Ipswich slip up to Watford as Sunderland gain ground

IPSWICH missed a great opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the Coca-Cola Championship as Watford claimed an unexpected 2-1 win at Portman Road.

The Tractor Boys blew their chance as Jay Demerit tapped in on the stroke of half-time and Bruce Dyer netted a second with nine minutes left.

Tommy Miller, who missed a hatful of chances earlier in the game, reduced the arrears with a penalty four minutes from time but they could not find the all-important equaliser.

Sunderland took advantage by comfortably beating bottom side Rotherham 4-1 at the Stadium of Light. Dean Whitehead opened the scoring in the 13th minute and the lead was doubled by substitute Sean Thornton, who fired in a free-kick with his first touch after 36 minutes.

Gary Breen scored the third just after the interval and Thornton added his second after 73 minutes. Andy Monkhouse netted a consolation for Rotherham with 13 minutes left as Sunderland go level on points with Wigan behind Ipswich.

West Ham made further inroads into the play-off positions as they saw off relegation-haunted Gillingham 1-0 at Priestfield Stadium courtesy of a Marlon Harewood goal, which moves his side above Preston into fifth place.

Sheffield United failed to build on their FA Cup heroics as they went down to a 3-0 defeat at Plymouth. Graham Coughlan, Paul Wotton and Dexter Blackstock scoring.

Stoke made it three league wins in a row as they defeated Leicester 3-2 at the Britannia Stadium. Gareth Williams gave the Foxes the lead but Dave Brammer, Gifton Noel Williams and Gerry Taggart put Stoke in control with Joey Gudjonsson getting a late consolation.

A late Carl Cort goal gave Wolves a deserved 1-1 draw against QPR at Loftus Road after Kevin Gallen's 11th-minute strike looked to be enough for Rangers.

Millwall kept in touch with the play-off places with a 1-0 triumph over Cardiff at Ninian Park. Daniele Dichio's penalty the only goal.

Reading have not given up hope of a top-six finish but they could only draw 1-1 with Crewe at Gresty Road. Luke Varney put the Railwaymen in front but Dave Kitson bagged the equaliser with 20 minutes remaining.

In League One, a late penalty by Kevin Nicholls strengthened Luton's stranglehold at the top of the division as they beat Walsall 1-0 at Kenilworth Road.

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox