Newcastle United’s Championship promotion chase suffered a setback as they were held to a dramatic 2-2 draw by QPR on Wednesday.
Rafael Benitez’s men had the chance to leapfrog Brighton and Hove Albion into top spot and twice led through Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie.
But there was a late twist in the tale as Ciaran Clark headed into his own net into the 90th minute, keeping Brighton a point ahead at the top ahead of the south-coast club’s trip to Huddersfield Town on Thursday.
MORE OG WOE FOR NEWCASTLE
Clark’s own-goal was the fourth conceded by Newcastle this season, more than any other team in the Championship, and denied them maximum points at the end of a second half they dominated.
Shelvey lashed Newcastle ahead with a first-minute volley, only for a scrappy Conor Washington goal to level matters just before half-time.
Ritchie’s excellent header restored Newcastle’s advantage and the hosts had a series of chances to put the game beyond doubt.
That profligacy was punished in calamitous fashion when Clark turned a left-wing cross beyond a stricken Karl Darlow to leave Newcastle to settle for a frustrating draw, though they remain four points above third-placed Reading with a game in hand.
4 – Newcastle have conceded four own goals this season; the most in the Championship. Oops.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 1, 2017
JANSSON RESCUES POINTS AT ROVERS
Garry Monk’s Leeds United are now only five points behind Newcastle as they left it late to see off struggling Blackburn Rovers 2-1 at Ewood Park.
Stuart Dallas put Leeds ahead in the 74th minute, but Elliot Bennett looked to have earned a share of the spoils for Blackburn seven minutes from time.
But Pontus Jansson’s close-range header rescued the points for Leeds, making it just one defeat in their last nine league games.
Elsewhere, Fulham boosted their play-off hopes, moving within six points of the top six with a 2-0 win at Burton Albion.
— Sky Bet Championship (@SkyBetChamp) February 1, 2017
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