Championship round-up: Morrison's perfect present for Warnock

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The Independent Online

Tipped for promotion by many, West Bromwich Albion never quite looked the part of favourites at Selhurst Park yesterday and it was no surprise when a Clinton Morrison goal denied them top spot as they were held 1-1 by Crystal Palace. Albion led from the eighth minute when Jonathan Greening's cross was turned into his own net by Mark Hudson, but Morrison's strike ensured that Palace manager Neil Warnock's birthday was a happy enough one.

Albion's Tony Mowbray was content, too. "We've had two tough away games this week and it took its toll today," he said. "We lacked edge and mental sharpness. We've played Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday, and today was too much for us. The whole team never got going."

Substitute Darren Byfield scored a 90th-minute winner as Bristol City beat leaders Watford 2-1 at Vicarage Road, the Hornets' third loss in eight days.

The new managers at Plymouth Argyle, who climbed to sixth, and Burnley are prospering. Back in harness at Home Park, Paul Sturrock's Argyle shrugged off a goalless first-half to beat Scunthorpe 3-0, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Krisztian Timar and Nadjim Abdou on target.

Burnley were even more impressive as Andy Gray scored twice in their 3-1 win at fourth-placed Charlton Athletic to remain unbeaten after three games under Owen Coyle. Charlton's manager Alan Pardew had less reason to be cheerful: "We've dug ourselves into a hole and go to Cardiff on Tuesday night needing to get a big reaction."

Ian Holloway's unbeaten start as Leicester City manager stalled with a 2-1 home defeat by Southampton. Stern John put the visitors ahead and after Andy King levelled, Andy Surman netted the Saints' winner. Alan Irvine's tenure at Preston North End has yet to yield a point after a third defeat, 1-0 at Wolves, who go third. Karl Henry's solo effort won the points.

Ipswich Town's run of consecutive home wins ended at 12, an obdurate Barnsley drew there 0-0. That let Stoke City move above Ipswich into seventh after a 2-1 defeat of bottom club Norwich City. Ben Burgess scored in injury time at Bloomfield Road as Blackpool beat fellow strugglers Queens Park Rangers 1-0.

A mixed day for the Sheffield clubs, Wednesday lost 2-1 at home to Colchester but United won 1-0 at Coventry City, who may yet go into administration. Hull City and Cardiff drew 2-2.

In the FA Cup second round, Havant & Waterlooville of the Conference South produced the major shock, winning 1-0 at League Two Notts County, goalscorer Tony Taggart the hero. Conference Premier sides Burton Albion, who drew 1-1 with League Two's Barnet, and Oxford United, who held Southend United of League One to a 0-0 draw, are also in the potentially lucrative third-round draw.

In Scotland, Rangers beat Kilmarnock 2-0 to move to within a point of Premier leaders Celtic, who drew 1-1 at Hearts.

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