Championship round-up: Ex-Cork City players earn win for Preston, wins for Villa and Cardiff

Two former Cork City players gave Preston North End a victory tonight in the Championship.

Sean Maguire came off the bench to secure victory for Preston for the second game in a row as they moved to within one point of the Championship play-offs by beating Bristol City 2-1 at Deepdale.

Maguire struck twice against Bolton on Saturday and scored within five minutes of coming on to move the Lilywhites level on points with City, who had Aden Flint sent off late on and have now lost five successive league games against Preston.

Alan Browne had given the hosts the half-time lead before Famara Diedhiou levelled up for the Robins.

Birmingham's new manager Garry Monk was shown the size of the task facing him as his former club Middlesbrough inflicted Blues' sixth successive Championship defeat.

The rejuvenated Patrick Bamford, who struggled to make any sort of impact while Monk was at Boro, continued his scorching run of form with his seventh goal in the last four games to seal a 1-0 win for the Teessiders.

Massimo Luongo's late header rescued a point for QPR in a 1-1 draw at Loftus Road and extended Derby's winless run to six matches.

Andreas Weimann's goal seven minutes before half-time looked like getting the Rams' faltering promotion challenge back on track - but they switched off with three minutes to go, enabling Luongo to nod home Luke Freeman's left-wing free-kick.

Weimann's goal was brilliantly set up by Kasey Palmer. The on-loan Chelsea youngster turned away from Josh Scowen and went past Luongo before threading the ball through to Weimann, who fired past goalkeeper Alex Smithies.

Aston Villa kept up the pressure on Wolves and Cardiff City in the Championship's automatic promotion places as they cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win over sorry Sunderland.

Steve Bruce enjoyed a successful return to the Stadium of Light as goals from Lewis Grabban and James Chester and a Bryan Oviedo own goal kept Villa in third position.

Sunderland's defeat keeps them rooted to the foot of the table, four points adrift of safety, and means they now have just 10 matches to save their Championship status. On this evidence, there is precious little chance of that happening.

Martyn Waghorn scored both goals for Ipswich as they won 2-1 at Sheffield Wednesday, who have now lost their last five matches.

Waghorn put Ipswich in front early in the second half before Lucas Joao, who had joined the action at the start of the second half, scored an impressive equaliser.

Waghorn's superb free-kick late on sealed victory for Mick McCarthy's men.

Norwich shared the spoils for the fifth Championship match running as they were held to a frustrating goalless draw by a determined Nottingham Forest side.

The Canaries had the better of it at Carrow Road, but were unable to take the chances that came their way, with star man James Maddison wasting the best of them when he blazed over early in the second half.

Forest only threatened occasionally, but will be have been delighted to have come away with a hard-earned point that maintained their recent improvement under Aitor Karanka.

Cardiff moved to within three points of sky Bet Championship leaders Wolves after they held on to earn a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Barnsley.

Callum Paterson netted his second goal against the Tykes this season before Marko Grujic fired in from long-range to all but guarantee the Bluebirds' fifth successive victory.

However, Swansea loanee Oli McBurnie scored his fourth goal in three matches for Barnsley to make for a nervous finale at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Neil Warnock's men held on to earn a vital win to heap the pressure on Wolves, who had led the league by 13 points in February.

Fulham continued their relentless pursuit of automatic promotion places as Aleksandar Mitrovic's double inspired an imperious 3-0 win over Sheffield United.

Mitrovic crashed in his fourth and fifth goals since joining on loan from Newcastle and Tom Cairney added a third after the break as the Cottagers posted an 11th win out of 14 games and ninth in a row at home.

That run has catapulted Slavisa Jokanovic's men into the hunt for the top two and they trail second-placed Cardiff by only five points, with nobody in English football taking more points than Fulham in the last 10 games.

Millwall recorded a fifth straight away win in the Championship with a 2-1 victory at Hull.

George Saville scored after just 51 seconds and Jake Cooper added a second before half-time, but the visitors were made to sweat after the returning Abel Hernandez pulled one back with 11 minutes left.

The Lions held on to extend their unbeaten league run to 10 games and hand Nigel Adkins a first home defeat in charge of Hull.

Championship strugglers Reading and Bolton shared an uninspiring 1-1 draw at Madejski Stadium that does little to ease either side's relegation fears.

Reading, now without a win in eight home matches, went ahead shortly after the half-hour mark through Mo Barrow.

But Bolton, who had the better scoring chances throughout, drew level just before the interval when former Reading striker Adam Le Fondre slotted home.

An own goal from skipper Kyle McFadzean was the catalyst as Burton lost 2-0 to Brentford to make it 14 home games without a win at the Pirelli Stadium.

The Albion centre-back could do nothing as Ollie Watkins' drilled cross cannoned off him and flew into the Burton goal on the hour mark.

Watkins then sealed victory with a second with 10 minutes remaining, working room to run across the edge of the box before firing a low shot just inside the post with Burton keeper Stephen Bywater unsighted.

KEYWORDS: soccer

 

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