With two of the top four Championship sides inactive there was a real chance for the leaders, Bristol Cityand Stoke City to wrest an advantage , but both had to settle for a point. In fact the day's biggest winners in the top third of the table were Hull City, a 2-0 home win in the Humber derby with relegation battlers Scunthorpe United lifting them into the play-off places for the first time this season.
The Tigers went ahead just before the half-hour, Henrik Pedersen heading in from six yards. Another header, in the 37th minute by Michael Turner, sealed the win. "A tribute to the players," Hull's manager Phil Brown said. "We've made great progress this season."
"It was an unbelievable point to get – it certainly was not deserved," Bristol City's manager Gary Johnson admitted after his side's goalless draw at Leicester City. "But we are still top of the league and every round of games that passes and we are still top then it is ours to lose. It is still ours to lose." A series of outstanding saves by the Robins' goalkeeper, Adriano Basso, stood between Leicester and a sizeable win.
Meanwhile at the Britannia Stadium the former Stoke midfielder James O'Connor set up Kyle Lafferty to fire in from 18 yards as Burnley led the Potters from the third minute to the 90th. As full-time loomed a foul on Jon Parkin saw Liam Lawrence score a penalty to end a run of two defeats with a 1-1 draw and lift the Potters into the top two.
A James Beattie header at the far post earned Sheffield Uniteda 1-0 win at Plymouth Argyle as the Devon side slipped out of the top six. Crystal Palace inched closer to the play-offs when a Phil Ifil own goal (his second in five days) and Ben Watson's 74th-minute strike earned their 2-1 win over Colchester United.
Sheffield Wednesday earned a precious three points in their fight against the drop, beating Queens Park Rangers 2-1 despite falling behind to Damien Delaney's early goal. Graham Kavanagh levelled on the stroke of half-time and Deon Burton's calmly struck penalty moved the Owls to within two points of Leicester and three of Southampton, who drew 2-2 at Blackpool.
Coventry City's worries eased after a 1-0 win over Norwich City, Jay Tabb scoring after six minutes and the Canaries having Gary Doherty (53 minutes)and Darel Russell (85) sent off. After lambasting referee Paul Taylor, Norwich's manager Glenn Roeder turned his gaze on his team. "My players need to start showing me they want a future at this club. I am not messing about."
In League One, Friday night's home defeat for leaders Swansea City saw Doncaster Rovers cut their lead to eight points with a 2-0 win over Port Vale. Southend beat Luton 2-0 to break into the top six, Leeds United's first home win under Gary McAllister, 2-0 over Bournemouth, took them to the fringes of the play-offs.
A good day for at least one the Ferguson family as Peterborough United, managed by Sir Alex's son Darren, went back to the top of League Two, winning 3-2 at Dagenham & Redbridge.Reuse content