With the Championship's automatic promotion places spoken for, jostling for position in the Championship play-off places is intensifying. Guy Moussi's 30-yard strike earned third-placed Nottingham Forest a point from a 1-1 draw at Bristol City, who ended the match with their centre forward in goal, while in the South Wales derby Cardiff City, fourth, beat Swansea City, fifth, 2-1.
Liam Fontaine's deflected shot in the third minute put the Robins in charge at Ashton Gate, but Moussi pulled them level. A bad injury in a challenge with Nathan Tyson saw Bristol goalkeeper Dean Gerken stretchered off after City had used all their substitutes. Their 6ft 7in striker Stefan Maierhofer, one of the said substitutes, went in goal for the closing eight minutes. Forest never tested him. "The challenge was definitely late and caused us a lot of problems," Robins caretaker manager Keith Millen said.
Michael Chopra scored twice as Cardiff came from behind to beat the Swans 2-1. The Bluebirds goalkeeper David Marshall was distracted by Ashley Williams when Andrea Orlandi's corner flew in, but Chopra was first to Jay Bothroyd's knockdown to equalise and then fired in a dramatic injury-time winner.
Elsewhere, the play-off ambitions of Middlesbrough, Doncaster Rovers and Sheffield United were all undermined. Boro were held 1-1 at the Riverside Stadium by a Crystal Palace struggling for survival. Scott McDonald beat Palace's offside trap to put Gordon Strachan's side ahead in the 15th minute but Alassane N'Diaye equalised just before the break. "Quality and imagination. We haven't had that and that's why we haven't deserved to be in the top six," Strachan said.
Boro are six points off the play-offs as are the Blades, whose Yorkshire derby with Barnsley ended goalless. Blades also had James Connolly sent off in stoppage time. Doncaster lost 2-1 at home to Plymouth Argyle having led through James Coppinger's 58th-minute strike. Joe Mason levelled and in the 90th minute Bradley Wright-Phillips stooped at the far post to head in Argyle's precious winner. They remain three points from safety.
Most of the other sides at the bottom of the table picked up one or three points. Watford led at Preston thanks to William Buckley's shot into the top corner but Callum Davidson equalised. It ended 1-1. Neither Queens Park Rangers and Sheffield Wednesday, who drew 1-1 at Loftus Road, can feel safe, but Shaun Barker's goal earned Derby County a 1-0 win at Coventry City, which should make the Rams safe, and Ipswich Town beat Reading 2-1. The Royals' Matt Mills was sent off before a goal had been scored.
Billy Paynter scored twice as Swindon Town won 3-0 at Leeds United to occupy the second automatic promotion place, Leeds slipped to fourth. Nicky Forster's penalty saw Charlton Athletic, fifth, win 1-0 at MK Dons.
Leaders Rochdale lost 2-0 at Chesterfield but second-placed Notts County beat Bury 5-0, and Bournemouth, third, beat Bradford City 1-0. Bottom club Darlington won 2-1 at Burton Albion in their first match under new manager Simon Davey.Reuse content