PA Mick McCarthy.
Championship wrap
Emotional McCarthy picks up first win with Blackpool, Neil Warnock makes winning return
Burnley’s stride toward the title continued apace.

IAN POVEDA’S EARLY strike gave Mick McCarthy his first win as Blackpool manager against Stoke.

Poveda struck in the seventh minute and it proved enough to give the Seasiders a 1-0 win, their first since October.

The three points lifted Blackpool off the bottom of the Championship table and to within two points off safety.

“I didn’t need any reminding! I was a bit emotional at the end, that’s my first win in a long time that,” said McCarthy. 

“The lads have been brilliant, I said to them when I went in at the end that it was never in doubt. That was slightly tongue in cheek!

“They’ve given me everything in every game. I think some people think if you don’t put in hard work then you get beat, but we keep putting in the hard yards.

“If you keep doing that you’ll get a break and thankfully we got one. They’ve had their luck today and we deserved it.

“It seemed a long time to that final whistle after we went ahead. I don’t care when we score as long as we keep a clean sheet.”

Stoke are now just six points above the drop zone after failing to take their numerous chances.

Neil Warnock made a dream return to management as Huddersfield ended an eight-match winless run in all competitions by beating Birmingham 2-1.

Joseph Hungbo and Jaheim Headley scored their first goals for the Terriers either side of half-time to bring them from behind after Troy Deeney had given Birmingham an early lead.

Huddersfield’s victory, their first since December 29th, moves them up one place in the table to 22nd and two points away from safety.

At the top of the league, striker Ashley Barnes scored a late winner from the penalty spot as Burnley took another step towards the Premier League with a battling 1-0 victory at Luton.

The result takes Vincent Kompany’s side 11 points clear of second-placed Sheffield United, who lost 3-2 against Millwall. 

Middlesbrough moved to within four points of Sheffield United with a 3-1 win over QPR as a second-half brace from the Championship’s top scorer Chuba Akpom piled more pressure on under-fire Rangers boss Neil Critchley.

Michael Carrick’s side made it five wins in a row to continue their promotion charge, but it was another miserable afternoon for Critchley, who has won just one of his 12 games in charge of the Hoops.

Nahki Wells struck late on from the spot to make the most of Bristol City’s long-awaited penalty to earn a 1-1 draw at Sunderland.

Bristol City had gone 67 matches – dating back to November 2021 – without being awarded a spot-kick and it finally arrived in stoppage-time at the Stadium of Light with the Black Cats closing in on another three points.

Sunderland full-back Trai Hume was adjudged to have pulled down Jay Da Silva and Wells’ precise strike cancelled out Jack Clarke’s thunderous 59th-minute opener.

Daniel Ayala’s late winner gave Blackburn a 1-0 win over Swansea to move level on points with the top six in the Championship.

It looked like becoming five successive draws for Rovers but Dominic Hyam and Ayala, who both returned from injury, combined for the Spaniard to head home his first goal of the season in the 89th minute to reignite their faltering play-off push.

Swansea are seven points off the play-offs after a third game without victory on the road and will rue not turning their possession into goals. 

Coventry, meanwhile, further rekindled their play-off hopes with a 2-0 victory at Rotherham.

Jamie Allen and Viktor Gyokeres struck in the second half to seal back-to-back wins for Mark Robins, who got a valuable three points at his former club.

Defeat sucks Rotherham further into the battle at the other end of the table as Matt Taylor suffered disappointment in his 250th game as a manager.

Wigan dropped back to the foot of the table despite continuing their unbeaten record under Shaun Maloney with a goalless draw against play-off chasing Norwich. Irish defender Andrew Omobamidele was substituted at half-time for Norwich, with Adam Idah playing all 90 minutes. 

Finally, Hull and Preston battled to a hard-fought goalless draw.  

In League One, David McGoldrick and Eiran Cashin scored for Derby County as they returned to winning ways with a 2-0 win over Charlton. 

With reporting by Gavin Cooney

Press Association
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