Championship round-up: Bothroyd saves point for off-song Bluebirds

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The Independent Football

Cardiff City missed the chance to return to the top of the Championship when they drew 1-1 at Reading, but were mighty relieved with the point after a controversial late equaliser.

Jay Bothroyd, the League's top-scoer, was adjudged to have scored in the 77th minute when his 25-yard shot rebounded of the underside of the bar. Yet the replays showed the ball had not crossed the line. The Reading players were furious and surrounded the referee, Andy D'Urso, at the final whistle. Noel Hunt had given them the advantage in the fifth minute.

As it proved, Cardiff were actually able to lengthen their lead over Swansea, their neighbours in third place, to four points. Their fellow Welshmen lost for this first time in seven League games courtesy of a sixth-minute strike from Bristol City's Jon Stead at the Liberty Stadium.

It was the first time the Swans defence had been breached in more than six hours. Jamal Campbell-Ryce set up the goal when his shot was kept out by Dour de Vries. However, the goalkeeper's save was in vain as Stead, the former Blackburn striker, followed up.

Bristol City's rise out of the relegation zone capped an interesting night at the bottom of the Championship. Steve Howard scored a late penalty to rescue a point for Leicester. Sheffield United, who are also involved in the basement battle, must have believed they had secured all three points as they went into injury time 2-1 to the good after a Mark Yeates double negated an early Paul Gallagher strike.

It meant that Hull City found themselves in the bottom three, although there was reason for optimism at the KC Stadium. The East Yorkshire businessman Assem Allam and his son Ehab have confirmed their takeover, subject to due diligence. They have pledged to take over the club's debts, believed to be around £20million, and make funds available to manager Nigel Pearson in the January transfer window. The club have yet to confirm the deal but a statement from the Allams read: "Businessmen Assem and Ehab Allam have agreed a Heads of Terms arrangement with Hull City owner Russell Bartlett to take a controlling interest in the club.

"The deal was reached at 7pm last night [Tuesday] after several weeks of negotiations, leaving only the legal processes to be completed by the end of November." Allam Sr later told the BBC that he expects the legal process to take up to three weeks.

City have won just three of their first 16 League games under Nigel Pearson's stewardship, leading to speculation in some quarters over the manager's future, but Allam added: "He's safe, but this is a decision for other people."

Allam left his native Egypt in 1968 after speaking out against dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser's regime and studied economics at the University Of Hull before working for local company Tempest Diesel as an accountant, buying it out in 1981 and renaming it Allam Marine. The company's turnover reached £116mi last year and Allam's fortune is estimated at £150m.

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