Top three falter

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Automatic promotion contenders Wolves, Birmingham and Reading were all held to draws in the Coca-Cola Championship on Tuesday.

Leaders Wolves could find no way past Ipswich in a 0-0 draw at Molineux, while Birmingham suffered a late scare at lowly Barnsley before salvaging a 1-1 draw. Michael Mifsud put the Tykes in front with eight minutes to go but Martin Taylor rose to head in the equaliser two minutes later to keep Alex McLeish's men three points off the top.

Reading will be most disappointed after coming from behind to lead against bottom club Charlton, only to concede late on at the Madejski Stadium to make it 2-2 at the final whistle.

Charlton's top scorer Nicky Bailey caused an early shock when he smashed home the opening goal from Tresor Kandol's whipped delivery on the quarter hour, but Shane Long pulled it back for Steve Coppell's side with a penalty two minutes after the break after he was fouled in the box by Darren Ward.

Long looked to have won it with a little over 20 minutes left, heading home Jay Tabb's inswinging cross but Addicks captain Mark Hudson stole a point for the visitors with five minutes to go.

Second-bottom Norwich pulled off a coup by defeating in-form Cardiff 2-0 at Carrow Road to take them to within two points of safety. The Canaries moved above Southampton, who fell to 23rd after Steve Davies' late goal nicked a 1-1 draw for Derby.

Further up the table, Sheffield United moved up to fourth above Cardiff after battling to secure a 2-2 draw at home to Blackpool.

Swansea moved into the fourth and final play-off spot with a 1-0 win over Plymouth thanks to Jason Scotland's penalty. The Welsh side hold the prized position on goal difference from Bristol City, who defeated Coventry 2-0 at home, and Preston, who were held 1-1 by Sheffield Wednesday at Deepdale.

Watford moved eight points clear of the relegation zone with a priceless 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest at Vicarage Road. The hosts took the lead after five minutes through Grzegorz Rasiak's header, Matt Thornhill equalised for Forest after 17 minutes and Tamas Priskin wrapped up the points two minutes before the break.

Elsewhere, Doncaster increased the pressure on QPR manager Paulo Sousa, beating the Hoops 2-0 at the Keepmoat Stadium.

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

Norwich City
Doncaster Rovers
Ipswich Town
Sheffield Wednesday
Bristol City
Nicky Bailey
Grzegorz Rasiak
Darren Ward
Mark Hudson
Cardiff City
Darren Ward
Tresor Kandol
Preston North End
Derby County
Nottingham Forest
Steve Davies
Martin Taylor
Queens Park Rangers
Shane Long
Michael Mifsud
Mark Hudson
Sheffield United
Jay Tabb
Mark Hudson
Mark Hudson
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Coventry City
Matt Thornhill
Jason Scotland
Plymouth Argyle
Charlton Athletic
Swansea City
Tamas Priskin

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