League round-up: Nolan strike gives Hughton the keys to St James' Park

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The Independent Football

Kevin Nolan fired in a 90th-minute winning goal from 18-yards for Newcastle United to end a run of two defeats and two points from four matches. United came from behind to beat Doncaster Rovers 2-1 at St James' Park and return to the top of the Championship. Chris Hughton, about to be named United manager, saw his side fall behind after 18 minutes, when Billy Sharp set up Dean Shiels. Just past the hour Andy Carroll, who had missed several chances, levelled from Ryan Taylor's cross. Rovers' Martin Woods then missed a penalty, United's Zurab Khizanishvili was sent off, but Nolan had the final word.

"I felt that if there was a side that was going to win it was us," Hughton said. "At 1-1 and with the penalty you think the worst, but to get the winner when we did speaks volumes for this group of lads."

Peter Whittingham scored a hat-trick as Cardiff City won a thriller at Bramall Lane beating Sheffield United's 4-3 to seize second place. Whittingham has scored in six consecutive matches. "The work-rate and quality that he showed was absolutely superb," Cardiff manager Dave Jones said of his hat-trick hero.

Nicky Maynard's ninth goal of the season set in motion Bristol City's first away L win, 3-2 at Barnsley, who had Ryan Shotton sent off. The Robins are fifth followed by four sides all on 23 points. Blackpool drew 0-0 at Swansea City, while Nottingham Forest remain unbeaten away, David McGoldrick levelling at Crystal Palace, who led through Darren Ambrose. It ended 1-1, rival managers Neil Warnock and Billy Davies swapping pleasantries about Palace's Clint Hill's elbow on Paul Anderson. But Queen's Park Rangers broke into the top six when they made in 12 goals in eight days coming from 2-0 down to thrash Derby County 4-2 at Pride Park, Adel Taarabt's free-kick, Alan Mahon's late run, Jay Simpson's strike and Akos Buzsaky's penalty beating the Rams.

No change in the bottom two who met at Home Park. Carl Fletcher's 25-yard shot put Plymouth Argyle ahead but Ipswich Town's Jon Stead made it 1-1. Argyle's Darcy Blake was sent off, but Ipswich couldn't capitalise. George Boyd scored twice as Peterborough United beat Scunthorpe United 3-0 to move out of the bottom three.

League One

Second-placed Charlton Athletic were held to a 1-1 draw at Gillingham which meant Kevin Lisbie's two goals for Colchester United as they beat Walsall 2-1 lifted Aidy Boothroyd's side to within a point of the Addicks. MK Dons slip to fourth after a 3-1 defeat at rising Southampton and Norwich City are fifth after Simon Lappin's goal was enough to beat Swindon Town 1-0.

League Two

Brett Pittman's eight goal of the season saw leaders Bournemouth complete a 3-1 home win over managerless Grimsby Town. Dagenham & Redbridge, second, played for 80 minutes with 10 men after Abu Ogogo's red card at Macclesfield and trailed 2-0 by the hour. But late goals from Wesley Thomas and a Mark Arber penalty earned a point from a 2-2 draw.