Championship round-up: Burnley edge closer to promotion with victory over Barnsley

 

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The Independent Online

Ashley Barnes headed only his second goal for Burnley to edge the Lancashire club one step closer to automatic promotion to the Premier League with a 1-0 win at Barnsley.

The striker, a January transfer-window signing from Brighton, was first to latch on to Michael Kightley's cross in the seventh minute and steered his header into the top right-hand corner.

It was one of few clear-cut chances in the Clarets' victory and dealt the home side's Championship survival chances a huge blow.

Burnley can seal promotion on Saturday if they beat Middlesbrough and Derby lose at home to Huddersfield. County went third with a 3-1 win at Blackpool, overtaking QPR, whose poor recent form continued with a 2-0 defeat at Blackburn.

Middlesbrough could still gatecrash the play-off places after their nine men claimed a 3-1 victory over Birmingham at the Riverside Stadium.

It will be a tall order for Boro, who had two players sent off, to catch sixth-placed Reading – eight points away following their defeat at Bournemouth – but the Teessiders are hitting form at the right time.

Bournemouth proved their play-off credentials with a devastating attacking display to cut the gap on sixth-placed Reading to just two points.

Brighton pulled off the surprise of the night to enhance their play-off hopes, winning 4-1 at the leaders Leicester, who had an off night having already secured promotion to the Premier League.

With the Latics having the small matter of an FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal to look forward to this weekend, Ian Holloway's men took full advantage to hand Uwe's Rösler his first home defeat in the DW hot seat.

Charlton claimed an all-important win to boost their fight against relegation from the Sky Bet Championship against rivals Yeovil at the Valley. Astrit Ajdarevic, Dorian Dervite and Marvin Sordell scored for Jose Riga's struggling side.

PA

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