Chris Kirkland showed the form that won him England recognition as the goalkeeper inspired Sheffield Wednesday to a shock 4-2 win at Bournemouth on Friday, harming the Cherries’ hopes of reaching the Championship play-off places.
Wednesday twice took the lead in the first half. First Atdhe Nuhiu took advantage of poor defending by Steve Cook after 16 minutes to fire home from the edge of the penalty area. Bournemouth drew level on 31 minutes when Lewis Grabban sprinted past three defenders before crossing for Marc Pugh to head in.
But three minutes later Chelsea loanee Sam Hutchinson, who was later sent off, headed Wednesday back in front with his first goal for the club after a long throw from Michail Antonio had caused confusion in the box.
The in-form Yann Kermorgant headed Bournemouth back on terms for a second time on 58 minutes from Ian Harte’s corner, and Wednesday were forced to see out the final 27 minutes a man light after Hutchinson was shown a second yellow card for a late lunge on Kermorgant.
Leon Best put Wednesday back in front in the 87th minute, tucking home the rebound after Michail Antonio hit the crossbar at the end of a fine solo run.
And Chris Maguire made sure of the three points in stoppage time, tapping in Best’s centre from six yards as Bournemouth were caught out pushing for an equaliser.
Defender Bruno Saltor rescued a point for play-off chasing Brighton & Hove Albion late on at the John Smith’s Stadium with his first goal of the season as Brighton drew 1-1 at Huddersfield Town.
Oliver Norwood had put Huddersfield, now without a win in 10 games, with a low free-kick low from 25-yards after just six minutes. But the Spanish defender Saltor burst between two defenders to equalise on 83 minutes.
There was a bizarre incident on 77 minutes in which Brighton’s captain Gordon Greer was booked for tussling with a Huddersfield coach, who was retrieving a ball after it had gone out of play.
Blackburn missed a chance to sneak into the play-offs as they drew 0-0 against Yeovil Town. Jason Lowe struck a post early on and Jordan Rhodes forced a late save from Marek Stech. Rovers extended their unbeaten run to nine but they remain four points outside the play-offs, while Yeovil remain bottom.
Charlton Athletic were unable to climb away from the relegation zone after a goalless draw at home to Bolton. They are now two points above the drop zone but a win for Millwall at Middlesbrough today will take their south London rivals above them.