Championship round-up

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The Independent Football

Crystal Palace 1 Hull City 1

Ian Ashbee, the Hull captain, scored with a late near-post header to earn the Tigers the point that manager Phil Brown thinks has got "possibly six or seven teams" involved in the scrap to avoid relegation. "It is a big psychological boost for us," he added. Palace led early in the second half when midfielder Carl Fletcher scored with a shot from 30 yards, but their hopes of a starting late run into the play-offs were hit by Ashbee. "We did not play enough football," Peter Taylor, the Palace manager, lamented.

Luton Town 0 Barnsley 2

Goals by Brian Howard and Martin Devaney saw Barnsley earn three points in their fight against the drop, moving to within two points of Luton, who have been dragged into the relegation equation by a run of poor results. The Tykes, still in the bottom three, went ahead after seven minutes when Howard finished emphatically with his left foot. In the last minute, with the Hatters pressing, Devaney made it 2-0. Luton, who sold leading scorer Rowan Vine recently, were booed off. "We'll try and get another cutting edge," Luton's manager Mike Newell said.

QPR 0 Southampton 2

"Better late than never," George Burley, the Saints manager, said after goals in the final nine minutes by Grzegorz Rasiak, his 19th of the season, and a late Bradley Wright-Phillips strike, saw his side end a run of five draws in six matches to consolidate their top-six place. The Rangers goalkeeper Simon Royce seemed to be fouled as he went for a Gareth Bale cross and Rasiak poked in. Dexter Blackstock had a similar equaliser disallowed and Wright-Phillips scored on the break. QPR are a point above the relegation zone.

Sheffield Wed 2 Sunderland 4

Manager Roy Keane was not impressed by his side's win which lifts them to seventh, kept out of the top six on goal difference only. With 10 minutes left they led 3-0, Dwight Yorke, Tobias Hysen and David Connolly on target, but the Owls' scored twice in five minutes through Chris Brunt and Wade Small to cause Keane's men much anxiety. Carlos Edwards settled it with Sunderland's fourth a minute from the end of normal time. "We got away with it," Keane acknowledged. "It was a good result but the performance was disappointing."

Southend Utd 0 Derby County 1

The Rams went three points clear at the top of the table after this narrow win over the bottom club thanks to Steve Howard's goal just after the half-hour. Howard hit a post with a 27th-minute angled shot, and four minutes later the striker flung himself at a corner to score his 12th goal of the season. Billy Davies, the Rams manager, was sent to the stands. "I knew I was in for a difficult afternoon," he said of the fourth official. "I can't deny using foul and abusive language but I will be doing all I can to put a complaint in."

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