Gordon Strachan's Middlesbrough failed to step up their challenge for a top-six place in the Coca-Cola Championship as they ground out a goalless draw at home to Bristol City.

Boro also had Barry Robson sent off in the 55th minute for two bookable offences.

Darren Ferguson's first home game in charge of Preston brought a 2-0 win over Ipswich.

Substitute Neill Collins headed home in the 64th minute and new boy Danny Welbeck wrapped up victory with a delicious chip six minutes from time.

QPR's dismal season continued as they were beaten 1-0 at home by Scunthorpe, Garry Thompson firing home 16 minutes from time to ease the relegation fears of Iron boss Nigel Adkins.

Luke Varney scored twice as Sheffield Wednesday boosted their battle to beat the drop with a come-from-behind win over fellow strugglers Plymouth

Rory Fallon put Argyle ahead in the 24th minute but Varney equalised almost immediately. Varney's second on 42 minutes proved enough to lift Alan Irvine's Owls five points clear of the bottom three.

Reading are still firmly rooted in the drop zone but they celebrated the permanent appointment of Brian McDermott as their boss with a 1-0 home win over Barnsley courtesy of Shane Long's 29th-minute effort.

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