December 30, 2016 / 11:00 PM / a year ago

Newcastle go top with victory, Brighton game called off

LONDON (Reuters) - Newcastle United went top of the Championship with a 3-1 win over 10-man Nottingham Forest on Friday while title rivals Brighton and Hove Albion’s home match against Cardiff City was postponed because of fog.

Britain Football Soccer - Newcastle United v Nottingham Forest - Sky Bet Championship - St James' Park - 30/12/16 Newcastle's Dwight Gayle scores their third goal Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Lee Smith Livepic

Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle now have 52 points from 24 matches, one ahead of Brighton, who have a game in hand, in the two automatic promotion places.

Matt Ritchie gave the hosts an early lead with a deflected free kick before Nicolao Dumitru equalised for Forest after 29 minutes.

Dwight Gayle then struck twice for Newcastle in the final half hour, after the visitors had Matt Mills sent off for a second yellow card, to take his league tally this season to 19.

Third-placed Reading’s match at home to Fulham also became a victim of the fog in the south of England when it was abandoned in the 50th minute with the score 0-0.

In the night’s other game, Ipswich Town beat Bristol City 2-1 to climb one place to 14th on 31 points.

Reporting by Rex Gowar; Editing by Tony Jimenez

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