance at the time, Windass was on hand to make amends three minutes before the interval, when he rifled a strike into the roof of the net and doubled the Owls lead. 

This fixture perfectly showcased a game of two halves - as Luton Town broke out of the stops after the interval and put Wednesday to the sword. 

Kal Naismith opened the Hatters scoring streak five minutes after the interval, when he turned home Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall's low driven corner. 

Ryan Tunnicliffe quickly added a second to draw the game level before the hour mark, but Elijah Adebayo rounded off a fantastic turnaround when he met Harry Cornick's cross at the back post - to win it late for the Hatters

AFC Bournemouth 1-0 Watford 

Late injury time drama only compiled further problems for Watford, after a poor outing at the Vitality Stadium. 

The victory for Jonathan Woodgate's outfit sees them re-gain their position in the play-offs, with Watford falling three points behind the pace of the top-two. 

Arnaut Danjuma scored the only goal of the game, with it coming one minute after the hour-mark. 

A delightful long ball from defender Steve Cook deceived the Watford back line and Danjuma got behind the defence before stroking home into the bottom corner. 

The chaos that ensued before the final whistle was undoubtedly the main story of the encounter -  as Jack Wilshere and Joao Pedro both received their marching orders following a brawl in-front of the management touchline. 

Brentford 2-1 Stoke City 

Brentford re-railed their promotion push after confirming a second straight victory, to put that barren three game run behind them. 

The Potters needed a win to close the gap on Bournemouth in the final play-off spot, however, despite an early goal they fell to defeat. 

A David Raya mistake inside the first minute allowed Tommy Smith to square across for Jacob Brown, who tapped home the opener in West London. 

German midfielder Vitaly Janelt has become a much more prominent figure in the Bees starting XI this season, and he added his third of the campaign in terrific fashion - arrowing a strike into the top corner from 25 yards. 

Ivan Toney scored his 25th goal of the league campaign to complete the turnaround. The former Peterborough United striker is enjoying a scintillating first season in the Championship and has fast become a regular source of goals. 

Birmingham City 2-1 QPR 

The Blues eased their relegation worries with an important 2-1 victory over Mark Warburton's QPR side. 

The result bridges a five point gap between Birmingham and Rotherham in the relegation zone, and in addition, puts an end to QPR's five game unbeaten run. 

Charlie Austin broke the deadlock moments before the interval, as he ghosted away from markers and volleyed home from close-range. It's the striker's fourth goal since joining on loan from West Bromwich Albion in January. 

A late resurgence saw Birmingham claw themselves from the depths of defeat to victory. Kristian Pedersen rose highest to flick a header past Hoops stopper Seny Dieng, before Alen Halilovic added a second four minutes later. 

The 24-year-old Croatian curled home from 25-yards out to seal all three points for Aitor Karanka's side - a delightful way to score his first goal for the Blues

Barnsley 2-1 Millwall 

The Tykes continue on as the Championship's silent assassins with a 2-1 victory over Millwall. It's now five straight wins for Valerien Ismael's side who are now just one point outside of the play-offs with an additional game to play. 

It ends a nine match unbeaten run for Gary Rowett's Lions, however, they remain in the top-half despite the defeat. 

A lively opening at Oakwell saw Barnsley go in front after just two minutes, through club top-scorer Cauley Woodrow. A poorly handled set-piece fell for Woodrow inside the six-yard area, and he pounced to open the scoring. 

Barnsley were left too open at the back just four minutes later when Jed Wallace set Mason Bennett free and the former Derby man slotted it nicely into the bottom right corner for 1-1. 

Defender Michal Helik was the unlikely source that struck a second-half volley past Polish keeper Bartosz Bialkowski - as the Tykes saw out the lead and continued their rich vein of form. 

Rotherham United 0-1 Reading 

The Royals ensured they weren't the game week's surprise scalp once more and responded to their 1-0 defeat to Wycombe in the previous outing.

It's a fourth straight 1-0 loss for Paul Warne's Rotherham side and their two games in hand now oppose extra importance - with the Millers now lodged five points below the dotted line in 22nd. 

The hosts will be disappointed with the goal after they failed to clear and defender Michael Morrison bundled home from close range. 

It sets up a huge midweek encounter at Hillsborough against Sheffield Wednesday for the Millers, as the sides clash in a South Yorkshire Derby with extra fire and purpose. 

Preston North End 3-0 Huddersfield Town 

The Lilywhites climb to 13th after an impressive and complete home performance saw them net three against a struggling Huddersfield Town side. 

Carlos Corberan's side cannot let last week's 4-1 victory over Swansea mask what has been a torrid run. The Terriers have won just one of their past 10 league matches, which has subsequently seen them slide to 19th and amidst the relegation scrap. 

Brad Potts opened the scoring after 23 minutes when he powerfully struck the bobbling ball towards goal. Scott Sinclair saw his initial opportunity denied and Potts was on hand to drill the ball home - albeit with a slice of luck on the goal line. 

Potts turned provider after the interval as he picked out Ched Evans in acres of space inside the area, and the striker made no mistake from close range to double North End's advantage. 

Tom Barkhuizen broke down the left flank at pace and unlocked the Huddersfield defence with a beautiful ball across and Sinclair added a third to add further gloss to the score line. 

Middlesbrough 1-1 Cardiff City 

Neil Warnock's Middlesbrough battled back to rescue a point against the 72-year-old's former side, therefore denying them a seventh straight victory. 

The Bluebirds fall out of the play-offs to eighth - one place above Boro, who are three points worse off. 

Cardiff City have been by far the most effective team from set-pieces this season, and a Will Vaulks long throw gave them the opportunity to utilise their strength and dominant aerial prowess - and they dually obliged. 

Sean Morrison rose above three Boro defenders and cushioned his header into the bottom corner to give Mick McCarthy's side a first-half lead.

With eight minutes left on the clock, Cardiff were seemingly heading for yet another victory, but the Bluebirds defensive line switched off and allowed Paddy McNair to prod the ball home from close-range. 

Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Coventry City 

A superb Ben Brereton strike helped Blackburn Rovers end their barren run of five straight defeats at the expense of 10-man Coventry City

Tony Mowbray's side have fell to 15th after their poor run, but began this match on the front-foot through Brereton. 

The 21-year-old waited patiently for the ball to slide his way before drilling home the opener.

Brighton & Hove Albion loanee Leo Ostigard had the ball in the net for Coventry, however, the defender, who was later dismissed, saw the goal chalked off by officials. 

Matty James levelled the match after 50 minutes with a well taken finish from inside the area, however, no side could add a second to convert a point to all three. 

The point doesn't do wonders for the Sky Blues but increases the tally to six above the relegation zone and gives additional hope for Mark Robins' side, in their plight to beat the drop. 

 

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