Weekend brings changes at top and bottom
The first games over the Easter weekend saw Southampton and Reading both holding top place in the league whilst Coventry City dropped back into the bottom three after a week away as Bristol City won at Nottingham Forest.
The promotion race has become an intriguing one after weeks of thinking that Southampton and West Ham had it wrapped up and it was just a case of which of the two finished as champions. That change has come about because of an amazing run from Reading that has now become 12 wins in 14 games, or 37 points out of 42.
They were no more than potential play off candidates but now look a very good bet to go up automatically. The shock of losing to Peterborough almost three weeks ago is forgotten as they've followed it up with wins against Blackpool, West Ham and Leeds.
The recent win against Leeds, played on Good Friday, saw them go top of the league for the first time all season. The lead lasted just a day when Southampton went back to the top but they could only draw in the Hampshire derby against Portsmouth and so their lead is now only goal difference with the two teams to meet next weekend. Who would bet against Reading?
West Ham are now four points behind them both and they can now only hope there is a positive result in that top two clash with the losers also dropping points elsewhere. The pressure is beginning to tell at the Boleyn where Sam Allardyce is feeling the pressure and has accused the bubble blowing Hammers fans of talking bollocks.
Birmingham, Blackpool and Cardiff, all winners, hold the other three play off places and they can all thank Burnley for that after we defeated the distasteful Brighton. Whoever is going to go up, for the sake of the game of football, we can only hope it isn't Brighton.
Middlesbrough are probably now the only club who are likely to break into that top six. Leicester have got within four points but Hull have just about blown their chances. They looked odds on for a top six place but one win in twelve has almost ended any hopes they had.
Down at the bottom, Doncaster lost and Portsmouth drew. They both look as though they are likely to go down now but Coventry, who had escaped that bottom three, are back in there despite getting a point against Peterborough.
That's because of Bristol City's somewhat fortunate win at Nottingham Forest with the only goal coming from the penalty spot. It was their only shot on target in the entire game and whilst giving them a good chance now of staying up it has also dropped Forest and Millwall right back into it.
Easter means more games and over the next two days, Monday and Tuesday, all the teams will play again. The big game is down at the bottom with Bristol City entertaining Coventry. A home win will make it very difficult for the Sky Blues to stay up.
The results from the weekend along with the stats, the leading goalscorers, the disciplinary records of each club, the highest and lowest attendances and the next fixtures are all below.The Week's Results Tuesday 3rd April Burnley 1 Birmingham City 3 Friday 6th April Barnsley 0 West Ham United 4 Reading 2 Leeds United 0 Burnley 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Watford 0 Blackpool 2 Saturday 7th April Birmingham City 3 Crystal Palace 1 Middlesbrough 0 Cardiff City 2 Coventry City 2 Peterborough United 2 Millwall 2 Hull City 0 Derby County 0 Ipswich Town 0 Nottingham Forest 0 Bristol City 0 Leicester City 4 Doncaster Rovers 0 Southampton 2 Portsmouth 2
The Week's Stats Biggest Win Leicester City 4-0 v Doncaster Rovers (home)West Ham United v Barnsley (away) Total Goals Scored 33 (17 home - 16 away)
Player Scoring Most Goals
2Stephen Dobbie (Blackpool)Adam Le Fondre (Reading)Billy Sharp (Southampton)Emile Sinclair (Peterborough United) Highest Attendance 31,743 - Southampton v Portsmouth Lowest Attendance 11,151 - Barnsley v West Ham United Total Yellow Cards 45 Total Red Cards 1 Most Cards in a Game Burnley v Brighton & Hove Albion (7Y) Ref: Carl BoyesonSouthampton v Portsmouth (7Y) Ref: Neil Swarbrick
Leading Goalscorers (League Only) 24 Rickie Lambert (Southampton) - includes 9 penalties 16 Ross McCormack (Leeds United) 15 Darius Henderson (Millwall) - includes 2 penaltiesKevin Phillips (Blackpool)Jay Rodriguez (Burnley) - includes 3 penaltiesBilly Sharp (Southampton) - includes 1 penalty (10 with Doncaster Rovers)Ricardo Vaz Te (West Ham United) - (10 with Barnsley) 14 Charlie Austin (Burnley)Michael Chopra (Ipswich Town)Marlon King (Birmingham City) - includes 2 penaltiesDavid Nugent (Leicester City) 13 Robert Snodgrass (Leeds United) - includes 2 penalties 12 Marvin Emnes (Middlesbrough)Matty Fryatt (Hull City) - includes 1 penalty 11 Craig Davies (Barnsley) - includes 1 penaltyLukas Jutkiewicz (Middlesbrough) - includes 1 penalty - (9 with Coventry City)Kevin Nolan (West Ham United)Paul Taylor (Peterborough United)Pete Whittingham (Cardiff City) - includes 3 penaltiesChris Wood (Bristol City) - includes 1 penalty - (9 with Birmingham City)
Hat Tricks Date Player & Game 20/08/11 3: Lee Tomlin - PETERBOROUGH UNITED v Ipswich Town 10/09/11 3: Rickie Lambert - SOUTHAMPTON v Nottingham Forest 11/09/11 3: Chris Wood - BIRMINGHAM CITY v Millwall 12/10/11 3: Darius Henderson - Leicester City v MILLWALL 02/11/11 3: Jonjo Shelvey - Leeds United v BLACKPOOL 19/11/11 3: Rickie Lambert - SOUTHAMPTON v Brighton & Hove Albion 26/12/11 3: Matthew Phillips - Barnsley v BLACKPOOL 31/12/11 3: Ricardo Vaz Te - BARNSLEY v Leeds United 21/01/12 3: Darius Henderson - Barnsley v MILLWALL 31/01/12 4: Nikola Zigic - Leeds United v BIRMINGHAM CITY 26/02/12 3: Rickie Lambert - Watford v SOUTHAMPTON 17/03/12 3: Rickie Lambert - Millwall v SOUTHAMPTON 20/03/12 4: Garath McCleary - Leeds United v NOTTINGHAM FOREST 31/03/12 3: Radi Majewski - Crystal Palace v NOTTINGHAM FOREST 31/03/12 3: Charlie Austin - Portsmouth v BURNLEY
Disciplinary Record (League and Cup) Club Y R Y R Club Y R Y R League Total League Total Barnsley 55 2 58 2 Ipswich Town 52 5 53 5 Birmingham City 54 3 59 3 Leeds United 67 7 73 7 Blackpool 50 1 53 2 Leicester City 57 9 65 9 Brighton and Hove Albion 85 8 99 8 Middlesbrough 71 7 74 7 Bristol City 74 6 76 6 Millwall 70 2 77 2 Burnley 64 2 72 2 Nottingham Forest 57 4 62 4 Cardiff City 50 0 66 0 Peterborough United 48 2 51 2 Coventry City 52 2 54 2 Portsmouth 71 4 78 4 Crystal Palace 52 2 56 3 Reading 53 0 56 0 Derby County 54 1 54 1 Southampton 49 4 52 4 Doncaster Rovers 68 2 70 2 Watford 58 2 60 2 Hull City 64 1 69 1 West Ham United 60 6 62 7
Highest and Lowest Attendances Highest Lowest Att Fixture Att Fixture 34,936 West Ham United v Coventry City (02/01) 6,351 Peterborough United v Cardiff City (18/10) 34,900 West Ham United v Crystal Palace (25/02) 6,392 Peterborough United v Millwall (06/03) 34,749 West Ham United v Barnsley (17/12) 6,717 Peterborough United v Reading (20/03) 34,650 West Ham United v Doncaster Rovers (10/03) 7,004 Peterborough United v Bristol City (18/02) 33,465 West Ham United v Portsmouth (10/09) 7,540 Peterborough United v Blackpool (10/03) 33,366 Leeds United v West Ham United (17/03) 7,555 Peterborough United v Portsmouth (28/01) 33,350 West Ham United v Reading (31/03) 7,572 Doncaster Rovers v Millwall (20/03) 33,010 Derby County v Southampton (15/10) 7,650 Doncaster Rovers v Watford (26/11) 33,010 Derby County v Leeds United (26/12) 7,778 Doncaster Rovers v Bristol City (27/08) 33,010 Derby County v Nottingham Forest (17/03) 7,901 Peterborough United v Burnley (17/09)
The Next Fixtures Monday 9th April Blackpool v Barnsley Hull City v Middlesbrough Bristol City v Coventry City Ipswich v Leicester City Cardiff City v Watford Leeds United v Derby County Crystal Palace v Southampton Peterborough United v Nottingham Forest Doncaster Rovers v Burnley West Ham United v Birmingham City (17:20) Tuesday 10th April Brighton & Hove Albion v Reading Portsmouth v Millwall
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