League round-up: Cavalier Cardiff look up


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The Independent Football

Heidar Helguson's 26th-minute header and two goals from Rudy Gestede took the Championship leaders, Cardiff City, to the very brink of promotion with a 3-0 home win over Nottingham Forest, who had Darius Henderson sent of for a foul on Helguson at 1-0. Cardiff are 12 points ahead of Watford, third, with 12 to play for, have a superior goal difference of five and host Charlton on Tuesday.

But the south Londoners are in fine away form having won nine times on the road. They fired in six without reply at Barnsley, who had players sent off at 4-0 (Stephen Dawson) and 5-0 (Tom Kennedy) and slipped back into the bottom three.

Hull, second, have a six-point lead over Watford after Robert Koren's 83rd-minute strike saw the Tigers win 2-1 at Ipswich, while the Hornets lost 3-2 at Peterborough and had Marco Cassetti sent off. Posh move out of the bottom three. "We've given ourselves a wonderful opportunity," the Hull manager, Steve Bruce, said of his side's automatic promotion chances, "but you only have to look at the results to realise how crazy the division is."

On Tuesday they go to Wolves, who dropped into the bottom three after substitute Jermaine Beckford's two late goals saw visitors Huddersfield win 3-1. Brighton beat Middlesbrough 2-0 to go fifth, while Bolton replaced Forest in the top six after a 2-1 win at bottom club Bristol City. Luke Varney's two goals in six second-half minutes at Elland Road saw Leeds beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 in Brian McDermott's first match in charge, and Blackpool beat Burnley, 1-0.

Bury were relegated from League One after losing the local derby with fellow strugglers Oldham 1-0. At the top, Billy Paynter's two goals in five second-half minutes saw leaders Doncaster Rovers come from behind to win 2-1 at Crewe.

Cheltenham beat promoted Gillingham 1-0, keeping alive their hopes of catching Burton for a League Two automatic promotion spot, but Port Vale, second, are almost there despite being held 2-2 at Rochdale.