Championship Round-Up

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The Independent Football

Cardiff City 0 Norwich City 1

Robert Earnshaw started his League career at Cardiff City and returned with Norwich to score his 10th goal of the season as the Canaries won away for the first time in nine matches. "I wanted to pay the fans a little respect so that is why I didn't do a somersault celebration," the Welsh international striker said. "It was probably my best goal so far for Norwich but it happened so quickly I will have to see it again."

Hull City 1 Preston NE 1

Resting five players as their minds turned to the play-offs, Billy Davies' Preston went ahead just after the half-hour through Simon Whaley. Two minutes before the break, Preston defender Youl Mawene scored an own goal to level. "We've got one or two guys [Marcus Stewart and Brett Ormerod] coming back at the right time," Davies said. "The most important thing is that we're in the play-offs. We don't mind who we get."

Ipswich Town 2 Derby County 0

This really did feel like the penultimate match of a long season in which both sides have underperformed. But after a desultory first half, Ipswich roused themselves and took the lead in the 46th minute, Nicky Forster scoring his third goal in three games. Just after the hour the Ipswich winger Darren Currie wrapped it up. Derby will end the season having not won away since November.

Leeds Utd 1 Crewe Alex 0

Leeds limbered up for the play-offs with this win over relegated Crewe, David Healy heading the only goal. Substitute Steve Stone came on for his first Leeds game eight months after he joined from Portsmouth, having snapped an Achilles tendon in training before playing a match. "Straight away he showed his quality," manager Kevin Blackwell said. "It's a good time for him to show us he can perform with the play-offs coming up."

Leicester City 1 Plymouth 0

Leicester's winner against stubborn Argyle came after 55 minutes when Andrew Welsh crossed and Matty Fryatt headed in his sixth goal since arriving from Walsall, a snip at £350,000. "Matty has identified heading as one of his weaknesses and he's now working so hard in training to improve on that," his manager, Rob Kelly, said. "He's out there all hours, never mind the weather, to get it right." Seems it paid off.

Luton Town 1 Sheffield Utd 1

The Hatters' Rowan Vine had already fired a penalty over the bar when Ahmet Brkovic headed in at the far post after 72 minutes, his eighth goal of the season. In injury time, Steve Howard, a stand-in centre-back, gave away a free-kick. Michael Tonge equalised. "I know Sheffield United are promoted and might have taken their foot off the gas, but we had them beaten. It's very frustrating," Luton boss Mike Newell said.

Millwall 1 Burnley 0

Relegated Millwall won when a weak back-header by Burnley's James O'Connor to Brian Jensen was intercepted by Marvin Williams who tucked away his fifth goal of the season. Steve Cotterill, the Clarets manager, was incensed. "We've been on a good run but you wouldn't have thought it looking at that. It took seven hours to get here on Friday and it looked like it was going to take us seven hours to get going."

Sheffield Wed 1 Reading 1

Champions Reading can still break Sunderland's record total of 105 points at this level if they win their final match, at home to QPR. "The record is important but for me the main thing is our unbeaten run," Royals' assistant manager Kevin Dillon said. "We've only lost once away and once at home this season." They led through Dave Kitson but with Owls manager Paul Sturrock in a kilt - his side of a bet if the team stayed up - Wednesday levelled thanks to Steve MacLean's calm penalty kick.

Stoke City 0 Coventry City 1

The Potters' 11th defeat at home - Dele Adebola scored five minutes from the end as the Sky Blues won away for only the fourth time this season - was overshadowed by speculation about the future of manager Johan Boskamp, who'd wanted a two-year contract. "I would be disappointed to leave Stoke because I do want to stay," he said. "As things stand I will be going to my home in Belgium on May 2, it very much looks as though that will happen."

Wolves 1 Brighton 0

Kenny Miller returned from suspension to score a 31st-minute penalty as Wolves beat relegated Brighton against a background of chants against the board and manager Glenn Hoddle. "I think the reaction would have been the same had we reached the play-off final and lost. That's the frustration at not being in the Premiership."

Paul Ince, their 38-year-old midfielder, put retirement plans on ice to pledge: "If the club wants me to then I am fully prepared to give it another year." But in what role?