Championship Round-Up

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The Independent Football

Hull 1 Crystal Palace 2

Palace's sixth consecutive win, thanks to a strike by Darren Ward and an own goal deflected in off the Tigers centre-back Leon Cort from Wayne Andrews' teasing cross, kept Iain Dowie's fifth-placed side on the trail of an automatic promotion place. "We've got to go on a hell of a run and win as many games as we can," Dowie said, "but I'm not one for seeing how others are doing. We've just to keep our form up." Jon Parkin, making his Hull debut after signing from Macclesfield, pulled one back a minute after Palace had taken a 2-0 lead, but the Londoners withstood the Tigers' second-half pressure with solid defending. Hull have lost four on the trot.

Brighton 2 Leeds Utd 1

Paul Reid was at the centre of all three goals as the Seagulls eased out of the bottom three by beating third-placed Leeds. Brighton went ahead in the 10th minute through Reid, but Leeds levelled in the 38th when Reid's foul on Eddie Lewis gave Robbie Blake a chance from the penalty spot. But Reid wasn't to be denied - Gary Hart's late winner came from his cross.

Cardiff City 3 Burnley 0

Two goals on his Bluebirds debut by the former Rangers striker Steve Thompson and a third by midfielder Jason Koumas - all three coming in a blistering five-minute spell early in the second half - earned Cardiff the win over their play-off rivals and lifted Dave Jones' men above the Clarets and into eighth position.

Derby County 5 Crewe Alex 1

As the Derby goals went in (Paul Peschisolido, Michael Johnson, two by Tommy Smith and a final strike for Inigo Idiakez), the Rams fans chanted "Sack the board!" No, it was not irony. "Since I arrived at the club, I've learned there's an awful lot of politics here," County manager Phil Brown said. The board's lack of investment in players is the root of supporters' ire.

Plymouth 1 Norwich City 1

Argyle led through Simon Charlton's first-half own goal, but three minutes into the second half Darren Huckerby levelled. Afterwards the talk was of transfers. "We are not of the mind to sell players," Nigel Worthington, the Canaries manager, said, with striker Dean Ashton in mind. "I don't want to sell, the board does not want to sell."

Watford 1 Stoke City 0

Fourth-placed Watford had a second-half strike from Chris Eagles, on loan from Manchester United, to thank for this hard-fought win. Marlon King's flick-on found Darius Henderson, who fed Eagles. His angled drive settled the match. "Chris did very well, and he is a better player than he was during his first loan spell with us," Adrian Boothroyd, the Hornets manager, said. "He seems more confident and more disciplined. He will be an integral part of what we are trying to do." Gerry Taggart, the Stoke player-coach and no stranger to red cards as a defender, had a row with referee Phil Crossley on the touchline and was sent to the stands. "He grabbed Gerry by the arm!" the Stoke boss, Johan Boskamp, said.

Preston NE 2 Millwall 0

Preston took their unbeaten run to 18 matches and moved back into the top six thanks to goals by Patrick Agyemang, who scored two minutes before the break, set up by Chris Sedgwick and Brian Stock, making an impressive debut after his transfer from Bournemouth, and Claude Davis's strike six minutes after the restart. For the Lions, previously unbeaten in five, it was a step back.

Sheffield Wed 2 Leicester City 1

Leicester's tremendous second-half FA Cup recovery to beat Spurs last week was short-lived as the Owls came from behind to win the 100th meeting between the clubs. Richard Stearman gave Craig Levein's side an early lead, but Chris Brunt's seventh goal of the season and a Graham Coughlan header won it for Wednesday. Leicester, no League win in 18 games, are in the bottom three.

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