Championship round-up: Bournemouth climb back to summit as top three all win

first_img1 Bournemouth leapfrogged title rivals Middlesbrough back to the Championship summit with a comfortable win over basement club Blackpool.A first half hat-trick from Brett Pitman helped the Cherries to a 4-0 win at Dean Court, with Callum Wilson scoring a fourth from the penalty spot, leaving the Tangerines rooted at the bottom and 18 points away from safety after a fifth straight loss.Watford move up to second place, above Boro on goal difference, after cruising to a 4-1 victory over Reading, who would have been forgiven for having their FA Cup replay against Bradford City on their mind.Almen Abdi opened the scoring for the home side, with goals from Matej Vydra and Troy Deeney making the game comfortable for the Hornets before Jem Karacan scored a consolation.And man-of-the-match Fernando Forestieri, who finished the game with two assists, capped off a fine performance with Watford’s fourth after good work from Deeney.Meanwhile, a playoff battle between Derby County and Norwich City finished in a 1-1 draw.Cameron Jerome scored his 18th goal of the season for the home side before a John Ruddy own goal gifted the Rams a point.Although sitting in fourth place, Derby are now without a win in four.A ten-man Cardiff City caused an upset after coming back from a goal down to beat promotion-pushing Brentford 2-1 at Griffin Park.Andre Gray looked to have the home on course with the opener, but Fabricio Macheda’s eighth goal of the season and a long-range Alex Revell strike put the Bluebirds ahead.The victory was made even sweeter for the Welsh side as they lost substitute Dean Harris to a red card after a dangerous tackle.At the bottom of the table, Wigan breathed a small amount of life into their safety hopes after beating fellow relegation rivals Rotherham 2-1 at the New York City Stadium.A double from new signing Jermaine Pennant put the Latics two goals up before Matt Derbyshire pulled one back for the hosts just before half time.Malky Mackay’s side reduce the gap out of the relegation zone from eight to six.Managerless Millwall look doomed after losing 2-0 away at Bolton Wanderers. The home side move up to 16th thanks to Adam Le Fondre’s first-half double.Blackburn Rovers continue their fine form, having lost only once in eight after a 3-1 victory away at Charlton Athletic.A Jordan Rhodes double and a Craig Conway effort gave Rovers all three points, with Yoni Buyens’ penalty proving a consolation.The three remaining fixtures all ended in points shared, as goals from Stevie May and Matt Smith saw Sheffield Wednesday and Fulham scrap to a 1-1 draw at Hillsborough.Brighton dented Wolves’ play-off hopes as Bruno opened the scoring for the Seagulls but just four minutes later a mistake from Brighton keeper David Stockdale allowed Rajiv Van La Parra to equalise for the away side.Finally Nottingham Forest held Leeds to a goalless draw at Elland Road in a mid-table battle. Bournemouth hat-trick Brett Pitman last_img read more