Football

Caulker denies leader

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Steven Caulker's late equaliser saw Bristol City earn a 2-2 draw at QPR to deny the npower Championship leaders the chance to open up a seven-point gap at the top of the table.

Brett Pitman had fired the Robins into a 50th-minute lead but a goal from Alejandro Faurlin and Adel Taarabt's penalty had looked set to give Neil Warnock's men all three points.

But Caulker tapped home Jamal Campbell-Ryce's cross to deny them in injury-time and maintain City's recent improvement - they have lost just three of their last 14 games.

Norwich are QPR's nearest challengers after their 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough moved them above Swansea into the second automatic promotion place, on goal difference.

Captain Grant Holt's sixth goal in six games had put the Canaries ahead but Russell Martin inadvertently turned a Julio Arca pass into his own net as Boro earned a point.

The Swans dropped to third in the table as they were beaten 2-1 by Leicester at The Walkers Stadium.

Bruno Berner gave Sven-Goran Eriksson's side the perfect start with a sixth-minute opener before Scott Sinclair levelled for Swansea. However, Darius Vassell grabbed a 43rd-minute winner for the Foxes.

At the bottom of the table Crystal Palace gave caretaker manager Dougie Freedman a win in his first game in charge with a 1-0 success over basement side Preston. Steffen Iversen got the only goal but the result was not enough to move the Eagles out of the drop zone.

Meanwhile, Sheffield United remain just above the relegation places after coming from 2-0 down to earn a draw at home to Doncaster, Hull extended their unbeaten away run to eight games with a 3-2 win at Portsmouth and Matthew Whichelow's late winner handed Watford a 2-1 win against Scunthorpe at Glanford Park.

Elsewhere, Nottingham Forest beat Ipswich 1-0, Shane Long grabbed a brace for Reading as they leapfrogged managerless Burnley with a 2-1 win, Goran Lovre's strike gave Barnsley a 2-1 win over Coventry and the game between Derby and Millwall at Pride Park finished goalless.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Steven Caulker
Leicester City
Norwich City
Doncaster Rovers
Portsmouth
Ipswich Town
Dougie Freedman
Reading
Watford
Bristol City
Football
Goran Lovre
Jamal Campbell-Ryce
Millwall
Darius Vassell
Scunthorpe United
Championship
Russell Martin
Preston North End
Derby County
Bruno Berner
Nottingham Forest
Darius Vassell
Julio Arca
Queens Park Rangers
Shane Long
Barnsley
Sheffield United
Crystal Palace
Grant Holt
Scott Sinclair
Alejandro Faurlin
Middlesbrough
Hull City
Coventry City
Adel Taarabt
Brett Pitman
Swansea City
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