LONDON (Reuters) - Newcastle United returned to the top of the Championship table with Matt Ritchie’s solitary goal sealing a tense 1-0 victory against playoff hopefuls Derby County on Saturday.
Ritchie’s deflected strike in the 27th minute secured all three points for the hosts but Rafa Benitez’s side were forced to endure a nervous finish with Tom Ince and Darren Bent missing good chances for eighth placed-Derby.
Victory lifts Newcastle, winners of three of their previous four games, two points above second-placed Brighton & Hove Albion, who travel to Brentford on Sunday, in the second-tier Championship.
Reading remain third after twice coming from behind in a 2-2 draw away against Ipswich Town with Jordan Obita rescuing a point with his 78th-minute strike.
Cameron Jerome scored the only goal as Norwich City, winners of three successive games, climbed to seventh with a 1-0 victory at Cardiff City while Bristol City ended a 10-game winless run with a 2-1 win against bottom-of-the-table Rotherham United.
Blackburn Rovers beat Queens Park Rangers 1-0, Birmingham City were 1-0 victors against Fulham, Burton beat Wolves 2-1 and Barnsley and Preston North End finished goalless.
Nottingham Forest host Aston Villa in the Championship’s late kick-off while fourth-placed Leeds United visit fifth-placed Huddersfield on Sunday.
Reporting By Tom Hayward; Editing by Clare Fallon