Cardiff continue to struggle in their bid to catch npower Championship leaders QPR as they only just avoided an embarrassing home defeat to bottom side Preston in a 1-1 draw at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Michael Tonge's deflected free-kick had the beating of David Marshall in the Bluebirds goal in the 26th minute and North End were suddenly in contention for a first win in six games.

Cardiff threw everything at Preston in the second period but looked set for a third consecutive home loss until Andy Keogh's header found the net in the fourth minute of stoppage time. The result means Cardiff still trail QPR by four points, and the Londoners have a game in hand after their fixture at Hull was postponed.

Swansea are now just a point behind their Welsh rivals in third after they came from behind to win 3-1 at Ipswich in the day's early kick-off.

On-loan Tottenham midfielder Andros Townsend gave Ipswich the lead but a brace from Craig Beattie either side of a scruffy goal from Joe Allen proved enough to inflict an eighth defeat in 10 league games for the Tractor Boys.

A Shaun Barker own goal and Chris Martin's strike helped Norwich move above Derby into fourth place with a 2-1 win at Pride Park. Kris Commons' 11th goal of the campaign proved to be a mere consolation for the Rams.

Coventry moved up to fifth as Marlon King's 78th-minute penalty made the difference against struggling Middlesbrough at the Ricoh Arena, after Leroy Lita missed a first-half spot-kick for the visitors.

Leeds climbed two places to sixth as Luciano Becchio starred in a late comeback victory over Crystal Palace at Elland Road. Neil Danns put the Eagles in front just before half-time from a Nathaniel Clyne cross but Becchio turned the game around with goals in the 81st and 83rd minutes to take his league tally for the season into double figures.

Watford secured only their second win in 10 league games as they won 3-2 at home to Leicester and moved up to 10th.

John Eustace (15) and Will Buckley (22) put the Hornets in charge but a second-half brace from Paul Gallagher drew the visitors level. However, Malky Mackay's men secured all three points as Danny Graham grabbed his eighth Championship goal of the season.

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Leicester City
Norwich City
Chris Martin
Ipswich Town
Chris Martin
Shaun Barker
Watford
Football
Joe Allen
Kris Commons
Championship
Craig Beattie
John Eustace
Andros Townsend
Cardiff City
Preston North End
Neil Danns
Paul Gallagher
Derby County
Danny Graham
Malky Mackay
David Marshall
Marlon King
Queens Park Rangers
Crystal Palace
Middlesbrough
Leroy Lita
Hull City
Leeds United
Coventry City
Luciano Becchio
Swansea City
Michael Tonge