December 18, 2010 | In: Articles
Championship leaders Queens Park Rangers slipped to a second successive defeat as Leeds United boosted their promotion hopes and Sheffield United enjoyed a welcome win.
Nottingham Forest and Hull City secured comfortable victories at home, while Norwich City and Reading scored later winners on their travels.
Max Gradel scored a goal in each half as Leeds moved up to second in the table after a 2-0 home win over leaders QPR.
Winger Gradel opened the scoring on 25 minutes and then sent Elland Road into raptures with his second of the game 20 minutes from time.
Sheffield United started the post-Gary Speed era with a much-needed win after beating high-flying Swansea City 1-0 at Bramall Lane.
The only goal of the game arrived a minute before half-time when Wales international Ched Evans pounced for his fourth goal of the season.
Norwich traded play-off positions with Coventry City after Grant Holt netted twice in a 2-1 victory at the Ricoh Arena.
Coventry had Aron Gunnarsson sent off in the first half and were undone after the break by Holt’s brace, which came either side of Marlon King’s goal for the hosts.
Nottingham Forest took advantage of the postponements to fly a few places up the table after a comfortable 3-0 home win over struggling Crystal Palace.
Luke Chambers’ first goal since April set Forest on their way, Marcus Tudgay marked his debut with a goal and Garath McCleary wrapped it up with a third goal on 85 minutes.
Derby County crashed to a fourth successive defeat as Shane Long’s brace earned Reading a late 2-1 triumph at Pride Park.
Long broke the deadlock from the penalty spot two minutes before half-time and then scored the winner two minutes from full-time after Kris Commons had equalised for Derby.
Jay Simpson finally broke his duck for Hull City after scoring twice in a 2-0 victory over Bristol City at the KC Stadium.
The striker had failed to score since his summer arrival, but made the breakthrough on 13 minutes and then added another just past the hour mark.
The games involving Cardiff v Burnley, Millwall v Barnsley, Portsmouth v Scunthorpe and Watford v Preston were all postponed.