Championship round-up: Chopra's hat-trick keeps Cardiff in the clear

Cardiff City and Middlesborough continued to set the early running in the Championship, Cardiff winning comfortably 3-1 at Plymouth last night, where Michael Chopra struck a hat-trick to raise his tally to six goals from the opening three games.

The former Newcastle front man found the net in the fourth and 80th minutes before completing his treble from the penalty spot five minutes from the end before Plymouth claimed a consolation with another spot-kick, converted by debutant Alan Gow after Cardiff's Tony Capaldi was sent off for a second yellow card offence.

Scunthorpe, promoted from League One last season, did their best to unsettle Gareth Southgate's relegated side but Boro took the lead after 28 minutes, Gary O'Neil's pass setting up Adam Johnson to score. The winger missed a penalty two minutes into the second half but scored from the spot five minutes later.

Coventry missed the chance to go top by being held goalless on their trip to Doncaster but West Bromwich Albion kept pace by winning a thriller at Peterborough, as did Bristol City, for whom Nicky Maynard scored 12 minutes from time to beat Queen's Park Rangers.

Albion went ahead within two minutes as a mistake from Gabriel Zakuani allowed Luke Moore to turn and fire home. Moore added his second in the 34th minute and Chris Brunt made it 3-0 moments later.

But Darren Ferguson's side grabbed a goal back in first-half stoppage time when a cross from Shaun Batt was converted by Craig Mackail-Smith and scored a second on 55 minutes through Aaron McLean, but Albion held on for three points.

Former Ipswich midfielder Darren Ambrose scored twice against his former club as Crystal Palace responded to Saturday's controversy over the goal they were denied at Bristol City by winning 3-1 at Portman Road.

Ambrose struck in the 49th and 50th minutes and although Alex Bruce pulled one back for Roy Keane's team, still without a win this season, Ambrose set up Neil Danns for Palace's third goal after 68 minutes.

Striker Iain Hume made his first start since suffering a fractured skull last November as Barnsley chased only a second win in 11 Championship fixtures but Preston strolled to a comfortable 3-0 win with first-half goals from Paul Parry and Neil Mellor, to which Jon Parkin added a third after 72 minutes.

Nottingham Forest are still looking for their first victory of the season after Watford left the City Ground 4-2 winners. Danny Graham, Michael Williamson, Tommy Smith and on-loan Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley were on target for Watford, Dexter Blackstock and Dele Adebola replying for Forest.

Matty Fryatt gave Leicester the lead after 52 minutes at Bramall Lane but on-loan Blackburn midfielder Keith Treacy levelled for Sheffield United in a 1-1 draw. The games between Blackpool and Derby and Swansea and Reading finished goalless.

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