Football

Leaders are the real winners

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Birmingham and Reading both failed to take full advantage of leaders Wolves not playing by dropping points on Sunday in their Coca-Cola Championship games.

With Wolves not in action until Monday, the Blues fought out a 0-0 draw at St Andrews with Swansea which saw David Murphy sent off for the home side in the second half after two bookable offences.

And second-placed Reading could only manage a draw at Southampton. The south coast side took the lead with just 15 minutes remaining - David McGoldrick drilling the ball home from 18 yards. But Shane Long's header rescued a point and the result meant Southampton drop into the relegation zone.

The shock of the day was at Doncaster where the South Yorkshire side beat fifth-placed Burnley 2-1.

A Clarke Carlisle howler in the 37th minute presented James Coppinger with a tap-in before Clarets captain Steven Caldwell was dismissed for a rash challenge on Richard Wellens in the penalty area and Brian Stock swept home the 40th-minute spot-kick.

Martin Paterson (62) scored for the visitors, ensuring a nervous end to the game for the Doncaster fans.

Managerless Nottingham Forest gave their relegation battle a boost, defeating fellow strugglers Norwich to move out of the bottom three. Matt Thornhill and Lewis McGugan gave Forest a two-goal lead, before Ian Breckin's 74th-minute own goal gave Norwich hope.

Former Canaries striker Robert Earnshaw made all three points safe with a goal in the final minute, before Joe Garner's own goal in injury-time.

Jamie Cureton's 17th-minute strike looked to have put a dent in Preston's play-off push. But the Barnsley midfielder's lethal finish was cancelled out by Ross Wallace's free-kick in the 72nd minute.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Ross Wallace
Norwich City
James Coppinger
Doncaster Rovers
Jamie Cureton
Reading
Football
Ian Breckin
Brian Stock
David McGoldrick
Steven Caldwell
Championship
Southampton
Chelsea
Robert Earnshaw
Joe Garner
Preston North End
Nottingham Forest
Richard Wellens
Carlisle United
Shane Long
Barnsley
Birmingham
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Clarke Carlisle
Lewis McGugan
Matt Thornhill
Swansea City
David Murphy
Martin Paterson
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