Watford stretched their early season advantage at the top of the Championship to four points with a 3-1 defeat of Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park despite ending with 10 men. Adrian Boothroyd's side went ahead in the 10th minute when Adam Johnson glanced in a header from Lloyd Doyley's cross, but 10 minutes later the Iron restored parity through Jonathan Forte's solo effort. Darius Henderson's 61st-minute toe-poke and, two minutes later, a goal by his strike partner, Marlon King, wrapped up the win. Watford's Lee Williamson was dismissed for a two-footed lunge.
Boothroyd looks back to the beatings administered in the Premiership last season: "Now we've had that experience, I think we'll be stronger for it."
Watford's closest pursuers, Charlton and West Bromwich, both slipped up. Charlton seemed to have beaten Barnsley in the 82nd-minute when Zhi Zheng nodded in. But Kim Christensen's late equaliser, the Dane's first goal for the Tykes, earned a 1-1 draw. A commitment to attacking football by West Brom and hosts Southampton set up a rousing match on the South Coast, Stern John scoring twice in a 3-2 win for the Saints. "I have been playing this way since I first became a manager 16 years ago," their manager George Burley said, "it's a bit too late to change now."
Bristol City beat Sheffield United 2-0 to move up to fourth; the Blades manager Bryan Robson was beckoned last week by the icy finger of the chairman's vote of confidence. Stoke City ended Colchester's unbeaten away run to go fifth, goals by Ryan Shawcross, a header, and Liam Lawrence in a 2-1 win.
Wolves are now just outside the play-off places after an injury-time header from their substitute, Neill Collins, gave them a 1-0 victory in a dire local derby against Coventry at Molineux. Cardiff City got their first home League win of the season, 2-1 over Burnley. A Joe Ledley header after 36 minutes gave the Welsh side a first-half lead, Paul Parry's fine shot wrapped it up.
At the bottom, Sheffield Wednesday's questionable defending let in Gareth McAuley for a header and Patrick Kisnorbo, after an error by Owls goalkeeper Lee Grant, as Leicester won 2-0 at Hillsborough. Preston without an away win, continue to struggle after Alan Lee's sixth goal of the season and Tommy Miller saw Ipswich Town win 2-1 . Elsewhere, Dean Marney's last-minute penalty for Hull earned them a 1-1 draw at former manager Peter Taylor's Crystal Palace, who had led through James Scowcroft. "Totally unacceptable," Taylor raged, "we are playing with no confidence and look frightened." Plymouth's long trip north to Blackpool was rewarded with a goalless draw.
In League One, overnight leaders Leyton Orient were trounced at home by Swansea, 5-0, and replaced by Tranmere who won 2-1 at Southend. There was late drama again at Leeds where substitute Mark de Vries headed the only goal against Yeovil after 89 minutes. It was the eighth goal Leeds have scored inside the last five minutes so far this season.