Brighton returned to the top of the Championship league table with a 2-0 away win against play-off hopefuls Barnsley. Striker Sam Baldock opened the scoring in the second half and star-man Anthony Knockaert set up the forward for his second to wrap up the game.
The visitors came to Oakwell knowing a win would put them in first place, as previous leaders Newcastle do not play until Monday, when they host Steve Bruce’s struggling Aston Villa team.
Championship Round Up
Team of the day had to be QPR who had a fantastic win away at Birningham. Matt Smith inspired QPR to a 4-1 success at flailing Birmingham as Holloway is relishing managing the London outfit.
The 6ft 5in striker put Rangers on the road to victory with a first-half goal. This was his first notch since September. Smith, who only joined Rangers last month from Fulham, was a persistent threat in a win which was sealed by a 46th-minute goal from Conor Washington and two more by Idrissa Sylla and Yeni Ngbakoto in the last 10 minutes.
Manager Ian Holloway was delighted with a vital morale-boosting win, which eases their relegation fears, but it was another sad defeat for a Birmingham side who have now collected only six points from a possible 36 under Gianfranco Zola and Zola’s managerial position may be under threat this early in his regime.
Cardiff made it three successive wins for the first time this season after hammering lowly Rotherham 5-0 in Wales. Goals from Kadeem Harris, Junior Hoilett, Craig Noone and a Kenneth Zohore double gave Bluebirds boss Neil Warnock a deserved victory against his former club.
Warnock took the Millers on an 11-game unbeaten run that saved them from the drop last term. But now, while he has steered Cardiff up to 12th, relegation to League One is looking more of a certainty for Rotherham, with the club 15 points from safety.
Leeds ended up the day on 5th place after a 1-1 draw away at mid table Ipswich. Freddie Sears and Stuart Dallas traded first-half goals as play-off chasing Leeds had to be content with a draw.
The home side took an early lead through Sears before an out-of-sorts Leeds equalised just before half-time. The visitors improved after the restart and enjoyed a good share of possession but Ipswich created the best of the second-half chances with David McGoldrick hitting the crossbar with a delicate chip.
League 1 Round up
Game of the day in League one was certainly Sheffield United versus Scunthorpe. First against second in the league and both looking to climb back into the Championship.
It was Billy Sharp who rescued a point for Sheffield United as they drew 1-1 at home against promotion rivals Scunthorpe. But the fun was two goals and a sending off in four mad but fun minutes in Yorkshire.
Paddy Madden opened the scoring early in the second half for the visitors, who had Harry Toffolo sent off, but the Blades responded quickly through Sharp’s close-range volley.
The home side started well as Sharp fired just over the crossbar after Daniel Lafferty’s ball in from the left and then Mark Duffy struck wide after a neat give and go with Sharp in the box.
Scunthorpe took the lead through Madden in the 47th minute after Stephen Dawson broke into the penalty area and crossed for the unmarked striker to tap in. The Blades were soon back on level terms though as Sharp volleyed the ball home from inside the six-yard box two minutes later.
Bolton were lucky to get a point at Bradford City as another high profile match in the division (3rd played 5th) ended in another stalemate. Gary Madine netted a 74th-minute equaliser to earn Bolton an unlikely 2-2 draw with Bradford and prevent former Bantams boss Phil Parkinson from tasting defeat on his return to Valley Parade.
The 49-year-old, who led City to the League Cup final and promotion to League One during a near five-year spell in charge, which ended last June, was enduring a miserable afternoon when his rattled side conceded two goals to Charlie Wyke inside the first 16 minutes.
But David Wheater and Madine netted in the second half to earn the automatic-promotion chasers a precious point following a poor display for an hour.
Wyke profited from two errors from Bolton goalkeeper Ben Alnwick to take his tally to three goals in four games since signing from Carlisle.
Down at the bottom of the table Coventry scored an unlikely win against Gillingham whilst Chesterfield lost and both Swindon and Port Vale picked up important draws.
At the top of the table both Doncaster and Plymouth managed 1-1 draws to slow their progress towards League One but third placed Carlisle narrowed the gap on the two front runners with a decent away win at Wycombe.
At the bottom of the league both Orient and Newport County lost 3-2 thrillers as Hartlepool and Cheltenham above them managed to snaffle points, Cheltenham with a rare win at home to Yeovil and Hartlepool who held up Plymouth for what could be a precious point.