Championship round-up: Burnley maintain gap to rampant Derby as they keep the pressure on leaders Leicester

Foxes could only draw at Blackburn with Burnley now five points  off top spot

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The Independent Football

Derby took an important step towards securing a Sky Bet Championship play-off place as Craig Bryson's hat-trick inspired the Rams to a thumping 5-0 win over arch-rivals Nottingham Forest.

Bryson grabbed the opening two goals before Jeff Hendrick sent Derby into half-time 3-0 ahead.

Johnny Russell added a fourth before Bryson completed the rout, and his hat-trick, from the penalty spot on 69 minutes.

Derby's win kept their slim automatic promotion bid alive, while also dropping Forest out of the play-off places as they went an eighth games without victory.

Reading profited on Forest's latest slip with a 2-1 win at Birmingham enough to move them up to sixth.

Jobi McAnuff's opener was quickly cancelled out by Paul Caddis penalty, but the Royals winger snatched the win eight minutes from the end.

Leaders Leicester drew 1-1 at Blackburn to end a four-game winning run. Jamie Vardy gave the Foxes the lead only for Matthew Kilgallon to level on 43 minutes.

Second-placed Burnley maintained a 10-point lead over Derby, in the race for automatic promotion, as they brushed aside relegation-threatened Charlton 3-0 at The Valley.

Ashley Barnes' first-half opener was followed by a Sam Vokes penalty and a late Michael Kightly strike.