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Toon slip-up proves costly as Brighton cut gap at summit

By Paul Burrows

Newcastle saw their lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship cut back to three points after being held to a goalless draw at Reading while Brighton ran out 2-0 winners at bottom club Rotherham.

Magpies frontman Daryl Murphy saw a header cleared off the line before Royals winger Garath McCleary almost snatched a dramatic stoppage-time winner, his effort hitting the crossbar.

Brighton had lost their past two games, but returned to form at the New York Stadium.

Anthony Knockaert gave the Seagulls the lead four minutes into the second half, with substitute Solly March making sure of the points 11 minutes from time.

Third-place Huddersfield kept up their promotion hopes after a 1-0 home win over Aston Villa, the only goal coming from defender Tommy Smith.

Leeds saw midfielder Kalvin Phillips sent off late on at Fulham, where Tom Cairney's stoppage-time goal secured a 1-1 draw for the Cottagers.

An own goal from Tim Ream, slicing the ball past keeper David Button, gave Leeds an early lead, but Cairney had the final say against the 10 men to leave both still in the play-off shake-up.

Sheffield Wednesday remain sixth after a 1-1 draw with Burton.

Ross Wallace put the Owls ahead with a long-range effort in the 16th minute, but Jackson Irvine's volley after 24 minutes was enough to share the points.

At the other end of the table, Wigan won 1-0 at Birmingham with a first-half goal from defender Dan Burn and Bristol City fought back to claim a 1-1 draw against Norwich.

Yanic Wildschut had given Norwich the lead just before half-time but a scrambled effort from Bailey Wright 12 minutes from time earned a point.

Blackburn also boosted their hopes of beating the drop after Derrick Williams' last-minute equaliser against Cardiff salvaged his side a 1-1 draw at Ewood Park, Kenneth Zohore having earlier given the visitors the lead.

Wolves, meanwhile, ended a run of five straight defeats with a goalless draw at Ipswich.

Lasse Vibe scored twice as Brentford held off a late fightback to win 3-2 at Nottingham Forest, while QPR beat Barnsley 2-1 at Loftus Road.

Elsewhere, a stoppage-time goal from Tom Barkhuizen gave Preston a 1-1 draw at Derby, who had led through Matej Vydra.

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