CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND-UP: Ex-Hatter Ince on target but Rams snatch win to boost their survival hopes

Wayne Rooney's side make it three straight victories over Christmas period

By Mike Simmonds
Friday, 31st December 2021, 10:11 am
Updated Friday, 31st December 2021, 10:12 am
Tom Ince, in action for Luton last year, scored Stoke's equaliser against Derby County
Tom Ince, in action for Luton last year, scored Stoke's equaliser against Derby County

Derby County breathed further life into their Championship survival hopes by making it three straight wins with a late 2-1 success at Stoke City last night.

The Rams took the lead on 16 minutes through teenager Luke Plange only for former Luton loanee Tom Ince to level with 12 minutes to go, scoring against his old club.

However, Colin Kazim-Richards's left footed finish on 85 minutes saw Wayne Rooney's side triumph as they now trail fourth bottom Reading reading by 11 points, although have played two games more.

Cardiff City are still in trouble as they were beaten 3-0 at leaders Bournemouth, who extended advantage over Fulham to four points with a second successive win.

Ryan Christie's deflected effort opened the scoring on 25 minutes, before the Bluebirds were down to 10 men when Leandro Bacuna was sent off for a reckless two-footed challenge in stoppage time.

Dominic Solanke made it 2-0 in the second period, before visiting keeper Alex Smithies deflected Jefferson Lerma's shot into his own net after it had hit the bar, leaving the visitors just three points above third bottom Peterborough.

There were victories for two of the play-off chasers as QPR triumphed 2-1 at Bristol City and Huddersfield enjoyed a 1-0 success at Nottingham Forest.

Rangers had trailed after just three minutes to Alex Scott's opener, but then levelled through Charlie Austin's penalty as the Robins were a man light, Andy King sent off for a second booking 11 minutes after the break.

In stoppage time, Yoann Barbet's header from a corner clinched a dramatic victory for Mark Warburton's side.

Meanwhile, Huddesrfield made it three straight wins thanks to Duane Holmes' goal on the half hour, inflicting back-to-back defeats to Forest for the first time under boss Steve Cooper.

On Wednesday, Ben Brereton Diaz scored his 20th league goal of the season as Blackburn made it six successive Championship victories with a 2-1 success over Barnsley to move up to third in the table.

Joe Rothwell had put the hosts ahead, before Carlton Morris equalised, but Brereton Diaz's winner means the Tykes are now seven points from safety.

Coventry lost further ground on the top six after a 1-0 home defeat to Millwall, Tom Bradshaw's 79th minute goal enough.

Middlesbrough are now fifth and within striking distance of West Bromwich Albion as they won 2-1 at Blackpool.

Andraz Sporar had put Boro ahead in the second half, as although Shayne Lavery levelled late on, Duncan Watmore's stoppage-time strike ensured Chris Wilder's men were triumphant.

With Luton not in action over the Christmas period due to a Covid outbreak, it means the Hatters, who haven't played since drawing 1-1 with Fulham on December 11, are 14th in the table, 10 points away from sixth, with three games in hand.