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Dublin: 7°C Monday 12 April 2021

Irish defender on target as Derby boost Premier League promotion hopes

Alex Pearce helped his side earn a comfortable win today.

Derby County's Alex Pearce (centre) celebrates scoring against Bolton Wanderers.
Derby County's Alex Pearce (centre) celebrates scoring against Bolton Wanderers.
Image: Barrington Coombs

FULHAM BOOSTED THEIR bid for automatic promotion to the Premier League with a 1-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday, while Ireland’s Alex Pearce was on target amid a 3-0 victory for Derby County

Meanwhile, Aston Villa’s hopes of a top-two finish were hit by a 3-1 defeat at Norwich on Saturday.

A 1-0 defeat for second placed Cardiff against leaders Wolves on Friday had opened the way for Fulham to close the gap on the Bluebirds.

They did just that as Aleksandar Mitrovic notched his 11th goal in 10 games with a clinical finish 12 minutes from full-time against Wednesday.

Third placed Fulham are now two points behind Cardiff, who have a game in hand.

Fourth placed Aston Villa are seven points adrift of the top two after they lost 3-1 at Norwich.

Josh Murphy put the hosts ahead in first-half stoppage time and they wrapped up the victory thanks to goals from Dennis Srbeny and James Maddison either side of Jack Grealish’s effort.

Barnsley boosted their survival chances as they came back to secure a 3-2 win over Sheffield United, who are now four points off the top six.

Gary Gardner put Barnsley in front with his first goal for the club but John Fleck and Leon Clarke netted after half-time to turn the game on its head.

Oliver McBurnie brought Barnsley level and Tom Bradshaw’s header two minutes from time earned the hosts three crucial points.

Millwall are one point outside the play-off places as they beat Bristol City 2-0 at The Den.

Goals in either half from Jed Wallace and Steve Morison were enough to stretch the Lions’ unbeaten run to 15 games.

Derby and Middlesbrough kept Millwall out of the top six with victories over Bolton and Nottingham Forest respectively.

Pearce, Matej Vydra and Tom Lawrence gave Derby a 3-0 win that leaves Bolton still in danger of relegation.

Daniel Ayala and Stewart Downing ensured Forest boss Aitor Karanka suffered a 2-0 defeat on his return to Middlesbrough.

Pablo Hernandez earned Leeds – who finished with 10 men following Gaetano Berardi’s late red card – a 1-1 draw after second from bottom Sunderland had gone ahead through Paddy McNair.

Bottom of the table Burton were denied all three points in a 1-1 draw at Birmingham after Lukas Jutkiewicz’s late goal cancelled out Lloyd Dyer’s opener.

Reading beat Preston 1-0, Hull thrashed QPR 4-0 and Brentford enjoyed a 1-0 win over Ipswich.

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English Championship results on Saturday:

Barnsley 3 Sheffield Utd 2

Birmingham 1 Burton 1

Brentford 1 Ipswich 0

Derby 3 Bolton 0

Hull 4 QPR 0

Leeds 1 Sunderland 1

Middlesbrough 2 Nottingham Forest 0

Millwall 2 Bristol City 0

Norwich 3 Aston Villa 1

Reading 1 Preston 0

Sheffield Wednesday 0 Fulham 1

Played Friday

Cardiff 0 Wolves 1

© AFP 2018 

Additional reporting by Paul Fennessy

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