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Newz Forum: SOCCER: Coca-Cola Championship results 26/12/04

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posted on Dec, 26 2004 @ 06:56 PM
Reading gained ground on the Coca-Cola Championship pace-setters on Boxing Day as they took advantage of defeats for the the top three teams. The Royals moved level on points with second-placed Wigan after a comprehensive 3-0 win against Watford at the Madejski Stadium. Goals from Ibrahima Sonko, Steve Sidwell and Lloyd Owusu got Steve Coppell's side off to a flying start in their festive schedule.

Wigan could have moved back to first place but were sunk by Tommy Smith's late winner for Derby. Jason Roberts opened the scoring for the Latics at the JJB Stadium but Grzegorz Rasiak levelled for the visitors just after the hour. Smith struck with eight minutes left on the clock when he headed Morten Bisgaard's cross home from close range.

Smith's former club Sunderland were beaten by Leeds in a thrilling clash at the Stadium of Light. Aaron Lennon opened the scoring for Leeds after 30 minutes but Liam Lawrence equalised from the penalty spot just before the break. Second-half strikes from Brian Deane and Julian Joachim sealed a Leeds win, Julio Arca pulling a goal back for the Black Cats deep into injury time from a free-kick.

Ipswich remain top of the league despite losing 3-1 to Millwall at the New Den. Barry Hayles opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time for Dennis Wise's side, and Danny Dichio added a second seven minutes into the second half. Finland striker Shefki Kuqi pulled one back for Joe Royle's side, but Scott Dobie sealed the win for the hosts.

West Ham survived a scare to beat Nottingham Forest 3-2 at Upton Park. The Hammers were cruising after goals from Matthew Etherington and Teddy Sheringham - but a quick-fire double from David Johnson levelled scores midway through the second half. Sheringham was on hand to grab a winner eight minutes before full-time as Alan Pardew's men maintained their promotion push.

Wolves made it a hat-trick of 1-1 draws under Glenn Hoddle with a point against Cardiff at Ninian Park. It needed a sharp finish in the second half by leading scorer Kenny Miller to secure a deserved draw for Wanderers, who had fallen behind to an early Cameron Jerome goal.

Makeshift striker Adam Virgo grabbed a dramatic last-ditch winner for Brighton against Gillingham. The Gills were ahead through Andrew Crofts for most of the clash at a near-frozen Withdean Stadium. But Richard Carpenter levelled with eight minutes left and Virgo scored the winner six minutes later.

Sheffield United also came from behind as they took the points against Coventry at Highfield Road. Stern John had given the home side the lead but goals from Chris Morgan and Andy Gray gave the Blades the points.

Plymouth held on against QPR at Home Park after goals either side of half-time from Paul Wotton and Micky Evans had put them in a commanding position. Paul Furlong pulled one back but Argyle took the points, despite playing most of the game without sent-off defender Graham Coughlan. Georges Santos was sent off for the visitors just before half-time for two bookable offences.

Stoke and Preston played out a scoreless draw at the Britannia Stadium, while Crewe's clash with Burnley was called off due to a frozen pitch at Gresty Road.

Rotherham remain bottom despite beating Leicester 1-0 at the Walkers Stadium. Shaun Barker's 37th minute winner puts the Millers six points away from Gillingham.


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