Brighton 1 Millwall 2
Trailing to Dean Hammond's early goal, David Tuttle, the Lions' caretaker manager, sent on three pacier half-time substitutes and Millwall staged a second-half recovery with goals by Ben May and Josh Simpson to earn three points in the relegation tussle. "We needed a change to get a result," Tuttle admitted, adding: "I wouldn't have taken the job if I didn't think we could stay up. The players showed that they are up for the fight."
Burnley 1 Sheffield Wed 2
Chris Eagles, on loan from Manchester United, and Graham Coughlan scored as struggling Wednesday won away from Hillsborough for only the second time this season. Eagles fired in from Chris Hills' cross in the fifth minute and Coughlan added the second, heading in Chris Brunt's corner. The Clarets were poor. "The pressure of not scoring goals has been on our heads. I'm glad we've got that out of the way," the Wednesday boss, Paul Sturrock, said, "and we soldier on to Crewe."
Crewe Alex 3 QPR 4
Clearly, none of the players at Gresty Road received a coaching manual for Christmas as solid defending was scorned in a goal spree that saw Crewe squander the lead twice to end the year bottom of the table, with 53 goals conceded in 27 matches. "A great advert for the League," Rangers' manager, Ian Holloway, glowed, "I was on the edge of my seat." "Basic errors costs us," his Crewe counterpart, Dario Gradi, said. "In this League that is tough to get away with."
Ipswich Town 1 Luton Town 0
When Kevin Nicholls, the Hatters' captain, fouled Jason De Vos on the edge of the box Ipswich substitute Ian Westlake curled a fine free-kick into the left-hand corner of the net as Ipswich ended their indifferent run. "A fantastic win," Ipswich manager Joe Royle said, "and no one can question the spirit in the team. Our crowd was quiet at times but there was no carping at the players. We need the crowd behind us because there will be better times to come."
Leeds Utd 2 Hull City 0
Jonathan Douglas scored on the stroke of half-time and added his second 12 minutes after the restart as Leeds' third win over the Christmas period consolidated third place. But can they catch the top two? "Anything is possible," Kevin Blackwell, Leeds' positive manager, said. "Since June, 12 new players have come in and it takes time to build, gel and have an understanding. I felt we would improve in the second half of the season after getting six months under our belt."
Leicester City 0 Norwich City 1
The Canaries' fifth consecutive win, courtesy of Paul McVeigh's crisp finish after Dickson Etuhu's clever through ball had set him free, made them one of five teams on 38 points, just a point outside the play-offs. Leicester, meanwhile, have not won for six matches and are a mere two points above the relegation zone. In an evenly contested game, Norwich carried the greater goal threat and were just about worth the narrow victory.
Preston 3 Coventry City 1
First-half goals from Adam Nowland, a Graham Alexander penalty and a Chris Sedgwick volley in time added on lifted North End closer to the play-offs after a 15-match unbeaten run. But they'll be losing on-loan Manchester United midfielder David Jones, who moves on loan to NEC Nijmegen in Holland, and may get offers for the highly prized striker David Nugent. "I hope the club will fight off any overtures from other clubs," his manager, Billy Davies, cautioned.
Wolves 1 Plymouth 1
Wolves dominated but, as ever, couldn't seal the win and drew for the 12th time this season. Argyle's Elliott Ward, on loan from West Ham, headed in; Colin Cameron made it 1-1 after a Kenny Miller pass. "We aren't clinical enough and I'm looking to bring in somebody up front," Glenn Hoddle, the Wolves manager, said. "Not that it is easy to bring in the quality that will make a difference with about £2 million, including wages."Reuse content