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Goals Galore in a Frantic Championship Weekend

Wednesday 5th February 2014
The top six remains unchanged in the SkyBet Championship with league leaders Leicester City unbeaten in their last 10 games, James Dean reviews the action across the Championship from the weekend.

In the Championship's televised, Saturday lunchtime kick off, Queens Park Rangers and Burnley shared the spoils in a thrilling draw. The scoring was opened on 7 minutes as deadline day signing, Kevin Doyle, glanced a superb header across Tom Heaton. Burnley struggled to get into their rhythm early on but were level on 25 minutes as their top scorer, Danny Ings, volleyed acrobatically into the corner of the net. Rangers found themselves back in front soon after as a corner kick was flicked on at the near post and met by a thumping, left footed volley from defensive veteran Richard Dunne. The score at half time was 2-1 to the hosts. Burnley equalised yet again on 54 minutes as a Michael Kightly cross was prodded home by another striker in good form, Sam Vokes. And it was Vokes who put the visitors into the lead just after the hour mark, after Ings pressured Benoit Assou-Ekotto into giving the ball away just yards from his own goal. The ball was then squared and tapped into an open net. Burnley seemed in control of the game after taking the lead, threatening further with Junior Stanislas but they couldn't secure the victory. After great work from the persistent Junior Hoilett, who dispossessed Ben Mee, another on loan striker, Modibo Maiga was left with a tap in on the goal line. Both managers will be left happy with a point, despite allowing Leicester the opportunity to extend their lead at the top. Burnley stay 3 points behind Rangers, in 3rd place.

Derby County were left frustrated as the threw away a two goal lead at Birmingham, drawing 3-3. All six goals came in the second half with Brian Howard heading the Blues in front in the 48th minute from a Paul Caddis cross. Derby equalised within a minute though as Patrick Bamford continued his excellent scoring form. After his first attempt was foiled from a looping cross, he lashed in the rebound off an on rushing defender. The Rams took the lead 10 minutes later, as a Chris Martin shot from 25 yards deflected wickedly off the head of Craig Bryson, bamboozling the goal keeper. The victory seemed safe on 73 minutes as Craig Forsyth burst onto a pass, finishing cooly from the penalty spot. Chris Burke set up a grand stand finish 5 minutes later as he cut inside from the left and curled a shot away from the grasp of Lee Grant. The comeback was complete deep into stoppage time when on loan Manchester United forward, Federico Macheda, fired home from inside the 6 yard box. The draw leaves Derby in 4th place and Birmingham without a win in 5.

After a draw in the earlier kick off, Leicester City were looking to increase their lead at the top of the table with a trip to Bournemouth. In a hard fought game, it was one goal that proved the difference and meant a 9th straight win for the Foxes. The ever dangerous Anthony Knockaert picked the ball up on the right hand side and cut in onto his left foot, crossing the ball towards the back post, and the cross was met by 40 year old Kevin Phillips, who headed the ball down, beating the keeper and just crossing the line. The 81st minute goal stood despite the protestations of the Bournemouth players and fans. Nigel Person's team are now 10 points clear at the top of the league with the Cherries sitting in 15th.

Leeds' local derby game against Huddersfield was completely over shadowed by a week of controversy at Elland Road. With rumours of an impending takeover by an Italian consortium, and then its alleged collapse, it was reported that Brian McDermott was sacked as Manager. His assistant, Nigel Gibbs, took charge of the team for the game. It started badly for Leeds as Danny Ward fired their visitors in front after 25minutes, with a sweet left footed strike. Ross McCormack scored his first of the game in stoppage time of the first period, tapping in from close range. This buoyed Leeds supporters going into the interval, as they continually voiced their support for the departed Manager.  Leeds hit the front in the 50th minute as Jimmy Kebe broke the defensive line and dinked the ball over the goalkeeper. McCormack was at it again just after the hour as he finished from close range, among chaotic Huddersfield defending. The Scot completed his hat trick, and scored his 21st goal of the season in the 73rd minute as he volleyed home a Cameron Stewart cross off the post. Mark Robins will have been left furious by his side's second half collapse, and the punishment was complete 10 minutes from time when Alex Smithies was stranded outside the area and Alex Mowatt chipped into the net from 25 yards. It was a first league win in 8 for Leeds and a 3rd straight defeat for Huddersfield. Incredibly, a statement was released after the game stating that Brian McDermott was still in charge of Leeds United.

Sheffield Wednesday hosted Barnsley in a feisty South Yorkshire derby at Hillsborough. Barnsley had the best of the early chances as Nick Proschwitz went close twice from a corner, only to be foiled by Chris Kirkland. The game hinged on no less than 3 red cards. Emmanuel Frimpong was sent off after half an hour for a second bookable offence. The debutant was booked by Andre Marriner immediately after receiving a warning, with the second yellow coming after a clumsy challenge on Chris Maguire. Wednesday then proceeded to dominate possession, without overly testing the Barnsley goalkeeper Luke Steele. Kieran Lee and Oguchi Onyewu went close before substitute Jermaine Johnson, was sent off for a reckless, high challenge on the Tyke's loanee winger Brek Shea. Jacob Mellis was then denied a penalty as he appeared to go over Miguel Llera's challenge too easily, and the winger took his frustration out soon after, lunging dangerously into a challenge, resulting in a red card. Barnsley faced stoppage time with 9 men and in the 97th minute, the deadlock was broken. Jim O'Brien struggled to clear the ball and Jose Semedo passed to Maguire who drilled home from 25 yards out, breaking Barnsley hearts and sending the Owls faithful into scenes of pandemonium. Wednesday are now 10 unbeaten in all competitions, with Barnsley off the bottom of the table by a point.

Reading maintained their good form and remained in place in the play off places with a 3-0 win at Milwall. Pavel Pogrebnyak scored the Royals' opener in the 39th minute after Stephen Bywater fumbled a shot into his path. Defender Alex Pearce extended the lead in the 71st minute, blasting home a rebound. The points were safe moments later as Daniel Williams raced clear and rolled the ball home. A good win for Reading in 6th place, Milwall remain a place above the relegation zone.

Bolton Wanderers continued their slide down the Championship table as they suffered another defeat away at play off chasing Ipswich Town. The game was settled by a David McGoldrick penalty after he had been felled by Bolton ‘keeper Andy Lonergan in the 55th minute. Bolton offered little in response and Manager, Dougie Freedman will be growing increasingly concerned by his team's slide towards the trapdoor to League One.

Wigan returned to winning ways after a stunning late comeback against Charlton, who are now without a win in 5. The Addicks took the lead after just 3 minutes, as Marvin Sordell burst clear and tucked the ball home above the oncoming Ali Al-Habsi. Charlton held on to the lead up until the 88th minute when Marc Antoine Fortune slid the ball home to equalise. However, Wigan managed to notch a winner in the 1st minute of stoppage time when Jordi Gomez curled a free kick around the wall that snuck in at the near post. Heartbreak for Charlton, remaining in the relegation places.

Blackpool suffered their 10th defeat in 12 games in a 2-0 loss away at Blackburn. Seasoned midfielder David Dunn broke the deadlock after 20 minutes, scoring with a lovely strike from the edge of the penalty area. In a game of few clear cut chances, it took until the 83rd minute for the home side to double their lead as Grant Hanley thumped a header past Matt Gilks. Blackburn are now just 5 points outside the play off places with Barry Ferguson's Seasiders continuing to slide in 15th.

The honours were even at the Keepmoat Stadium as Doncaster and Middlesbrough played out a drab 0-0 draw. The best chances fell to Donny's Chris Brown, but he was thwarted by Shay Given and had a shot cleared from the line in injury time. Doncaster are now 4 games unbeaten with ‘Boro sat comfortably in mid table.

In Sunday's fixtures, rearranged due to Nottingham Forest's 4-2 midweek win over Watford, it was Billy Davies' side that maintained their impressive unbeaten run notching a 3-1 victory over bottom side Yeovil. An own goal from Byron Webster put Forest ahead before Gary Johnson's Town equalised with a strike from Kieffer Moore. Simon Cox restored the lead just before half time. Yeovil desperately tried to get an equaliser but the game was put beyond them in stoppage time as Rafik Djebbour scored on debut.

Watford climbed to 13th place in the table in beating Brighton at Vicarage Road. Ikechi Anya scored after 13 minutes to put the Hornets ahead. Despite having most of the possession, Brighton struggled to create any good chances, Kazenga Lua Lua hitting the bar from range. Fernando Forestieri secured Watford only their 2nd league win since the end of October on the hour mark. Defeat leaves Brighton 9th and without a win in 3 games.

Next week's key fixture sees Derby host QPR on Monday night with a big game at the top and bottom of the league as Burnley host Milwall.
James Dean
A lover of football. Season ticket holder at Sheffield Wednesday and known as the "Andrea Pirlo of the North".

Total articles: 24

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