Another round of Championships fixtures sees the top two lose, Derby drop to bottom and another five goal thriller for Watford. Blackburn, Forest and Rotherham all win at home, while Bournemouth pick up a good away win.
League Leaders Lose Again
Reading started brightly at the Madejski Andrew Yiadom cross from the right found Alfa Semedo, who headed straight at Angus Gunn in the stoke goal. Gunn was called into action again tipping another Semedo header over the bar.
It was Stoke who took the lead when Reading failed to clear and Tyrese Campbell slotted into the corner with a well taken shot. Stoke doubled their lead in the 35th minute. A poor ball from Reading keeper Rafael was headed back towards goal by Tom Smith, flicked on by Campbell into the box where Steven Fletcher tucked home. Fletcher beat The Royal’s offside trap for his fourth goal of the season.
Stoke almost had a third, Tyrese Campbell hitting the post with a curling right footed shot which had Rafael beaten. They did, however, get their third in added time. Lewis Gibson failed his attempted back pass, and left Jacob Brown with a one on one with the keeper. Brown rounded Rafael and put the ball into the empty net despite Gibson’s attempt to get back and clear.
Reading manager Veljko Paunovic said:
“This is a serious league in which mistakes – in both boxes – can kill you. There is a mix of immaturity in some moments and a mix of fatigue, accumulation of games and injuries that we are going through”.
Stoke manager Michael O’Neill told BBC Radio Stoke:
“We had to dig in at the start of the game but once we got ahead we looked capable of scoring again”.
Reading remain top despite three defeats in a row but their lead is down to one point. Stoke are now in eighth after three wins in five.
Swans Drop from Second
Swansea had the best chance of the first half at Carrow Road with Andre Ayew heading against the post from a Swansea corner. Jamal Lowe saw his shot pushed out for a corner from Tim Krul. Teems Pukki, meanwhile, found space in the visitors box but was tackled well by Conner Roberts before he could get a shot off.
Krul was once again in fine form again saving again from Lowe in the second half. Norwich then found the winning goal with six minutes to goal with Marco Stiepermann. Bali Mumba’s ball into the box was touched back to Stiepermann by Buendia for the German to fire home.
Another Five Goal Thriller
A second half thriller at Vicarage Road saw Watford beat Coventry 3-2.
The Hornets took the lead on 53 minutes, Andre Grey with the goal. A low ball across the City box ricocheted off a Coventry defender before hitting Grey to go in.
Coventry then scored two in two minutes to take the lead. The first from Gustavo Hamer, heading back towards goal after a Watford clearance, his head caught out Ben Foster going over the keeper to dip inside the crossbar. Just a minute later the Sky Blues lead Maxime Biamou heading a long ball onto Tyler Walker who stuck the ball first time low into the corner.
The lead, however, lasted just two minutes as William powered his header into the goal from James Garner’s corner.
Watford’s winner came in the 83rd minute, Ismaila Sarr scoring from the spot after Callum O’Hare handled in the box.
Rams Drop To Bottom
Derby are now bottom of the league after losing 2-0 by Barnsley at Pride Park. Derby had chances, Tom Lawrence forcing two saves from Jack Walton. It was disaster for Waltons opposite number as David Marshall’s loose pass went to Conor Chaplin who found the net.
Victor Adeboyejo confirmed the win for Barnsley with a well taken curling shot from outside the box. Barnsley’s victory ensured they bounced back from their defeat in Cardiff and make it three wins from four.
Derby first team coach Liam Rosenior said:
“This is a huge football club and we are not doing it justice. There’s no way the club should be in the position it’s in and I have to hold my hands up to that as well”.
Bristol Take Spoils From Severnside Derby
It was a smash and grab for Bristol City as they left Cardiff with three points in Friday’s Severnside derby.
Starting out quickly Bristol found themselves with an extra man on Cardiff’s left. Antoine Semenyo played a low ball into the Cardiff six yard box which was met by Chris Martin. Martin cut across Sean Morrison to tap home from close range.
With an early lead, Bristol were happy to let Cardiff control the game without ever really threatening Daniel Bentley’s goal. Back to back wins sees the Robins move into fifth place. Cardiff are 15th with just one win in five.
Bournemouth took a two nil first half lead at St Andrews with Arnaut Danjuma and David Brooks scoring. Brooks got his second five minutes after the break to make it three. Scott Hogan pulled a goal back for the Blues but they suffer a second straight home defeat. Bournemouth’s win now sees them fourth, just two points from leaders Reading.
After three without a win, Blackburn ended QPR’s winning run with a 3-1 win. Brereton scored on 50 minutes for Rovers before a penalty from Lyndon Dykes levelled the game.
Adam Armstrong put Rovers back into the lead on 73 minutes, before scoring his second in added time.
Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray praised Armstrong telling BBC Radio Lancashire:
“Adam has matured and his explosive pace allows you to play both ways and his dynamic movement has a devastating effect”.
Lyle Taylor’s brace helped Forest to a second straight home win as they beat Wycombe.
Taylor’s first came from a header at the far post from Cyrus Christie’s cross. Wycombe created some chances but were unable to really test the Forest keeper. A quick counter attack allowed Taylor to score his second and give Forest three points.
Elsewhere, Preston lost on the road for the first time this season. Rotherham lost their last two heading into this fixture but led after Richard Wood smashed home from close range. Ryan Ledson equalised for Preston after 80 minutes, his shot from the edge of the box flying through a crowd of players to nesle in the bottom corner. But it was Rotherham who took the points, Matt Crooks finishing after a good run from Matthew Olosunde.
Middlesbrough are proving hard to beat as they drew 0-0 at Brentford.
Neil Warnock’s side sit in seventh place after their sixth draw of the season.
Brentford had the lion’s share of possession but were unable to break Boro.
It was one way traffic at Hillsborough as Sheffield Wednesday produced seven attempts on goal to Millwall’s none.
Millwall, however, will be the happier side leaving with a point. George Moncur put Luton ahead against Huddersfield after 21 minutes. After 60 minutes Carel Eiting levelled for Huddersfield with a towering header into the Luton top corner. The point sees Huddersfield up to 13th while Luton drop to 10th.
Reading still lead the league heading into the international break, but Watford are breathing down their necks now in second. Norwich, Bournemouth, Bristol City and Swansea make up the play-off places. With just six points from sixth to 18th, nothing can be taken for granted this season.