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Summary

  1. Brighton beat Birmingham to go top
  2. Murray, Hemed & Hunemeier score for Seagulls
  3. Nugent hat-trick gives Derby 4-2 win over Fulham
  4. Preston hammer struggling Bristol City 5-0
  5. Brentford beat Leeds & Sheff Wed win at R'ham
  6. Bolton beat Southend in League One

Live Reporting

By Tom Garry

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good night

Uwe Hunemeier
Rex Features

That's it for tonight then, on a happy night for fans of Brighton, Reading and Preston in particular, but one to forget for struggling Bristol City and Wigan.

Sheffield Wednesday and Derby also gave their play-off hopes a boost. You sense there's plenty of top-class drama to come before this EFL season reaches a conclusion.

Do join us again tomorrow night from 19:00 BST.

Until then, you can find all of tonight's Championship reports right here.  Good night!

Coming up on Wednesday

Dwight Gayle
Rex Features

Brighton may be top tonight but their stay at the summit could well be rather short-lived, with Newcastle back in action again tomorrow.

The Magpies are at home to lowly Burton - but don't be fooled into thinking that'll be a certain three points. The two sides may be miles apart in terms of resources and points, but the Brewers have already upset a few of the high-flying teams this season, including Huddersfield on Saturday.

Speaking of the Terriers, they're at home to Norwich on Wednesday and will be hoping to keep the runaway top two as honest as possible heading in to the run-in.

We'll have live text commentary of both those Championship fixtures here on the BBC Sport website from 19:00 BST.

League One round-up

Mark Beevers
Rex Features

The big result of the night in the third tier undoubtedly came at Roots Hall, where Mark Beevers goal in stoppage time gave Bolton a precious victory over Southend.

Wanderers remain in second, three points off first-placed Sheffield United and, most crucially, 10 points clear of third-placed Fleetwood.

Elsewhere, Karl Robinson's former side MK Dons won 2-0 at his current club Charlton, Rochdale eased to a 3-0 victory over relegation-threatened Port Vale and promotion hopefuls Millwall beat lowly Shrewsbury.

As it stands

The bottom six

Bottom six
BBC Sport

Meanwhile, defeats for all of bottom five clubs make it a pretty good night for Burton Albion, who don't play until tomorrow.

As it stands

The top six

Here's what those results have done to the top of the Championship table tonight...

Top six
BBC Sport

Sheffield Wednesday are back into the top six at the first time of asking thanks to their win at Rotherham, combined with Fulham's loss at Derby.

The Championship full-times

Here's how the games in the Championship finished up, including that late kick-off at the Madejski...

  • Aston Villa 1-0 QPR
  • Barnsley 0-0 Cardiff
  • Brentford 2-0 Leeds
  • Brighton 3-1 Birmingham
  • Derby 4-2 Fulham
  • Ipswich 3-0 Wigan
  • Preston 5-0 Bristol City
  • Rotherham 0-2 Sheff Wed
  • Wolves 1-0 Nott'm Forest
  • Reading 3-1 Blackburn

FULL-TIME

Reading 3-1 Blackburn

Yann Kermorgant
Rex Features

That's it. Reading are up to third! They're surely heading for at least a play-off spot.

Blackburn stay 22nd.

Latest

Reading 3-1 Blackburn

They are into stoppage time at the Madejski Stadium in tonight's late game.

Reading are heading third in the table.

FT: Brentford 2-0 Leeds

Leeds have lost a second away game in four days. Not a great night for them, but Brentford were excellent in the first half. Credit to the mid-table Bees.

Leeds stay fifth, now five points above seventh spot.

FT: Aston Villa 1-0 QPR; FT: Barnsley 0-0 Cardiff

Barnsley dominated possession at home to Cardiff but neither side could break the deadlock.

FT: Brighton 3-1 Birmingham

Brighton v Birmingham
Rex Features

The Seagulls are 10 points clear of third-placed Reading in the table as it stands. That's a big cushion, with six games to go.

Premier League football in 2017-18 is looking more and more likely for Chris Hughton's men.

FULL-TIME

Brighton 3-1 Birmingham

Brighton go top of the Championship! They were very comfortable tonight.

FT: Wolves 1-0 Nottingham Forest

Five wins in a row for Wolves. They'll be playing Championship football next season.

Forest pushed for a late leveller but had Danny Fox sent off for a second bookable offence in stoppage time.

Bolton leave it late in League One...

Southend 0-1 Bolton

Bolton have just struck a big old goal at the top of the League One table, as Mark Beevers fires home to surely give second-placed Wanderers victory at Southend.

We're into injury time at Roots Hall.

FULL-TIME

Derby 4-2 Fulham

Gary Rowett's Derby march on. Fulham drop out of the top six.

FT: Preston 5-0 Bristol City

Tammy Abraham
Rex Features

A terrible night for Lee Johnson's Bristol City.

But delirium for Preston - they're only five points off a play-off spot! Could they make a late dash for the top six?

CLOSE!

Derby 4-2 Fulham

Fulham will slip out of the play-off places tonight. Floyd Ayite has a chance for his hat-trick to make it 4-3 late on, but he slices wide.

GOAL: Reading 3-1 Blackburn

Garath McCleary

Sorry Blackburn fans... That didn't last long. Reading's two-goal advantage is restored almost immediately, through Garath McCleary.  The Royals are back in control.

GOAL: Reading 2-1 Blackburn

Elliott Bennett

What a stunner! Elliott Bennett gives Rovers hope as he half-volleys in with a beauty from outside the area.

That's the goal of the night.

Ipswich 3-0 Wigan

Freddie Sears
Rex Features

Freddie Sears makes Ipswich's win safe, tucking in on the rebound to make it 3-0.

Their eight-match winless run is ending tonight. Relief for Mick McCarthy's men. This will move them nine points clear of the relegation zone.

GOAL: Brighton 3-1 Birmingham

Che Adams

Five minutes to play and Birmingham get one back. Che Adams gets the goal thanks to a big deflection. It was a good move from the Blues. But probably too little too late for them.

Aston Villa 1-0 QPR

Steve Bruce
Rex Features

We've hardly mentioned Aston Villa or QPR since Jonathan Kodjia's early goal. It's nothing personal, honestly - it's just that Villa are 11th and QPR are 16th.

Steve Bruce's side are still in front and closing in on a fourth straight win.

Brighton 3-0 Birmingham

Brighton are in cruise control at home to Birmingham. The Seagulls are going two points clear at the top of the Championship for at least the next 24 hours.

GOAL: Derby 4-2 Fulham

Floyd Ayite

Derby v Fulham
Rex Features

Is there life in this game yet? Fulham break quickly and Sone Aluko feeds Floyd Ayite for a simple tap-in for his second goal of the night. Game on? Perhaps, but time is running out. 11 minutes remain.

Wolves 1-0 Nottingham Forest

Wolves v Nottingham Forest
Rex Features

But, if you're a Blackburn fan, then the relatively-good news for Rovers is that Nottingham Forest are currently still 1-0 down at Wolves.

In fact, every side in the bottom five is losing tonight as things stand.

Reading 2-0 Blackburn

Meanwhile, Reading look likely to move third in the table tonight, with Huddersfield not in action until tomorrow.

The Royals still lead 22nd-placed Blackburn 2-0 thanks to Yann Kermorgant's first-half brace.

Just to remind you though, the game at the Madejski Stadium has seen just an hour of play so far, as they kicked off at 20:00 BST.

Leauge One update

It's been a quiet second half in League One with just the one goal for MK Dons to make it 2-0 at Charlton.

Harvey Barnes doubled the lead at The Valley on 57 minutes.

It's still 0-0 between Southend and Bolton with about 15 minutes to go at Roots Hall.

Rochdale lead 10-man Port Vale 3-0 and Millwall are 1-0 up at Shrewsbury.

SUBSTITUTION (Derby)

Derby 4-1 Fulham

David Nugent
Rex Features

Surely on course for victory, Derby bring off hat-trick hero David Nugent, who - as you can imagine - gets a roaring reception from the home fans.

Scotland's Ikechi Anya comes on.

Preston 5-0 Bristol City

It is quickly becoming a night to remember for Preston fans, and one to forget for the Robins.

North End's Callum Robinson adds a fifth goal. 5-0.

This is going to really knock Bristol City's confidence, in their bid for survival. The only good news for them tonight is that the other teams around them are also currently losing.

Aden Flint
Rex Features

GOAL: Derby 4-1 Fulham

Johnny Russell

David Button, what are you doing? Having been charged down for Derby's fourth goal moments ago, he gifts the Rams a fourth goal and he rolls the ball out straight to the Rams! Johnny Russell  duly slams in. Deary, deary me.

Brighton 3-0 Birmingham

Che Adams
Rex Features

Birmingham are having a real go at Brighton now... But it's surely too late? They're 3-0 down and merely searching for a consolation goal, barring a seemingly-impossibly comeback.

Get Involved

#bbcefl

Phillippa Gillett: All I can say is that I'm relieved to see that Ipswich are beating Wigan & Reading are beating Blackburn being a Bristol City fan!

Matt Price: if things go their way, if they get the right results, #Preston might just get into the playoffs & they might have a good chance 

Two different fans with two very different priorities. Preston are running riot against the Robins.

Preston 4-0 Bristol City

Preston are turning on the style at Deepdale!

Callum Robinson taps in after a swift team move. Bristol City's defence was completely cut apart.

Wolves 1-0 Nottingham Forest

Against the run of play, Wolves break quickly and score a neat team goal to take the lead through Nouha Dicko, who nets his fourth goal of the season.

GOAL: Derby 3-1 Fulham

David Nugent (hat-trick)

Big goal for Derby! Are they on their way to a huge three points? It's a mess in the Fulham backline.

David Nugent completes his hat-trick as he closes down the keeper, blocks the clearance and then chases the losse ball down ahead of the Fulham defence to tuck in an absolute gift of a third goal.

David Nugent
Rex Features

SUBSTITUTION

Brighton 3-0 Birmingham

Birmingham's response to conceding that third goal is to bring on Turkey winger Kerim Frei for Craig Gardner.

GOAL: Brighton 3-0 Birmingham

Uwe Huenemeier

After some woeful defending that saw two Brighton players unmarked in acres of space at the far post from a free-kick, the visitors then clear only as far as Uwe Huenemeier , who fires home via a huge deflection off the unfortunate Clayton Donaldson.

Brighton are heading top.

Birmingham are in big trouble if they're going to keep defending like that.

Preston 3-0 Bristol City

Oh dear, oh dear. Bristol City are sinking without a trace in the North West.

Tom Clarke rises higher than anyone in a red shirt to glance home a header from Paul Gallagher's dangerous free-kick.

Lee Johnson's side have it all to do.

Derby 2-1 Fulham

Derby's Tom Ince has a shot comfortably saved by David Button as the hosts start the second period brightly.

GOAL: Brighton 2-0 Birmingham

Tomer Hemed

Just as they started the first half, Brighton start the second with a bang! Tomer Hemed nods in from one yard out.

It's a long way back for Gianfranco's Zola Birmingham now.