Last night saw four games in the Npower Championship, as teams at both ends of the table looked to secure valuable points to help either push for promotion or secure safety in the league.
Watford earned a huge victory in their bid for promotion, as they beat fellow high-flyers Hull City 1-0 at the KC Stadium and closed the gap on the second-placed team to just one point.
In a game that neither team demonstrated the type of performance that has lifted them to the top-end of the table, it was the visitors that claimed the vital three points ahead of their weekend clash with table-toppers Cardiff.
For the first 45 minutes Watford looked to be the team more capable of scoring as they looked to capitalise on the Tigers’ recent inconsistence, and this was proved to be true when the Hornets took the lead on the stroke of half-time, after a superb 20-yard effort from Troy Deeney found the net.
The second half saw a better showing from Hull as they forced three good stops in quick succession from Hornets keeper Jonathon Bond, and shortly after the home fans were on their feet when they thought Bond had turned Jay Simpson’s rifled effort in, only for the ball to drop the wrong side of the post.
The home side continued to press, but Watford were resilient and created chances of their own on the counter attack, but neither side managed to find the net and thus the game came to an end, giving Gianfranco Zola’s men a vital win and ending their three-game winless streak as they fight for a place in the Premier League.
Bolton recorded an important home victory as they beat struggling Huddersfield 1-0 at the Reebok Stadium in their fight for a place in the play-offs.
Chris Eagles scored the only goal of the game in the 58th minute, as Marvin Sordell pounced on an error by Huddersfield captain Peter Clarke and teed up Eagles who tapped in his ninth goal of the season.
And although both teams created chances throughout the game it ended 1-0, leaving Bolton just four points off sixth-placed Brighton and inflicting further misery on relegation battling Huddersfield, who remain in the bottom three.
The other two games on the night saw goalless draws as both Brighton vs. Charlton, and Middlesboro vs. Peterborough ended 0-0.
Brighton missed the chance to move up to fifth in the league and although they were able to maintain their unbeaten home record for 2013, they wasted the chance to open a gap on the play-off chasing pack.
The Seagulls dominated the game but were unable to find a way past Chris Powell’s hard-working side, who showed why they boast one of the best away records in the Championship.
Meanwhile Peterborough picked up a vital point in their battle for Championship safety with a draw at the Riverside Stadium.
In a very end-to-end game neither side could quite find the net and so the draw helped to extended Peterborough’s unbeaten run to seven league games and moved them to just one point from safety, whilst leaving Tony Mowbray’s side six points adrift of the play-offs.