February 14, 2017 / 11:24 PM / 6 months ago

Newcastle stay top after late equaliser at Norwich

Britain Football Soccer - Norwich City v Newcastle United - Sky Bet Championship - Carrow Road - 14/2/17 Newcastle United's Jamaal Lascelles at the end of the game Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Matthew Childs

LONDON (Reuters) - Newcastle United stayed top of the English Championship (second tier) as Jamaal Lascelles grabbed an 81st-minute equaliser to salvage a 2-2 draw at Norwich City on Tuesday.

Second-placed Brighton & Hove Albion were also held, drawing 1-1 at home to Ipswich Town to leave them one point behind Rafa Benitez's leaders with 15 games of the season remaining.

Newcastle went ahead after 23 seconds through Ayoze Perez, but the match was turned on its head as Jacob Murphy and Cameron Jerome scored to give Norwich the lead inside 17 minutes.

Newcastle dominated the second half but had to wait until the final 10 minutes to draw level as Lascelles's left-footed effort at the far post secured a point to put them on 66, with Norwich one place outside the playoff spots on 51.

Brighton missed the chance to go top after falling behind in the ninth minute to a Luke Chambers effort before Tomer Hemed levelled with his sixth goal in five league games after 29.

Their failure to claim all three points, however, allowed third-placed Huddersfield Town (61 points) to close the gap on the top two to four points with a 3-2 victory at bottom club Rotherham United thanks to a stoppage-time Tommy Smith winner.

Fourth-placed Reading (60 points) also won 3-2 at home to Brentford, while Leeds United (57) in fifth beat visitors Bristol City 2-1. Sheffield Wednesday (55), in sixth, won by the same score at home to Blackburn Rovers.

Former European champions Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa lost to leave them floundering in the bottom half of the table.

Forest were beaten 3-2 at Fulham to leave them 17th, a place below Villa who also have 36 points after losing 3-1 at home to Barnsley.

Reporting by Toby Davis; Editing by Ken Ferris

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