O’Connor's last-gasp goal blasts Blues top

A LATE Garry O’Connor goal gave Birmingham a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace and put Alex McLeish’s men top of the Championship.

Birmingham dominated the match but had to wait until the fourth minute of injury time to break the deadlock at St Andrews.

The Scotland international latched on to a parried shot to shoot home from 12 yards and give Birmingham a two-point lead over midlands rivals Wolves.

Norwich striker Leroy Lita hit a hat-trick to condemn Wolves to a 5-2 defeat at Carrow Road.

The Canaries took the lead after 28 minutes after Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme fell into his net after coming to collect a cross.

On-loan Lita scored his first 11 minutes later when he broke free on the counter-attack to coolly slot past Ikeme. Their lead was cut just two minutes later, however, thanks to a Neil Collins header but Lita’s second just before the hour gave the hosts a two-goal cushion.

He completed his hat-trick 10 minutes later, heading home a Sammy Clingan cross, after a Sylvan Ebanks-Blake penalty had briefly reduced the arrears once again. Lee Croft then tapped in to finish off Wolves.

Reading now sit two points behind Wolves in third place after their 2-1 win over Doncaster at the Madejski Stadium.

Andre Bikey gave the hosts the lead when he headed home a Stephen Hunt corner after 18 minutes but Rovers hit back as Jos Van Nieuwstadt levelled the scores with 17 minutes left. Their lead lasted barely a minute, however, as Ireland international Kevin Doyle bagged his ninth of the season with a close-range header.

Sheffield Wednesday lost 2-1 at Barnsley while city rivals Sheffield United missed several chances at home against Southampton and had to settle for a 0-0 draw.

Blackpool put their run of four straight draws behind them to beat Derby 3-2 at Bloomfield Road while rock-bottom Nottingham Forest were held to a 1-1 draw with Ipswich at the City Ground.

Burnley beat Coventry 3-1 and Bristol City overcame Charlton 2-0, both away from home.

Plymouth beat Preston 1-0 while Watford drew 2-2 with Cardiff at Vicarage Road and QPR drew 0-0 at Swansea despite playing over an hour without a recognised goalkeeper.

Swansea goalkeeper Dorus de Vries was carried off on a stretcher in the 26th minute and with no sub goalkeeper, defender Alan Tate filled in for the rest of the night.


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