Championship Round-Up

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The Independent Football

Leeds Utd 2 Leicester City 1

This hard-fought fourth successive win lifted Leeds to third-place. They got their noses in front four minutes before half-time, David Healy emphatically thumping in a free-kick. Leicester equalised when Rob Hulse clumsily fouled Joey Gudjonsson and the Icelandic midfielder coolly scored the 69th-minute spot-kick. Parity lasted four minutes, Matthew Kilgallon fired in, from an offside position Leicester's Patrick McCarthy thought and was sent off for foul and abusive language. The Leeds coach, John Carver, called the match a "spectacular advertisement for the Championship." "On another day we would have won it," Craig Levein said of his unlucky Leicester side.

Coventry City 3 Plymouth Argyle 1

Trailing 1-0 to David Norris's 25th-minute 25-yard drive, the Sky Blues manager, Micky Adams, made three first-half substitutions and Coventry romped to victory with goals by Andy Morrell, Don Hutchison and Gary McSheffrey. "After the substitutions I felt we grew," Adams said. "The crowd had half-turned on us, that was the only way we could respond."

Crewe Alexandra 0 Preston North End 2

Crewe's troubles deepened as Preston punished the league's leakiest defence with two first-half goals by Callum Davidson and Adam Nowland, his first for Preston, who move up to sixth. "Things just went from bad to worse for us," Dario Gradi, Crewe's despondent manager, said. "At times we played like a bunch of losers."

Derby County 2 Norwich City 0

Two goals by centre-back Andrew Davies, on loan from Middlesbrough, won the match between two underperforming teams who many thought would be pressing for a play-off berth. Norwich's boss, Nigel Worthington, thinks "some players' heads are still in the Premiership when they should be rolling their sleeves up and working hard in the Championship."

Hull City 2 Cardiff City 0

Darren Purse returned to the Cardiff defence after suspension. It was a brief reappearance - he was sent off in the 68th minute after a second booking, and the match turned Hull's way. Billy Paynter, the former Port Vale striker, scored with 20 minutes left and Craig Fagan, Purse's tormentor, got the second with two minutes left.

Ipswich Town 1 Wolves 1

Glenn Hoddle spent his 50th match in charge of Wolves as he had so many of the previous games: presiding over a draw. They went ahead when a Colin Cameron shot deflected off Jason De Vos and looped over Lewis Price, the stranded Ipswich goalkeeper. Ipswich equalised when Nicky Forster was adjudged to have been brought down by Hungarian defender Gabor Gyepes. Matt Richards scored the penalty. Wolves' Ki-Hyeon Seol skied over the bar from four yards. "When you miss from that close it is unacceptable at this level," a frustrated Hoddle said. "We play some lovely football and dominate teams away from home but we lack quality when finishing. It's as simple as that."

Stoke City 1 QPR 2

Goals by Paul Furlong and a Richard Langley penalty sandwiched Sambegou Bangoura's equaliser, but there was an ugly mêlée at the end of the match when two Stoke fans ran on to the pitch and appeared to assault the Rangers keeper, Simon Royce. Players went to his aid but seemed to start scrapping among themselves in the goal-net. Two local men have been arrested.

Watford 1 Brighton 1

Watford went ahead through Marlon King, who eluded his marker to scored with a low shot, but Brighton earned their 12th draw of the season when Guy Butters headed in and the Hornets slipped to fourth. "Absolutely average," their manager, Adrian Boothroyd, said. "My lads have a decision to make - do they want to be serious contenders or play like that and be mediocre?"

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