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Matchday 28 & 29: Review

21 January 2019

A first win for Nathan Jones, another three goals for Norwich City and an in-form Jarrod Bowen. The Sky Bet Championship continued to deliver as matchday 28 came to a close on Monday night. 
With Norwich City winning at Carrow Road on Friday night, pressure was on league leaders Leeds United to extend their lead at the top of the Championship, however they were stunned by Stoke City as Nathan Jones recorded his first win as the Potters manager. It was Stoke’s first win in five Championship games, as well as being the first time they had scored twice in a league game since mid-December. 
Victory for Norwich and defeat for Marcelo Bielsa’s side meant that their lead at the top was reduced to just one point. 
Sheffield United couldn't take advantage of the chance chance to move up to second as they lost out to Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday night thanks to an Oli McBurnie goal. 
There was a buzz around the City Ground as Martin O’Neill returned to the club, this time in the dugout, however Lee Johnson’s Bristol City held the East Midlands side and took all three points to move them up to seventh in the table. 
Elsewhere in the East Midlands, Derby County kept hold of their play-off position with a 2-1 win over Reading. Duane Holmes scored his first senior goal before Harry Wilson also got on the scoresheet. 
Hull City’s resurgence continued as they drew 2-2 with Aston Villa. There were no surprises when Jarrod Bowen appeared on the scoresheet again, the 22-year-old has now been involved in more goals than any other Championship player since the start of December with ten goals and two assists. 
Jayden Stockley and Brad Potts announced themselves to the Championship, both scoring their first goals for Preston North End in an emphatic away win at QPR, whilst Rotherham and Brentford scored goals aplenty at the New York Stadium, with the visitors coming out eventual winners 4-2 for a much needed three points. 
Ipswich manager Paul Lambert paid out of his own pocket for away fans to travel to Blackburn, but the Tractor Boys couldn’t get a win for their travelling supporters as they lost out 2-0 to Rovers to remain bottom of the table. 
Elsewhere, Sheffield Wednesday beat Wigan Athletic 1-0, Middlesbrough looked to be heading for defeat against Millwall until they were awarded an injury-time penalty which Jordan Hugill stepped up to convert and West Brom kept the pressure on the top three with a win away at Bolton on Monday night. 
In League One, Nathan Jones may have departed Kenilworth Road but Luton Town's promotion charge is still very much alive as they showed no signs of slowing down under interim manager Mick Harford.  They remain unbeaten at home this season with a 4-0 win over promotion hopefuls Peterborough United. The win took them to 15 league games without defeat, the current best run in all four of English divisions. 
The Hatters win turned out to be even more important as league leaders Portsmouth suffered a shock defeat to relegation contenders Oxford United to drop points. Cameron Brannagan and James Henry both scored in what was a valuable three points for Karl Robinson’s side. 
Josh Maja scored his 16th goal of the season for Sunderland as they drew 1-1 at Scunthorpe. Adam Hammill's curling effort in the 87th minute sealed a successful debut for him and was enough to earn the Iron a point against Jack Ross' side. 
A late, late goal for Charlton Athletic saw them climb level on points with Sunderland as Karlan Grant converted from the spot whilst, despite two impressive goals from Tyler Smith on debut for Doncaster Rovers, Grant McCann’s side couldn’t see out the match, conceding in the 90th minute to Burton Albion as the game ended 2-2. 
Fleetwood Town had Lewie Coyle sent off,  allowing Ian Henderson to equalise for Rochdale, Bradford City’s hopes of climbing out the relegation zone were crushed by a heavy 4-0 defeat at home to Southend United and Wycombe Wanderers continued their rise in the League One table with a win at Bristol Rovers. 
Elsewhere, Blackpool’s fixture with Shrewsbury Town ended goalless, Walsall thrashed Gillingham 3-0, out of form Plymouth defeated play-off contenders Coventry City and Barnsley put four past AFC Wimbledon to remain in fifth place. 
In League Two, Bury took the headlines as their win at Forest Green was their fourth in succession meaning they sit just three points behind leaders Lincoln City. 
Ryan Lowe's side have now scored 55 league goals this season, just two behind EFL leading scorers and Championship side West Brom. 
Danny Cowley’s Lincoln City remain top of the table after winning their derby game against Grimsby Town. New Oldham Athletic signing Urko Vera announced himself to the Oldham fans by scoring in the first minute of his debut, however he ended the day on the losing side when Harry Smith and Scott Wilson scored to give Sol Campbell’s side the three points. 
Dean Lewington became only the 20th player in Football League history to make 600 league appearances for one club as he reached a significant milestone for MK Dons. It wasn’t the perfect day for the captain however, as they missed out on the chance to go fourth losing 1-0 to Crewe Alexandra. 
In the north Carlisle United kept the pressure on Mansfield Town for an automatic promotion spot, beating struggling Cheltenham 2-0. 
Yeovil Town continued their revival with a 2-0 win over bottom side Notts County, Newport County dented Exeter City’s promotion charge with a 1-0 win over the Grecians and Mansfield Town came from two down to win 3-2 away at Colchester. 

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