Cardiff remain clear at summit

05 March 2013 10:47

Cardiff maintained their five-point lead at the top of the npower Championship despite being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Derby.

The Rams looked to be on course for a surprise win at the Cardiff City Stadium when Conor Sammon hit the opening goal 15 minutes from time. The leaders were coming off the back of a 2-1 defeat to Middlesbrough and could ill-afford to give away any more of their advantage at the summit, and duly defended the cushion they enjoyed at kick-off after Craig Noone struck an 82nd-minute equaliser.

Watford are now the Bluebirds' nearest challengers after a 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday. The hosts fell behind at Vicarage Road to Michail Antonio's 19th-minute strike, but despite dominating much of the opening half Wednesday failed to press home their advantage and Fernando Forestieri's second-half brace sealed the win for Hornets.

Kevin Phillips rolled back the years with a hat-trick as Crystal Palace put a huge dent in Hull's aspirations with a 4-2 win at Selhurst Park.

After Phillips' treble, Jay Simpson pulled one back for the visitors before Wilfried Zaha restored Palace's three-goal cushion, while David Meyler bagged another for Hull late on. Palace, who also saw a Glenn Murray penalty saved by David Stockdale in the first half, remain in fourth but are now just a point behind Hull, who slip a place behind Watford.

Dean Saunders finally tasted victory as Wolves manager at the 10th attempt after a 2-0 win at Millwall, who have now lost seven of their last eight league games. David Edwards fired the visitors in front after nine minutes and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake added a superb second just after an hour as Wolves climbed out of the bottom three.

Leicester's push for the play-offs stuttered in a 1-1 draw at home to Leeds, although the hosts will be grateful for the point after needing Michael Keane's 93rd-minute header to rescue a point after Samuel Byram had looked to have won it for United.

Nottingham Forest needed a late goal to see off nine-man Ipswich 1-0 at the City Ground. In a match played out in thick fog, the visitors did themselves no favours as they lost Lee Martin to a red card shortly before half-time. Richard Stearman likewise saw red in the 70th minute and the Tractor Boys were finally punished six minutes from the end as Lewis McGugan fired home.

The Lancashire derby went in Bolton's favour as Chris Eagles' injury-time effort condemned Blackburn to a 1-0 defeat at the Reebok Stadium. Peterborough remain in the relegation zone after being held to a 2-2 draw by Charlton at London Road.

Birmingham were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Blackpool, Huddersfield came from a goal down to defeat Middlesbrough 2-1. Barnsley dropped into the bottom three despite a 1-1 draw at Burnley and the match between bottom side Bristol City and play-off chasing Brighton finished goalless.

Source: PA