Championship round-up: Elliott goal sinks Seasiders to keep Robins flying high

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The Independent Football

Marvin Elliott's first-half goal saw Bristol City make the very best use of FA Cup distractions elsewhere as they beat Blackpool 1-0 at Ashton Gate to reclaim one of the Championship's automatic promotion places and go level on points with leaders West Bromwich Albion. "After every match I am asked if we can stay with the leaders," Gary Johnson, City's exasperated manager, said, "and for the 27th time I'll tell you that we can." The game's winner came after 20 minutes when Lee Johnson found space for a cross and Elliott's emphatic right-foot volley flew in.

In yesterday's other Championship match, Robbie Blake and Ade Akinbiyi were again both on target as Burnley beat Scunthorpe United 2-0 at Turf Moor to deepen the Iron's relegation anxieties. Blake struck after nine minutes, his third goal in three games, and Akinbiyi headed in from Wade Elliott's centre for his seventh goal of the season.

"Particularly in the first half, the level of performance and quality of goals was what we are after," the Clarets' satisfied manager, Owen Coyle, said.

In League One, Tommy Mooney and Edrissa Sonko scored in Walsall's 2-1 home win over Gillingham. The Saddlers move up to fourth, while in their first match under new managerMick Harford, Luton Town conjured an equaliser in the 94th minute, Dean Morgan crossing for substitute Sam Parkin to head in to earn a point from the 1-1 draw with fifth-placed Leeds United. Dennis Wise's side had led from the 27th minute, when Paul Huntington headed in.

The Hatters slip to 23rd because Bournemouth won 3-1 at bottom-of-the-table Port Vale, Sam Vokes, Danny Hollands and Shaun Cooper on target. Swindon Town had Billy Paynter sent off and settled for a goalless draw at Crewe Alexandra.

The sprinklers came on at Stadium MK but even a dousing could not wake up the League Two leaders, Milton Keynes Dons. They lost 1-0 to Rochdale, their fifth home defeat, and saw their lead cut to four points. Braced for a possible approach from Southampton for their manager, Paul Ince, the Dons saw Dale reduced to 10 men when Nathan Stanton was sent off. But Keith Andrews failed with a Dons penalty, a miss made worse by Gary Jones' 32nd-minute tap-in.

Rotherham United, second, won 1-0 at Chester City, Chris O'Grady on target, but third-placed Darlington were held to a 2-2 draw by Macclesfield. Wycombe moved up to fifth after Scott McGleish's second-half goal proved enough to beat Chesterfield 1-0 at Adams Park.

Morecambe, settling well since promotion via the Conference play-offs, drew 1-1 with Notts County at Christie Park, but Dagenham & Redbridge, promoted as Conference champions, have not acclimatised quite so comfortably. A 2-0 defeat at fellow strugglers Lincoln City left them three points clear of the relegation places having played more matches.

Bottom of the entire Football League, Wrexham continue to hope after they eked out anotherpoint from a 1-1 draw with visitors Bradford City.

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