Championship round-up: Mifsud the hero again as Dowie thwarts Charlton

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The Independent Online

Michael Mifsud, the Maltese striker whose goals brought Coventry City midweek Carling Cup glory against Manchester United at Old Trafford, scored again as the Sky Blues came from behind to force a 1-1 home draw with Charlton Athletic, who stay second in the Championship. For Coventry's manager, Iain Dowie, recovery against the club who sacked him last season after just 12 Premier League games was sweet. The visitors led from the 15th minute, when Lloyd Sam played a one-two with Danny Mills and ran on to score, and might have wrapped it up when Luke Varney was denied a penalty. But Mifsud, who had earlier hit a post, equalised with six minutes left.

"A terrific player," Dowie said of City's saviour. "It might be a bit churlish, but he could have had more goals. There is more to come from him if we continueto work on his finishing."

The other Championship giantkillers, Leicester City, found Stoke City a tougher proposition than Aston Villa had been. Ricardo Fuller gave the Potters an early lead but substitute Matt Fryatt levelled two minutes into the second half. It stayed 1-1.At Vicarage Road, leaders Watford led from just before the interval through Adam Johnson's left-foot free-kick before being held 1-1 by strong finishers Blackpool, Wes Hoolahan keeping his nerve to score a late penalty."It feels like a win," the Pool manager, Simon Grayson, said.

The surprise package in the division, Scunthorpe United, won 1-0 at Colchester United to move into the top six. The winner came after 41 minutes when Paul Hayes controlled a high ball on the edge of the box, flicked it over Adam Virgo and fired in.

Sheffield United's Carling Cup exercise was a 5-0 rout of Morecambe, but Southampton administered a sharp dose of reality. Keith Gillespie had given the Blades a 12th-minute lead, but Grzegorz Rasiak's sixth goal of the season and a mistake by Sheffield's goalkeeper, Paddy Kenny, to set up John Viafara's goal saw Saints win 2-1 away.

At Turf Moor, Crystal Palace were ahead in the fifth minute thanks to Mark Hudson's header,but eight minutes later Michael Duff turned in Robbie Blake's free-kick to give Burnley a 1-1 draw. It was that score at Oakwell, too, where Barnsley's Brian Howard scored with six minutes remaining to cancel out Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's opener for Cardiff City. It was goalless between Preston North End and Bristol City, who go third.

Henrik Pedersen scored twice in his first start for Hull City as the Tigers' cutting edge proved too much for Ipswich. Wayne Brown added a third before Dan Harding pulled one back, all before half-time. It stayed 3-1. Plymouth substitute Nick Chadwick scored as they drew 1-1 with visitors Wolves, who led through Stephen Elliott. And Sheffield Wednesday moved off the bottom after a 1-0 win at Norwich.

In Scotland, Rangers were held 1-1 at Motherwell. Chris Porter's fifth goal of the season gave Well the lead, but Rangers rescued a point just after the hour, Kris Boyd scoring a penalty.

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