talkSPORT.com rounds up all of Wednesday’s Championship action as there was drama at both ends of the table…
Britt Assombalonga’s controversial finish handed Middlesbrough a Championship survival boost in a niggly 2-0 win at Millwall.
Assombalonga’s eighth league goal of the season and a late Ashley Fletcher penalty stole Boro a second win under new boss Neil Warnock and a big boost in their bid to avoid the drop.
Fletcher fouled Jake Cooper in the build-up to Assombalonga’s goal however, the 24-year-old clearly clipping the Millwall defender’s heels, before sauntering in on goal and playing in Assombalonga.
As Millwall’s players all stopped expecting a free-kick, referee Tim Robinson let play continue – leaving the Lions fuming when Assombalonga’s goal was allowed to stand.
The second-half drinks break that quickly followed Assombalonga’s goal was instructive as to Millwall’s lingering frustrations. Midfielder Ryan Woods asked fourth official Neil Hair: “How is that not a foul? How is that not a foul? ****ing useless!”
Just when Millwall had calmed down however, Cooper felled Fletcher in the box, and the day’s controversial figure stepped up and buried the resulting spot-kick.
The loss will prove a dent in Millwall’s bid to reach the play-offs, while Warnock will happily grab all three points.
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Elsewhere, West Brom turned up the title pressure on Leeds as they returned to the top of the Championship and moved a step closer to a Premier League return.
Grady Diangana and Dara O’Shea struck to down Derby 2-0 with Slaven Bilic’s side now two points clear at the top, having played a game more, and five points ahead of third-placed Brentford.
Derby’s play-off hopes were hit as they dropped to eighth and Louie Sibley was sent off in injury time.
Leeds host Stoke on Thursday knowing victory will reclaim the lead but Bilic should be satisfied with a professional job done with just four games left.
Swansea also strengthened their Championship play-off claims after piling on more woe for Birmingham City with a 3-1 win at St Andrew’s.
The South Wales side came from behind after Lukas Jutkiewicz’s fifth-minute opener as on-loan Liverpool forward Rhian Brewster, Ben Cabango and Jay Fulton turned the game on its head.
A second successive victory for Steve Cooper’s side saw them move within a point and a place of the top six behind fierce rivals Cardiff, while Brewster made it eight goals in 16 games since his arrival from Anfield in January.
But the result prolonged the frustration for Blues, who are now 10 games without a win in the Championship.
They have taken just six points out of a possible 30 under departing head coach Pep Clotet and have conceded three times in each of their last five home games.
Wigan’s hopes of avoiding the drop were boosted as Kieffer Moore’s first-half strike earned the beleaguered Championship outfit a 1-0 win over QPR at a rain-soaked DW Stadium.
Playing at home for the first time since last week’s announcement that they had entered administration, Latics went ahead in the 33rd minute when Moore rifled a shot past Joe Lumley having been played in by Sam Morsy.
Moore nearly added a second after the interval, while QPR’s closest attempt was an Ilias Chair shot saved in fine style by David Marshall.
The result leaves Wigan eight points above the relegation zone with four games left to play.
But having entered administration, the club face a 12-point penalty – against which they are appealing – that will be applied this season if Paul Cook’s men finish outside the bottom three.
The threat of relegation remains considerable, but Cook and his players will not be lacking in belief following this seventh win in nine games as they bounced back from Saturday’s 3-0 loss at Brentford.
Mark Warburton’s QPR, despite a fourth loss in five, are also eight points above the drop zone.
Meanwhile, goals from Famara Diedhiou and Jamie Paterson gave Bristol City a 2-1 win over relegation-threatened Hull in their first match since sacking head coach Lee Johnson.
The hosts took a 41st-minute lead when Paterson’s first-time pass into the box found Diedhiou unmarked. The striker was given time and space to control the ball and slot it past George Long.
Paterson doubled the advantage after 53 minutes with a superb right-footed free-kick from 30 yards that went in off the crossbar after Diedhiou had been fouled.
Hull skipper Jordy De Wijs cut the deficit with a 60th-minute glancing header from George Honeyman’s free-kick on the left.
But the Robins held on for their first win in 10 games, condemning their opponents to a place in the Championship’s bottom three with just four games left.
Millwall 0-2 Middlesbrough
West Brom 2-0 Derby
Birmingham 1-3 Swansea
Bristol City 2-1 Hull
Wigan 1-0 QPR