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  • Chelsea Show 2017

Championship: Watford, Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough all slip, whilst Nottingham Forest move into play off places

 

Cardiff City's promotion hopes got a big boost today without them even kicking a ball, as several of the chasing pack slipped up.

Cardiff are now five points clear of Watford in second, and have two games in hand on them and most of the teams below them. 

Watford, the countrie's top scorers, looked to be on track at home to Blackpool when Cristian Battocchio gave them the lead mid way through the first half. But two goals in the last fifteen minutes from Thomas Ince and Gary MacKenzie gave Blackpool a great win, as they put paid to any relegation fears they might have had.

Similarly to Watford, Crystal Palace failed to win on home soil after a dogged display from Leeds saw them earn themselves a point.

It was a game of two goalscorers, with Glenn Murray scoring for the hosts either side of two Steve Morison goals for the visitors to ensure the spoils were shared. But this is a result that doesn't do either side much good, with Palace trying to claim an automatic promotion spot, and Leeds  running out of games to force their way into the play-off places.

Leicester were the third top six side of the afternoon to fail to win at home, as they went down against Sheffield Wednesday to a solitary Conor Wickham goal with twenty minutes remaining. This was an important win for Wednesday, who are now four points clear of the relegation places.

Nottingham Forest remain unbeaten under Billy Davies and have now won five on the bounce after they saw off Wolves 3-1 to leave the midlands side still flirting dangerously with relegation, and Forest in the top six.

Henri Lansbury bagged a brace for the hosts, former Arsenal youth player scoring either side of a Matt Doherty goal for the visitors. Stephen Ward was sent off for Wolves with less than ten minutes to go, before Lewis McGugan rubbed salt in the wound by bagging a third for Forest in the closing minutes.

Elsewhere, both Birmingham and Bolton continued their respective good form, with Birmingham seeing off Derby 3-1 at St Andrews to leapfrog them into 14th place, with both sides probably free from any relegation worries at this stage of the season.

Bolton moved to 8th with a 1-0 win over Brighton at the Reebok, as they continues their late revival under Dougie Freedman after a slow start earlier in the season. The result left them three points from the playoffs, with Brighton above them, having lost ground to Forest. 

Relegation is still very much a worry for both Peterborough and Ipswich, who could not be seperated as they drew 0-0. The result does neith team much good, with Peterborough moving off the bottom on goal difference, and Ipswich four points clear of the drop zone, still a little too close for comfort.

One side near the bottom who did win today was Bristol City, who beat Middlesbrough 2-0 to prove that their win last week did little to help their terrible form as they fall further away from the play off positions they had occupied for such long parts of the season.

Charlton probably garunteed their safety with a win over Huddersfield, though the Yorkshire club themselves still have work to do to ensure they are playing Championship football next season.
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