Leicester, Burnley stay on course for promotion

01 March 2014 07:16

Championship leaders Leicester and second placed Burnley moved a step closer to the Premier League with a pair of significant wins on Saturday.

Nigel Pearson's Leicester cruised to a 3-0 home win over struggling Charlton and are now 13 points clear of third placed Derby in the race for automatic promotion.

Burnley enjoyed an even more vital victory at Turf Moor as Sean Dyche's team defeated 10-man Derby 2-0 to open up a five-point lead over the Rams with 13 games remaining.

At the King Power Stadium, Jamie Vardy gave Leicester a ninth-minute lead and further goals from Danny Drinkwater and David Nugent in the 48th and 64th minutes sealed the points.

It was the first time Leicester had beaten Charlton in 11 league meetings in the last 14 years and extended the Foxes' unbeaten run to 14 games.

"On today's performance we played very well and showed that, as the side leading the table, we deserve to be there. But we have got 13 more games to go and 39 points to play for," Pearson said.

"We may still get set-backs but I would rather be in the position we are in than third and trying to ease a way into the top two."

Goals from David Jones and Dean Marney were enough for Burnley to see off promotion rivals Derby in one of the biggest matches of the season in the second tier.

Former Rams midfielder Jones struck in the 29th minute and Derby had striker Chris Martin controversially sent off just before half-time.

Martin received a second booking for a dive in the penalty box, much to the anger of Derby manager Steve McClaren and his players.

Marney netted the second goal for Burnley in the 68th minute to kill off the contest.

"I thought in the first half we were very good again, there was a real quality feel about us as a side. We shifted the ball well and created chances," Dyche said.

Fourth placed QPR are nine points adrift of the automatic promotion places after being held to a 1-1 draw by Leeds at Loftus Road.

Harry Redknapp's side needed a Jermaine Jenas goal to rescue a point, but the pre-season promotion favourites have now gone five matches without a win.

- Blown away by Wigan -

Wigan enhanced their hopes of securing a play-off place, while dealing a huge blow to Nottingham Forest's chances of challenging for automatic promotion as Uwe Rosler's side cruised to a 4-1 win at the City Ground.

Martyn Waghorn put the sixth placed visitors in the lead in the first half before setting up a goal for Emmerson Boyce in the second, after Jamie Paterson had equalised.

James McArthur and Jordi Gomez added fine strikes to wrap up the win for the FA Cup holders.

Reading's chances of earning a play-off place were dented as they were held to a 1-1 draw by eight-man Yeovil at the Madejski Stadium.

Yeovil went ahead in the first half through a Shane Duffy header but then had Byron Webster, Joe Ralls and Kieffer Moore sent off after the break.

Webster went first, for conceding a penalty, but Adam Le Fondre missed the spot-kick. Goalkeeper Marek Stech saved it but was then credited with an own goal in the resulting goalmouth scramble.

Ralls and Moore also saw red but second bottom Yeovil somehow held on.

Elsewhere, Watford crushed Blackpool 4-0, Brighton won 1-0 at Millwall and Sheffield Wednesday defeated Middlesbrough 1-0.

Huddersfield demolished bottom of the table Barnsley 5-0, Bournemouth routed Doncaster 5-0, Bolton beat Blackburn 4-0 and Ipswich defeated Birmingham 1-0.

Source: AFP