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Match Roundups

Round-up: Matchday 23

23 December 2017

The final EFL matchday prior to Christmas was a cracker. Here's the round-up...

One goal was enough to extend Wolverhampton Wanderers’ winning run and their points advantage at the top of the Sky Bet Championship.

Ivan Cavaleiro’s goal saw off the challenge of Ipswich Town, and they were buoyed by Cardiff City’s loss at Bolton Wanderers, opening up a seven-point lead over the Bluebirds.

Derby County continued their promotion push with a 3-0 win over Millwall, with two David Nugent goals either side of Matej Vydra’s effort putting the game to bed in the first half.

Bristol City couldn’t mirror the performance which saw them beat Manchester United in midweek, but Bobby Reid’s late penalty earned the Robins a point at Queens Park Rangers.

Pablo Hernandez’s fine chip saw Leeds United past Hull City, while Aston Villa and Sheffield United shared the spoils in the evening kick-off. Former Birmingham City striker Clayton Donaldson netted twice to silence the Villans, after they had built up a 2-0 lead within 11 minutes.

Speaking of the Blues, they sit bottom after a 1-1 draw at Sunderland, while Burton Albion climbed out of the bottom three with a second straight victory — Tom Naylor’s fortunate goal proving the matchwinner at Reading.

Middlesbrough came from behind to beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1, the same scoreline which went in the favour of West London pair Fulham and Brentford, with the Cottagers edging out Barnsley, and Dean Smith’s Bees edging past Norwich City on Friday night.

Last but not least, Preston North End played out a 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest.

Wigan Athletic were the day’s big winners, underlining their title credentials with an emphatic 7-0 rout of Oxford United.

Will Grigg hit a hat-trick in the demolition job and Max Power added two, with Nick Powell and Gavin Massey also getting themselves on the scoresheet.

Shrewsbury stay within four points of the leaders after Shaun Whalley and Stefan Payne fired them to a 2-0 win over Portsmouth.

Blackburn Rovers are three points further back after being held to a draw at Northampton Town in the day’s early kick-off, with Scunthorpe United, Bradford City and Charlton Athletic completing the top six at Christmas.

The trio had differing results with the Iron defeating Southend United, Bradford falling to defeat at AFC Wimbledon, and Karl Robinson’s side letting a late lead slip to draw 1-1 with Blackpool.

Plymouth Argyle escaped the bottom four courtesy of a thumping 4-1 win against Oldham Athletic, but Rochdale remain in the drop zone after conceding a last-gasp equaliser at home to Walsall, and Bury are still rooted to the bottom after their 10 men succumbed to play-off chasing Peterborough United.

Elsewhere, Rotherham United came from behind to beat Milton Keynes Dons 2-1 and Doncaster Rovers grabbed the only goal away at Bristol Rovers to claim all three points.

On Friday night, Gillingham got the weekend started with a 2-0 win at Fleetwood Town to help pull themselves clear from danger.

Luton Town ran out 2-0 winners against Grimsby Town, with Luke Berry and James Collins goals helping to extend the Hatters’ lead at the top to four points.

Notts County dropped points at home to Cambridge United, but Kevin Nolan would have been delighted to see his side come from three down to claim a point and preserve their unbeaten home record.

Coventry City defeated Wycombe Wanderers 3-2 on Friday night, and they were the only team between third and eighth to emerge victorious over the weekend.

Exeter City and Accrington Stanley lost to Yeovil Town and Crawley Town respectively, while Lincoln City and Colchester United drew with Newport County and Port Vale.

Mansfield closed the gap with a hard-earned 2-1 win over Morecambe, and three goals in the first 20 minutes saw Swindon Town ease past Crewe. Four points separate the 10th-placed Robins from Exeter in third.

Forest Green Rovers fell to a 1-0 defeat at home to Carlisle United and remain bottom of the EFL, while Chesterfield lost 5-1 to Stevenage and sit 23rd. Barnet are out of the bottom on goal difference, the Bees losing at home to Cheltenham Town on Matchday 23.

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