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Summary

  1. Result: Wolves 3-0 Brentford
  2. Wolves go 12 points clear at top of Championship
  3. Result: Reading 0-2 Birmingham
  4. Blues move off the bottom with victory
  5. Result: Fulham 4-1 Ipswich
  6. Fulham score four in seven mins after half-time

Live Reporting

By Matt Newsum

All times stated are UK

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Joy at the top, and the bottom

Barry Douglas celebrates
Getty Images

So, the New Year football comes to an end as Wolves pick up in 2018 where they left off in 2017.

Winning. Relentlessly winning. They must be Premier League-bound. Even now.

There's also some joy in the West Midlands at the other end of the table, as Birmingham City dragged themselves off the canvas and away from the foot of the table with a second straight win.

Throw in some delight for Fulham after Ipswich's collapse. It's been an exciting Tuesday night of football.

This weekend we're all about the FA Cup. Why not join us? Goal highlights, all the action covered. Nowhere better to be.

Until then, good night, and happy new year.

... and you Blues. Sorry Royals.

Table
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Enjoyable reading for Birmingham fans. You're off the bottom. That's got to be worth a bottle of whatever left-over Christmas plonk you've got in the fridge?

Sunderland fans. Sorry. Reading fans. Ditto. Bit of a departure from last season...

Read, and enjoy, Wolves fans

FT: Wolves 3-0 Brentford

Table
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It's a healthy lead isn't it? Some 14 points clear of Cardiff outside the two automatic places.

Start dreaming of Old Trafford and the like, Wolves fans.

FULL-TIME

Reading 0-2 Birmingham

It's a win for Birmingham that is as crucially important for them in lifting them off the foot of the Championship table as it is crushing for Reading and Jaap Stam.

Steve Cotterill has masterminded back-to-back league wins for the first time since the final day of last season when he and Harry Redknapp celebrated securing their Championship status.

Jacques Maghoma has played a massive part in their revival, scoring matchwinners in back-to-back games, while Sam Gallagher's effort game them valuable breathing space.

We've seen Leonid Slutsky, Garry Monk, Carlos Carvahal and Mark Warburton as managerial casualties in recent weeks from the Championship... Jaap Stam will be a nervous man.

Reading 0-2 Birmingham

Into four minutes of added time. Will Blues be able to hang on and record back-to-back wins? It looks that way.

HITS THE WOODWORK

Reading 0-2 Birmingham

Birmingham breathe a sigh of relief as Yann Kermogant had a crack which flicked off David Davis and onto the crossbar.

David Stockdale gathers. Reading puff out the cheeks. Birmingham exhale.

Reading 0-2 Birmingham

Time ticking away at the Mad Stad, and Birmingham have had the better of the chances as we close in toward full-time.

Vito Mannone puts himself between the ball and goal to deny Marc Roberts, and Harley Dean goes close with the second bite of the cherry but the ball is cleared.

Is there a late sting in the tale?

Reading v Birmingham
Empics

FULL-TIME

Fulham 4-1 Ipswich

One of the strangest seven or eight minutes of football you will ever see.

Ipswich led at half-time after Joe Garner nodded in a Martyn Waghorn free-kick, and it was all going swimmingly until the red card for Jordan Spence, for an off-the-ball lunge. No need at all. Daft.

With Town down to 10, Fulham woke up and cut loose, Ryan Sessegnon and Aboubakar Kamara scoring two apiece in an eight-minute flurry.

They could have had more. Four was enough. Four points off the play-offs.

Fulham 4-1 Ipswich

Not long to go. Could have been five but Aboubakar Kamara put wide when well placed. Few bookings between the two sides just to finish off...

FULL-TIME

Wolves 3-0 Brentford

Wolves get a big result on an emotional night for all of a gold and black persuasion, coming on the day that the passing of John 'Foz' Hendley put a cloud over the club.

Ruben Neves, Barry Douglas and Diogo Jota put the ball in the net to seal a 3-0 win that puts Wolves 12 points clear at the top of the Championship.

Massive night for them.

Brentford have quality, they played some fine football but Wolves are irresistible - not many teams will have the class to keep them out this season.

Fulham 4-1 Ipswich

Five minutes of injury time in a five-goal thriller. Ipswich will be counting down the seconds.

Wonder what Mick McCarthy has in store for Jordan Spence after that immensely costly red card?

Jordan Spence
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Wolves 3-0 Brentford

Ivan Cavaliero not far away from a fourth as he powered his header into the turf and up but it is over the top.

Brentford won't be made to suffer a fourth as it stands. Into four minutes of injury time.

Fulham 4-1 Ipswich

Ryan Sessegnon gets a rousing reception from the Craven Cottage crowd as he makes way for Fulham to be replaced by Rafa Soares. Two key goals for him.

Bartosz Bialkowski has actually had to make a couple of saves to keep it to four, with Aboubakar Kamara and Tom Cairney both spurned by the Pole.

Reading 0-2 Birmingham

David Stockdale again adding to his personal collection of saves to deny Pelle Clement as Reading rush for a goal to reduce their arrears.

I can't say that the home side are truly causing many problems. Birmingham you sense have this game in the bag.

Wolves 3-0 Brentford

Wolves have the bit between their teeth, seemingly trying to keep up with Fulham in the 'How many goals can we score in the space of seven minutes?' category.

Bright Enobakhare, on for Diogo Jota, goes close, then Leo Bonatini unable to tuck away.

Brentford at the other end deserve something but Nico Yennaris' effort sails over the crossbar.

And breathe...

Wolves v Brentford
Rex Features

What a farcially brilliant passage of play across the three games. We just had six Championship goals in eight minutes.

Just to keep you up to date:

  • Wolves 3-0 Brentford
  • Fulham 4-1 Ipswich
  • Reading 0-2 Birmingham

GOAL: Wolves 3-0 Brentford

Diogo Jota (80 mins)

Game, set, match Wolves.

Diogo Jota puts the hosts 3-0 up at Molineux and his side are going 12 points clear at the top of the Championship.

GOAL: Reading 0-2 Birmingham

Sam Gallagher (64 mins)

Goodness me, a huge goal at the Madejski Stadium!

Sam Gallagher slots home coolly to put Birmingham ahead at Reading, sending Blues closer to moving off the bottom and putting more pressure on the Royals and their boss Jaap Stam.

GOAL: Fulham 4-1 Ipswich

Aboubakar Kamara (76 mins)

Fulham v Ipswich
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Crackers. What a crackers game. Four goals in seven minutes, and it's AK-47 again, crashing in from the edge of the box.

Aboubakar Kamara celebrates. Fulham celebrate. Mick McCarthy's face is a picture. Fulham will climb to within four points of the play-offs after this. Goal difference boosted as well.

GOAL: Fulham 3-1 Ipswich

Ryan Sessegnon (74 mins)

Five outstanding minutes for Fulham, capped by a second for teenage full-back Ryan Sessegnon.

Tom Cairney teed it up and the ball was swept in at the far post by Sessegnon. Going crazy here.

GOAL: Fulham 2-1 Ipswich

Aboubakar Kamara (71 mins)

Two quickfire goals at Molineux turned the game and now two quickfire goals at Craven Cottage have done just the same.

Ipswich were doing well until Jordan Spence was dismissed but now it's all unraveled for them.

Fulham had a great chance when Ollie Norwood had a dig at goal which was blocked but it fell kindly for Aboubakar Kamara, and the man who wears 47 (AK-47 - get it?) rattled it in like Rambo trying to shoot down a Russian helicopter.

Oh, hang on!

Fulham v Ipswich
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GOAL: Fulham 1-1 Ipswich

Ryan Sessegnon (69 mins)

Reward finally for Fulham who have bashed on the door against a hard working 10-man Ipswich and now have an equaliser.

Ryan Sessegnon came forward and picked out Aboubakar Kamara on the left side of the penalty area, he drilled the ball across and Neeskens Kebano looked like he'd made a hash of it by squirting it away from goal.

Fell straight to Sessegnon. Bang. 1-1.

Fulham 0-1 Ipswich

Fulham, seeking a goal, make a change with Lucas Piazon comin on for Sheyi Oji...

He shows just how good he is with a bit of skill to take him past Dominic Iorfa but then tumbles like a clumsy toddler and is booked for simulation.

Think some of the home fans thought that was a spot-kick. It wasn't.

Wolves 2-0 Brentford

We've had two quick-fire goals, followed by a flood of yellow cards for some silly cynical shirtpulling and some more orthodox fouling.

Florian Josefzoon is on for Brentford and he's already given the hosts a bit of hassle with his pace and trickery.

Reading 0-1 Birmingham

Birmingham also trying to defend their lead, while having the odd opportunity of their own. No real chances though.

Plenty of balls into the box by the Royals but there's been a fair few occasions where there's just no-one to put it away,

Fulham 0-1 Ipswich

Bit like the Alamo (only without the gunshots and violence - well, barring Jordan Spence's ridiculous challenge) at the moment as Fulham pour forward and keep up the pressure on the Ipswich goal.

Town down to 10, I wouldn't be surprised to see them crawling deeper and deeper back toward their own goal in a bid to defend this lead.

GOAL: Wolves 2-0 Brentford

Barry Douglas (59 mins)

Barry Douglas
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Having put the Bees on the deck with Ruben Neves' stunning free-kick, Wolves hit Brentford with another combo.

This time it was substitute Ivan Cavaliero down the right who squared it, right into the path of the onrushing Barry Douglas who nailed it into the top corner to send Molineux into delirium.

Might just have sent Wolves 12 points clear too.

RED CARD: Jordan Spence

Fulham 0-1 Ipswich

How significant could this be for Ipswich?

The Tractor Boys had to hold on for long periods in the first half before Joe Garner's opening goal - and it could be more of the same from now on as they've just been reduced to 10 men.

Defender Jordan Spence is sent off for absolutely clattering Aboubakar Kamara after the ball had already gone.

GOAL: Wolves 1-0 Brentford

Ruben Neves (57 mins)

Wolves v Brentford
Rex Features

The pressure eventually told as Wolves go in front and it took a moment of absolute quality to secure it.

Ruben Neves supplied it, £15.8m (approximately) of quality gets the Gold and Black in front.

Hammered in. But with a huge slice of subtlety. Defies logic. Wonderful.

SUBSTITUTION

Wolves 0-0 Brentford

Helder Costa is hooked, and Ivan Cavaliero comes on for the Wolves in his place.

Still as they were for the Bees.

Fulham 0-1 Ipswich

Fulham mounting a response to their half-time deficit, as Neeskens Kebano slips a pass to Sheyi Oji, and his shot goes over the bar. Best of the second-half thus far.

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Jaap Stam
Empics

Simon Latson: Jaap Stam has got about 45 minutes to keep the majority of fans onside. Not going his way right now and we’re only four points above the relegation zone. Hand hovering above the panic button...

Simon Atkins: I have to say, I'm still not convinced by Steve Cotterill, but with a massive win for us against Leeds, and looking like another again tonight, he may just change my mind!

Terry: Super bees once again proving #TeamsLikeBrentford deserve more credit on a smaller budget than most on the league

Wolves 0-0 Brentford

Brentford work a lovely chance in the Wolves penalty area as Chris Mepham tees up Sergi Canos out wide and after a bit of trickery he picks up the return and tries to get it into the box.

Wolves cut it out and eventually clear. Brentford have certainly not come to lie down.

KICK-OFF

Wolves 0-0 Brentford, Fulham 0-1 Ipswich

Under way again in the 19:45 GMT kick-offs...

It doesn't take Wolves long to have a dig again either?! Leo Bonatini sauntered through and fired a shot away but it's saved by Daniel Bentley again.

Bonatini hit the post in the second minute, he's had another pop early in the second half.

HALF-TIME

Reading 0-1 Birmingham

Reading v Birmingham
Empics

Credit to Birmingham, they've eaked out a lead at half-time and despite living a little dangerously at times have done the job so far.

Great goal by Jacques Maghoma. Thumped in. What can Reading do after half-time? They'll need some inspiration.

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HT: Wolves 0-0 Brentford

Gary Wolinski: Dean Smith has got a potential to become a Premier League manager. Every game Brentford are a master class when comes to possession, now imagine where would Brentford be with a better defence & without 21 points lost from winning position this season

Peter Howe: Brentford are hardly just ‘frustrating’ Wolves they’re taking the game to them and dominating possession

Fair point Peter, but we're talking about a team that have blasted a few teams out of sight this season and haven't lost since October. I think they'll be frustrated whether it's through their own inability to convert and/or Brentford's adventure. And I think Brentford would be pleased by that.

GREAT SAVE!

Reading 0-1 Birmingham

David Stockdale was a promotion winner last season with Brighton and it's fair to say this term couldn't have gone any more differently for him.

Birmingham are down at the wrong end of the table, but tonight the former Darlington custodian is pulling out all the stops. Literally.

This time he's denied Sone Aluko who was well placed and fancied a goal. Super effort. Super save. Not long til the break now.

'The luck of the Irish for Brentford?'

HT: Wolves 0-0 Brentford

Ged Scott

BBC Sport at Molineux

Wolves v Brentford
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Not quite sure how often Brentford have been turning up for matches dressed as the Ireland rugby team, but they've certainly had the luck of the Irish in keeping out Championship leaders Wolves so far tonight.

One against the post, one off the line and three fine saves from visiting keeper Daniel Bentley adds up to a goalless first half at Molineux.

The last time it happened, just two home games ago, Sunderland went the whole hog and escaped with a 0-0 draw. But Brentford are a far more attack-minded side and have had chances themselves on the break. Surely goals will follow here in the second half!

Reading 0-1 Birmingham

Birmingham almost doubled the lead there as Sam Gallagher scampered through but Vito Mannone denies him with a smart save.

Reading have had the ball in good areas since going behind but I can't say they've had many concrete chances.

Away teams in the ascendancy tonight, in the Championship at least!

HALF-TIME

Fulham 0-1 Ipswich

Football eh? Fulham cruised at times in that first-half but one big chance was converted for Ipswich and they made it pay.

There were chances galore for the home side but they did not make one count. They copped a whack in the proverbial chops at the end of the half.

Wipe that bloodied nose Fulham, you'll need to come out fighting after the break.