West Bromwich Albion celebrate beating Reading on Wednesday. Photo sportinglife.com
LONDON West Bromwich Albion edged a step closer to the Premier League as the Championship leaders battled to a 2-1 win at Reading, while promotion rivals Fulham were held to a 1-1 draw at Millwall on Wednesday.
Albion needed a 26th minute equaliser from Matheus Pereira to cancel out George Puscas’ early opener for Reading from a penalty.
Kyle Bartley, who had conceded the earlier spot-kick, gave Slaven Bilic’s side the lead four minutes after the break.
West Brom are now six points clear of second placed Leeds, whose slump continued with a 1-1 draw at Brentford on Tuesday.
Fulham missed the chance to climb into the automatic promotion places as they were forced to settle for a gritty point at the Den.
Aleksandar Mitrovic put Scott Parker’s team ahead from close-range after just three minutes when he slotted in Joe Bryan’s cross.
The Serbian striker, the Championship’s top scorer, has now netted in each of his three games against Millwall.
But they were pegged back almost immediately by a controversial close-range strike from Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, who Fulham claimed was offside when he volleyed home.
Jed Wallace had the chance to put Millwall ahead from the penalty spot midway through the first half but fired over the bar.
Fulham nearly snatched a winner in the final seconds when Neeskens Kebano headed a corner onto the crossbar.
Alan Browne and Tom Barkhuizen were on target as promotion-chasing Preston secured a 2-0 win at Stoke.
Preston boss Alex Neil’s first visit to the Bet365 Stadium since spurning Stoke’s advances earlier in the season proved to be a positive one as his side closed the gap on the automatic places to three points.
Stoke have improved under Michael O’Neill’s guidance since their public pursuit of former Norwich boss Neil but will need to be more clinical going forward in order to remain clear of the relegation places.
James Collins struck as Luton climbed off the bottom of the table with a 1-0 win over Sheffield on Wednesday.
The Hatters’ top-scorer netted in the 23rd minute to take his side towithin seven points of safety and condemn the Owls to their sixth defeat in nine league games.
Cardiff gave their play-off hopes a boost with a 3-0 win at relegation-threatened Huddersfield. — AFP