Bristol City stay top after draw with Watford

Bristol City were held to a 0-0 draw last night by Watford; and have their brillilant young goalkeeper Adriano Basso to thank for saving a point, and in the process, remaining at the top of the league.

After Michael McIndoe tripped Watford’s Tommy Smith from behind in the penalty box, Basso made a terrific save from Darius Henderson’s second half penalty kick.

Both sides had chances to win the game, with Bristol City having more of the play. And though both teams stay in first and third place in the Coca-Cola Championship, Stoke City helped their automatic promotion chances by beating Norwich with a Mamady Sidibe second-half header that puts them just one point behind the leaders.

“It was very important that if we weren’t going to win the game we didn’t lose it” said Gary Johnson, the Bristol City manager in a post-match interview.

The big game tonight is between West Brom, who now have three games in hand over the other title contenders, and Crystal Palace.

Coca-Cola Championship round up

Bristol City and Stoke only managed to stretch their lead at the top of the Coca-Cola League Championship at the weekend by a single point.

Bristol City couldn’t score as they drew 0-0 away at Ian Holloway’s struggling Leicester.  While Stoke City came from behind to draw 1-1 at home to Burnley.

Watford (62 points) didn’t have a fixture and now have a game in-hand over Stoke (63 points) and Bristol City (66 points).

Things are looking good for West Brom.  Five points ahead of Charlton, in fourth place and only five points behind leaders Bristol City, with two games in hand.

Weather permitting, there are 10 games scheduled for tomorrow night, including the mouth-watering Bristol City v Watford.

Stoke are away to Norwich; and Charlton will need to beat Burnley at Turf Moor, if they are to keep any dream of automatic promotion alive.

Cardiff and West Brom, who both won through to the FA Cup semi-finals at the the weekend, play on Wednesday night.  Cardiff are at home to sixth place Hull, while West Brom entertain ninth place Crystal Palace.

Coca-Cola Championship Round Up

Bristol City extend their lead at the top of the Coca-Cola Football League Championship table with a 2-1 win over Hull City.

Bristol City are now two points clear of Stoke City, with a game in hand.

Stoke lost 3-0 at QPR, and were already 2-0 down when referee Andy D’Urso sent off Andy Griffin in the 44th minute. Stoke claim D’Urso has admitted the red card was a mistake.

Watford, West Brom and Charlton were the pre-season favourites to be battling it out for automatic promotion. As it stands, they are jostling for play-off places.

Watford lost further ground on the leaders as they could only manage a 2-2 draw at Burnley, while West Brom beat Plymouth with a convincing 3-0 win over Plymouth. And Charlton scored late goals in both halves to win at Sheffield United 2-0.

Before Christmas most pundits were talking down Bristol City as serious contenders for the Championship title, though all agreed they play very attractive ball-to-feet football. But now Christmas has gone and we are in the home straight, and Bristol City are still looking strong.

Can anyone remember the championship odds at the beginning of the season for Bristol City to win the Championship title?

Stoke miss chance to extend lead

Stoke City missed a valuable chance to extend their lead at the top of the Coca-Cola Football League Championship tonight by losing to second from bottom Preston 2-0.

Stoke were looking for three points to put the pressure on second place Bristol City. But like Watford and West Brom before them, it appears no team wants to run away with the lead.

Chaplow scored twice for Preston North End in the first half, while no less than four Stoke City players picked up yellow cards in what turned out to be a frustrating evening for Tony Pulis and the Stoke fans.

Other scores in the Coca-Cola Championship tonight:

Barnsley 0 QPR 0

Burnley 2 Coventry 0

Coca-Cola Championship round up

This weekend saw 12 games played on Saturday, resulting in another exciting week in the topsy-turvy Coca-Cola Championship season.

Stoke City beat Ipswich 1-0 at home, while Bristol City won at Colchester 2-1 to keep the push for the two automatic promotion places.

But Watford and West Brom both slipped up again. Watford disappointed their home fans with a 0-0 draw with Preston, while West Brom have gone completely off the boil, losing 2-1 at home to Hull.

The goal fest of the weekend has to go to Blackpool who beat Charlton 5-3!

After Blackpool taking a two goal lead (McPhee and Gorkss), Charlton fought back to draw 2-2 with two goals from Ambrose – all in the first 30 minutes. But in the second half Black pool came out firing on all cylinders to take a 5-2 lead; three goals (two for Taylor-Fletcher and one for new boy Paul Dickov) in a 25 minute spell, before Charlton pulled one back.

Here’s a complete list of Saturday’s results:

Blackpool 5-3 (HT 2-2) Charlton

Colchester 1-2 (HT 0-0) Bristol City

Coventry 2-0 (HT 1-0) Leicester

Crystal Palace 0-2 (HT 0-0) Wolverhampton

Norwich 1-0 (HT 1-0) Barnsley

Plymouth 3-1 (HT 2-1) Burnley

QPR 1-1 (HT 1-0) Sheff Utd

Scunthorpe 1-1 (HT 1-0) Southampton

Sheff Wed 1-0 (HT 1-0) Cardiff

Stoke 1-0 (HT 1-0) Ipswich

Watford 0-0 (HT 0-0) Preston

West Brom 1-2 (HT 1-1) Hull

Watford are now in 3rd place on 60 points, two behind Bristol City and four behind Stoke.

Coca-Cola Football League Championship Table