Burnley's elevation to the Premier League seems to have given the North-west a fillip with Preston North End and Blackpool rubbing shoulders with the Championship pacemakers. Neil Mellor and Richard Chaplow scored as Preston's 2-1 win at Leicester City brought to an end the hosts' 25-match unbeaten home run. "Looking around the team, it's hard to pick anybody who didn't play well," the Preston manager, Alan Irvine, said.
Jason Euell and Hameur Bouazza scored in the first 11 minutes to seal Blackpool's 2-0 defeat of Peterborough at Bloomfield Road. Preston are third; Blackpool fifth.
Sean St Ledger scored his first goal for Middlesbrough since his move from Preston and when Rhys Williams made it 2-0 against Coventry City on the stroke of half-time at the Ricoh Arena it seemed Gareth Southgate's side had recovered from last weekend's humiliating 5-0 defeat against West Bromwich Albion. But goals by Clinton Morrison and, in the 94th minute, Leon Best earned the hosts a deserved 2-2 draw.
Brendan Rogers lasted seven months as Watford manager before resigning to join Reading. Yesterday he met the Hornets again and after seven minutes he saw Grzegorz Rasiak put the Royals ahead. But Danny Graham punished defensive hesitancy to grab an equaliser and although Nathan Ellington was sent off the 10 men of Watford held on. It ended 1-1.
Queens Park Rangers at last lived up to their billing as one of the division's better sides by thrashing Barnsley 5-2, Akos Buzsaky scoring twice. "His second goal was magnificent," QPR's manager, Jim Magilton, said of the 30-yard strike.
After four defeats Derby County halted their slide, Gary Teale scoring five minutes from time to earn a 1-0 home win over Bristol City, who had the centre-back Jamie McCombe sent off. Cardiff City's lean spell continued with a 3-1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday. Etienne Esajas scored, then set up goals for Luke Varney and Leon Clarke. Cardiff's Joe Ledley was sent off as they slumped to a fourth defeat in five games. Swansea City had Jordi Lopez (77 minutes) and Nathan Dyer (90) sent off but between those reds Tom Butler added to Lee Trundle's 52nd-minute penalty as the Swans won at home for the first time this season, beating Sheffield United 2-1.
Doncaster Rovers led 2-0 at Scunthorpe United but then had John Oster and Quinton Fortune sent off. Cliff Byrne's header after the first red card gave Iron hope, Grant McCann's 92nd-minute penalty made it 2-2.
A 94th-minute goal saw leaders Leeds United beat the 10 men of Milton Keynes Dons, Jason Puncheon having been sent off in the first half. Charlton, second, beat Exeter 2-1.
Ronnie Moore, the new Rotherham United manager, saw the Millers beat Barnet 3-0, while leaders Bournemouth beat Burton Albion 1-0 and Lee Hughes scored twice as Notts County beat Port Vale 2-1 at Meadow Lane. A 1-1 draw at Grimsby saw Darlington collect their second point, but they still sacked their manager, Colin Todd.