League round-up: Earnshaw keeps his cool as Forest's fire burns brighter

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Wes Morgan's first-half header and Robert Earnshaw's strike in the second period saw Nottingham Forest beat visitors Cardiff City 2-1 to replace the Welsh side in the Championship's second automatic promotion place with a game in hand. Cardiff started the brighter but Forest fought their way into the match and after 32 minutes Lewis McGugan's corner was met by Morgan's imperious header. Peter Whittingham's penalty brought the Bluebirds level after 64 minutes but three minutes later Paul Anderson's pass sent in Earnshaw, who finished coolly. Forest are unbeaten for 35 home games.

"We played some wonderful football, created a lot of chances and thoroughly deserved to take three points," Forest's manager, Billy Davies, said. "Our back five as a unit were superb. I was disappointed we conceded from a penalty that should never have been."

In the day's other top-six clash, Leeds United drew 2-2 at home with Norwich City. Luciano Becchio's 15th goal of the season, a header, put Leeds ahead in the 16th minute, but Henri Lansbury equalised from 12 yards in first-half added time. Wes Hoolahan then gave the Canaries the lead but substitute Davide Somma's fine volley with 15 minutes remaining meant a point each. Norwich slip to fifth, one place above Leeds.

Swansea City are third after a comfortable 3-0 win over Doncaster Rovers, Scott Sinclair, with his 19th goal of the season, Ashley Williams and Luke Moore the Swans' scorers. Crystal Palace's chances of avoiding relegation got an enormous boost when Darren Ambrose's dipping volley was enough to beat Sheffield United 1-0 at Selhurst Park. The Blades are five points from safety, a point better off than Scunthorpe, who had two goals disallowed in their 0-0 draw with Derby County. Millwall's play-off hopes were dented when Leroy Lita's glancing header sealed Middlesbrough's 3-2 win at The Den, where plastic bottles and other objects thrown on to the pitch almost saw the match abandoned.

Elsewhere, Ipswich Town drew 1-1 with Hull City, it was 1-1 between Reading and Watford too, and Nwanko Kanu's goal saw Portsmouth flattered by beating Barnsley 1-0 at Fratton Park.

League One

A late Danny Cadamarteri goal earned Huddersfield Town, third, a 1-1 draw at second-placed Bournemouth, but while £5 tickets attracted 24,767 to The Valley, Charlton Athletic failed to rise to the occasion, losing 3-1 to Exeter City and dropping out of the top six.

League Two

Craig Davies and Dean Holden were on target as leaders Chesterfield won 2-0 at Lincoln City to go eight points clear.