Championship - QPR made to wait after Hull draw

Mon, 25 Apr 17:10:00 2011

Queens Park Rangers’s Championship promotion party was dramatically postponed after a 1-1 draw with Hull City at Loftus Road.

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Wayne Routledge had given Neil Warnock’s men the lead with just nine minutes played, but QPR failed to extend their lead despite a glut of first-half chances – including a stunning 40-yard free kick from livewire captain Adel Taarabt that sailed narrowly past the post.

Hull made the hosts pay for their profligacy late in the second half, when substitute striker Daniel Amoo sprung the offside trap and rifled the ball past Paddy Kenny for 1-1, but the point would still have been enough for QPR with their nearest rivals Norwich failing to beat Derby at Carrow Road.

When the final whistle sounded, the Loftus Road pitch disappeared under a jubilant horde of blue and white-shirted fans, but their celebrations proved short-lived as a 95th minute winner from striker Simeon Jackson gave Norwich a sensation last-gasp victory, and poured cold water on QPR’s celebrations.

Neil Warnock’s side will now have to wait until Saturday’s match at Watford to secure promotion - knowing that another draw will be enough to finally lift the Championship trophy.

Hat-trick hero Jackson's dramatic injury-time winner gave Norwich a 3-2 victory against Derby boosted the Canaries' hopes of claiming automatic promotion from the Championship.

Norwich, buoyed by their 5-1 derby demolition of Ipswich on Thursday night, broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time when in-form striker Jackson headed home Marc Tierney`s cross from close range - his sixth goal in as many games. But Derby levelled nine minutes into the second half when the unmarked Steve Davies headed home an Alberto Bueno cross.

The home side, though, moved back in front six minutes later when Jackson spotted Rams goalkeeper Brad Jones off his line and superbly chipped the ball in. Nevertheless, the resilient Rams levelled once more three minutes later when Bueno lashed a shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

However, with Norwich seemingly having to settle for a draw, Jackson bundled home to raise the roof at Carrow Road.

A sensational comeback from Sheffield United saw them beat Reading 3-2 to stave off relegation from the Championship for another day.

Goals from Noel Hunt and Hal Robson-Kanu put Reading into an early lead but the Blades rallied to level at the break thanks to goals from Darius Henderson and Lee Williamson.

Henderson then added a third early into the second half to give Micky Adams' side a fantastic result which keeps their slim hopes of survival alive.

United are six points from safety with an inferior goal difference but can hope to catch Doncaster if the Yorkshire side suffer some heavy defeats in their final two games.

Neil Danns struck a crucial early goal that was enough to all-but secure Crystal Palace a place in the Championship for another season and deal Leeds' play-off hopes another huge blow.

Palace midfielder Danns fired home through a melee of players from the edge of the penalty area in the second minute and although the Londoners were unable to build on their advantage, the onus was on Leeds and it took Simon Grayson's side until the final 20 minutes before they rose to the challenge.

Leeds substitutes Sanchez Watt and Davide Somma both went close to snatching a point for the visitors, but it was too little too late and Palace, who had Danns sent off for two yellow cards in stoppage time, held on for victory.

Phil Brown's bid to save Preston from relegation ended in failure as Cardiff claimed a 1-0 win at Deepdale to maintain their hopes of winning automatic promotion from the Championship.

Bluebirds midfielder Peter Whittingham fired home a low cross from Craig Bellamy in the sixth minute of a first half that the visitors dominated.

With Crystal Palace beating Leeds by the same scoreline at Selhurst Park, Preston knew they needed a major turnaround in the second half of both games.

Sadly for Brown, it did not happen and Preston were condemned to a return to the third tier of English football for the first time since 2000.

Two goals from John Marquis secured a 2-1 win which all but consigned Scunthorpe to League One and kept Millwall in the hunt for a play-off place.

The teenage striker struck either side of half-time to make it three goals in his last two games and leave Alan Knill's side facing the drop.

Michael O'Connor did pull a goal back four minutes from time after Darren Ward had fouled Joe Garner, but it was too little, too late and Millwall held on for a win that leaves them two points behind sixth-placed Nottingham Forest.

Kieran Trippier hit a stunning free-kick to earn a point for Barnsley and prevent Doncaster from securing their Championship status after a 2-2 draw at Oakwell.

It had looked as if Rovers were going to earn their first win in 10 games, and at the same time move eight points clear of the bottom three with two games to play, but the right-back stepped up with three minutes remaining to steal a draw.

Two goals from Jason Euell, either side of a Stephen Foster leveller, put Rovers on course for a deserved victory before Trippier struck, but their safety is still all but guaranteed as Sheffield United or Scunthorpe must make up a considerable deficit in goal difference to have any hope of overhauling Rovers.

Swansea clinched their place in the play-offs with a comfortable 4-1 victory over Ipswich. Brendan Rodgers` side, up to fourth following Monday`s results, cannot now be caught by those outside the top six, although the second automatic spot is all but beyond them with just two matches remaining.

On-loan Chelsea forward Fabio Borini broke the deadlock at the Liberty Stadium after just nine minutes and it was soon 2-0 courtesy of Luke Moore`s strike, which owed much to the failures of Town goalkeeper Arran Lee-Barrett.

Colin Healy's second goal for Ipswich gave the visitors faint hope of making a comeback in the 20th minute, but Borini restored Swansea's two-goal lead with a goal just 10 minutes later before substitute Scott Sinclair added the gloss with a second-half penalty.

Nottingham Forest strengthened their grip on a play-off spot with a timely 3-2 win over Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

Luke Chambers headed the winning goal in the second half to end a four-match losing run on the road for Billy Davies' side and give them a first victory on their travels in nine attempts.

A Kris Boyd tap-in and a penalty from the on-loan Middlesbrough forward sent the Reds into half-time in control, but Marvin Elliott halved City's arrears soon after the restart and Jon Stead headed them level on the hour mark. Chambers had the last word, though, with his fifth goal of the season.

Ayegbeni Yakubu and Jeffrey Bruma bagged a brace as Leicester kept their slim play-off hopes alive with a 4-2 win over Watford.

The on-loan Everton striker made an instant impact as he netted twice in 13 second-half minutes to fire Leicester to a vital three points. Bruma equalised and then put City ahead with superb strikes while Marvin Sordell twice fired Watford into surprise leads.

The win gives Leicester an outside chance of reaching the top six and ends any hope of a play-off spot for Malky Mackay's side.

Comeback kings Burnley hit back for a point in a 1-1 draw at home to Portsmouth but the result did little to help their play-off push.

Sitting outside the top six on goal difference at the start of play, the Clarets remain in eighth place but are now two points adrift with two games to play.

David Nugent opened the scoring against his former club with a superb drive into the top corner, but Chris Eagles pulled out an equally good effort to equalise.

Tarmo Kink's last-gasp strike earned Middlesbrough a hard-fought 2-1 win over Coventry.

Despite the sides having little to play for, the encounter was played at a high tempo throughout with plenty of attacking intent on display. That endeavour reaped reward as early as the 10th minute when the Sky Blues took the lead through Lukas Jutkiewicz's eighth goal of the season.

But Boro have started to provide more threat under manager Tony Mowbray in recent times and it was evident soon after as Julio Arca levelled things up. That seemed set to be the final goal of an enthralling encounter before Kink's late heroics earned Mowbray's men all three points.

Eurosport / PA Sport

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