CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND-UP: Former Luton striker Collins finally nets his first Cardiff goal in Preston victory
Ex-Town defender Jack Stacey gives penalty away as Bournemouth lose to Derby
Former Luton striker James Collins scored his first goal for Cardiff City as they won 2-1 at Preston North End on Saturday.
The 30-year-old had not scored in his previous 16 games since his summer move to the Bluebirds, but after coming on at half time, rose highest to nod home Ryan Giles' corner to make it 2-1 to the visitors.
Sean Maguire had given Preston the lead on two minutes, before Will Vaulks levelled early in the second half, as speaking to the City official website, a relieved Collins said: “I seem to always score at Preston, so I was really delighted to see the winner go in today. To get three points on the road is always more special.
“On a personal level, my goal ratio has been poor. I expect better from myself first and foremost, and I was brought to the club to score goals. No one will be a bigger critic of me than myself, so I’m delighted to get that weight off my shoulders.
“Any striker that says it doesn’t weigh on their shoulders, I think they’re probably telling little lies. It has been playing on my mind, but I’ve just stuck at it. I’ve kept trying to work hard and work on my finishing in games, so finally when that chance did come, I could put it away.
“I’ve been desperate to score, and I’ve been working so hard on the training pitch and in games. Luckily today my reward came, and hopefully now I can get a good run going.”
Leaders Fulham continued their seemingly inevitable rise back to the Premier League with a 4-1 win over Barnsley, who were being watched from the stands by new head coach Poya Asbaghi.
Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic notched a remarkable 21st goal of the season already and Fabio Carvalho made it 2-0 at half time.
Neeskens Kebano added a third in the second period, as although Tykkes sub Victor Adeboyejo pulled one back, Harry Wilson sealed the win late on.
Second placed Bournemouth lost out 3-2 to bottom side Derby County who took their points tally to zero following another deduction last week.
The hosts led through Jason Knight's goal, but Jaidon Anthony and Dominic Solanke replied in the first half to put the Cherries ahead.
However, after the break, Tom Lawrence curled home an equaliser and then scored the winner from the penalty spot after ex-Town defender Jack Stacey brought down Graeme Shinnie.
West Bromwich Albion had failed to make up ground on Saturday, losing 1-0 at Huddersfield Town, as Stoke climbed up to fourth by beating Peterborough 2-0, Mario Vrancic and Tryrese Campbell on target for a third straight win.
Coventry dropped to fifth, drawing 0-0 at Sheffield United in the early Saturday kick-off, while Blackpool dropped a place following their 1-1 draw at Bristol City.
Millwall and Blackpool remained in ninth and 10th as the Lions drew 1-1 at Middlesbrough, with the Tangerines holding Swansea 1-1 at the Liberty Stadium, as both are now two points above the Hatters.
At the other end of the table, Hull earned an important 2-0 win over Birmingham to move out of the bottom three, replaced by Peterborough, with Reading drawing 1-1 against Town’s Tuesday night opponents Nottingham Forest.