Championship wrap: Ireland defender’s brace helps Wolves maintain three-point lead

Wolves maintained their lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship after a routine 3-0 win over Reading.

Defender Matt Doherty scored twice and on-loan Bournemouth striker Benik Afobe also netted at Molineux.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side had won just one of their previous five games to see their lead cut to three points.

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Matt Doherty (centre) celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game with Helder Costa (left) and Barry Douglas at Molineux. Photo: Nigel French/PA

But victory ensured they stayed ahead of Cardiff in the race for the title after the Bluebirds won at Brentford.

They came back from 1-0 down to win 3-1 at Griffin Park and strengthen their grip on second spot.

Sol Bamba, Callum Paterson and Kenneth Zahore scored for Neil Warnock's side after Neal Maupay had opened the scoring for Brentford.

It left a seven-point gap to third place after Aston Villa's automatic promotion hopes suffered a major blow with a surprise 3-1 defeat at home to QPR.

Galwayman Ryan Manning's header and Jake Bidwell's deflected effort put the visitors 2-0 up at half-time.

Luke Freeman added a late third at Villa Park to move QPR up to 15th despite James Chester's consolation - the defender's third goal in as many games.

Sheffield United closed the gap to the top six to two points after a 2-0 win over Burton.

Enda Stevens, from Dublin, opened the scoring in the first half before David Brooks' goal after the break helped lift them to seventh.

At the bottom Barnsley inched three points clear of the relegation zone after a 1-1 draw with mid-table Norwich.

Swansea loanee Oli McBurnie celebrated his first Scotland call-up with a neat volley just before half-time only for Josh Murphy to equalise.

Hull also grabbed another crucial win and are now nine points above the bottom three.

The Tigers beat Ipswich 3-0 at Portman Road thanks to goals from Markus Henriksen, Harry Wilson and Jarrod Bowen.

- PA

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