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Championship wrap: Middlesbrough go second as West Ham slip

Middlesbrough moved into second place in the Championship on Saturday, as West Ham were upset by Derby County.

Derby shot out of the blocks against third-placed West Ham at Pride Park, with Callum Ball putting them ahead after just two minutes, while Paul Green added a second eight minutes later.

Frank Nouble pulled one back for the visitors three minutes before the break, but they could not find a leveller and remain three points behind league leaders Southampton, who were beaten 1-0 by Bristol City on Friday.

Middlesbrough had the chance to move level with Southampton on points, but they were thwarted by a late equaliser from Tommy Rowe in their 1-1 draw with Peterborough United.

A goal six minutes after the break from Australian Scott McDonald gave Tony Mowbray’s men the lead, but Rowe’s late header means Middlesbrough are two points behind Southampton in second place.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Barnsley hampered Leeds United’s promotion hopes with a 4-1 victory at Oakwell Stadium.

Ricardo Vaz Te scored a hat-trick for the home side, while Leeds’ only joy came via an injury-time consolation from Luciano Becchio.

A 23rd-minute goal from Jermaine Easter lifted Crystal Palace to a 1-0 win at Millwall, while a brace from Marvin Sordell helped Watford post a 4-1 victory at home against Doncaster Rovers.

Leicester played out a 1-1 draw with Portsmouth at The King Power Stadium, and goals from Chris Davies, Marlon King and Nathan Redmond powered Birmingham to a 3-0 win at home over Blackpool.

Kenny Miller scored just before the hour mark to give Cardiff a 1-0 win at struggling Nottingham Forest, Burnley defeated Hull 1-0 while Coventry remain in the relegation zone despite their 2-0 home victory over Brighton.

And Reading moved to fifth courtesy of their 1-0 triumph over Ipswich Town.

Sat 31 December, 2011
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