Preston stun Bournemouth and Ravel Morrison doubles up for Derby | Championship


Fulham moved 11 points clear at the top of the Championship with a 2-0 victory over promotion rivals Blackburn on Saturday.

Both goals came in the first half as Neeskens Kebano and Harry Wilson struck at Craven Cottage. Rovers, beaten 7-0 last time the sides met, rallied after the break and Sam Gallagher had an effort disallowed due to an offside flag but Fulham held on.

Bournemouth missed the chance to move back above Huddersfield into second as they were stunned by a late Preston winner in an eventful finish at Deepdale. Emil Riis Jakobsen struck in the 89th minute to hand Preston a 2-1 win moments after Nat Phillips had forced a fine save from Daniel Iversen at the other end.

In the commotion that followed Preston’s winner, Bournemouth had both manager Scott Parker and defender Adam Smith, who was on the touchline after being substituted, sent off. Jamal Lowe had put the Cherries ahead five minutes into the second half but the hosts quickly responded through Cameron Archer.

Play-off hopefuls QPR, who had won just one of their previous six, lost more ground as they surrendered a lead to lose 2-1 at home to Cardiff. Andre Gray gave Rangers the lead seven minutes before the break but two Cardiff goals in the space of four second-half minutes from Isaak Davies and Rubin Colwill turned the game around.

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League One: leaders Rotherham slip up

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Leaders Rotherham slipped to a home defeat against MK Dons, with quickfire second-half goals from Harry Darling and Mo Eisa helping the third-placed visitors cut the gap on their opponents to nine points. Second-placed Wigan took advantage with a 1-0 home win over struggling Wimbledon, Will Keane with the 21st-minute winner.

Wycombe boosted their play-off hopes with a 3-1 win at Crewe, Lewis Wing’s double securing victory in manager Gareth Ainsworth’s 500th game in charge. Oxford raced to victory over Burton with four first-half goals including two for Sam Baldock as they won 4-1, but sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Lincoln.

Plymouth have the top six in sight after goals from Conor Grant and Ryan Hardie secured victory over Morecambe, while Ipswich found two late goals to see off Fleetwood. Sunderland were held to a goalless draw at Charlton, and Portsmouth are up to 10th as they thrashed Accrington 4-0 despite Marcus Harness’ first-half red card.

The bottom six sides all lost, with Doncaster beaten 4-0 at Cheltenham and Gillingham losing 3-0 at home to Bolton. Shrewsbury edged further clear of danger with a goalless draw at mid-table Cambridge.

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Steve Bruce finally claimed his first win as West Brom manager at the sixth time of asking by overseeing a 2-0 success over former club Hull. Karlan Grant was on target twice for the Baggies, opening the scoring in the 17th minute and then adding a second from the penalty spot early in the second period.

Ravel Morrison struck twice as relegation-threatened Derby reignited their unlikely escape bid by claiming their first win in four games with a 2-0 success over fellow strugglers Barnsley. Morrison netted in each half – his first goals in English league football since 2014 – to lift Wayne Rooney’s Rams above the Tykes and within five points of Reading in that all-important 21st place. Morrison also hit the woodwork in a fine display from the former Manchester United trainee.

Ravel Morrison celebrates scoring his and Derby’s second with teammate Tom Lawrence.
Ravel Morrison celebrates scoring his and Derby’s second with teammate Tom Lawrence. Photograph: Nigel French/PA

Derby’s hopes were enhanced as Reading slipped up at home to improving Millwall. Jake Cooper headed the only goal of a 1-0 win for the Lions, a fifth successive victory for the Londoners that further boosted their growing play-off hopes.

Middlesbrough climbed into the top six after edging out Luton 2-1. An early Paddy McNair penalty put the hosts in control but it was not until Duncan Watmore’s effort three minutes from time they began to breathe easily. Even then Harry Cornick responded for the Hatters but it proved to be no more than a consolation.

Swansea were comfortable 3-1 home winners over Coventry. Michael Obafemi struck either side of half-time after Jamie Paterson had opened the scoring. Gustavo Hamer scored a late consolation for the visitors. In the day’s other game, Josh Bowler scored an 86th-minute winner as Blackpool snatched a 1-0 victory at Stoke.

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League Two: Swindon sink Hughes’ Bradford

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Jack Payne’s last-gasp penalty earned Swindon a 2-1 win at Bradford, lifting the visitors into the top seven as Mark Hughes lost his second game in charge of the Bantams. Gareth Evans had fired the hosts in front but Harry McKirdy quickly levelled before Payne converted a stoppage-time spot-kick after a foul from Bradford keeper Alex Bass.

The Robins are in a group of six clubs separated by just three points, with third-placed Sutton beating Rochdale 3-0 at home. James Waite’s winner saw Newport past in-form Bristol Rovers, while Tranmere‘s rocky run continued as they lost 3-2 at second-placed Northampton. Leaders Forest Green are still eight points clear but their winless run continued with a 1-1 draw at Salford. Fifth-placed Mansfield beat Exeter 2-1 on Friday night.

At the other end of the table, Oldham suffered a painful late defeat at home to Carlisle, with Morgan Feeney striking deep in stoppage time. The Latics were on course to climb out of the bottom two after Hallam Hope had given them a half-time lead, but stay in 23rd, two points behind Barrow, who earned a 1-1 draw at home to Walsall. Bottom club Scunthorpe stay nine points from safety after a goalless draw at Crawley.

Theo Archibald grabbed a late point for Leyton Orient at home to Stevenage but both sides remain in trouble, with Orient’s winless league run now stretching to 12 games. Colchester climbed above both sides thanks to Tom Dallison’s late winner at home to Port Vale. Finally, Hartlepool won 2-1 at Harrogate in a mid-table clash.

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Manchester United loanee Tahith Chong scored his first goal in English football as Birmingham won 2-1 at Bristol City. Chong, making his first start since October following injury, was on target after just two minutes at Ashton Gate before Nico Gordon soon added a second. Alex Scott pulled one back for the hosts.



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