Chris Iwelumo made it 15 goals for the season as Wolves kept their six-point lead intact at the top of the Coca-Cola Championship.

Iwelumo scored twice as Wolves beat Sheffield United 3-1, giving the leaders an early advantage with a fine finish from a tight angle following a Michael Kightly cross.

The visitors lost goalkeeper Carl Ikeme to injury before the break, Wayne Hennessey taking over before Iwelumo stretched the lead in the second half.

Sylvain Ebanks-Blake put Wolves further ahead after 63 minutes before Matthew Spring scored a consolation goal for United with 15 minutes left.

A rare goal from Liam Ridgewell and a Kevin Phillips header kept up the pressure on Wolves as second-placed Birmingham beat Ipswich 2-1 at St Andrews.

Ridgewell volleyed in from close range before Phillips doubled the advantage as he headed in a cross from Sebastian Larsson. Former Birmingham player Alex Bruce scored with six minutes remaining to ensure a nervy finish for the home side.

Third-placed Reading lost more ground on the leading duo as they were held 2-2 at Cardiff.

Reading, who lost to Southampton at the weekend, also ended the game with 10 men following the dismissal of Andre Bikey. Michael Chopra was in the thick of the first-half action, first being fouled by Bikey which earned the Reading defender a red card, before being brought down by goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann for the penalty which restored Cardiff's lead.

On-loan Wayne Routledge had put the home side ahead before Kevin Doyle levelled for Reading.

Bikey was then sent off for his foul on Chopra before Hahnemann brought down the same player and Ross McCormack converted the penalty. Brynjar Gunnarsson equalised five minutes into the second half but Reading could not find a winner.

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