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Weekend Recap: April 23, 2007

A massive win for Birmingham on Sunday in a tough Midlands derby with Wolverhampton sent the Blues back to the top of the Championship. On-loan striker Andy Cole opened the scoring, Nicolas Bendtner powered in a header and Cameron Jerome scored late on before Colin Doyle’s late penalty save sealed the points. You can catch some jittery video of the Blues supporters singing and dancing their hearts out over on YouTube.

Birmingham’s win takes their season total to 83 points just ahead of Sunderland who lost for the first time in 18 matches on Saturday. The Black Cats dropped points at Colchester, suffering a 3-1 defeat. The win keeps Colchester’s playoff hopes alive. Wayne Brown put Colchester ahead in first-half injury time, heading home from Kevin Watson’s free-kick. Dwight Yorke drew Sunderland level after 54 minutes, finding space to head home a cross from Daryl Murphy. Richard Garcia put Colchester back in front with eight minutes left and Jamie Cureton added a penalty in the 89th minute after he was fouled by Dean Whitehead.

The playoff race has tightened up significantly with Southampton, Stoke and Colchester all just 1 point back off West Brom and Wolverhampton and 2 back off Preston. Sheffield Wednesday are also in the mix, sitting 2 back of West Brom and Wolverhampton and 3 back of Preston.

At the other end of the table, Leeds scrapped for almost an hour with only 10 men but failed to salvage anything from their fixture. Alan Thompson saw red after 32 minutes after a clash with John Viafara, which saw angry players being kept apart by referee Tony Bates. It wasn’t until late on that Bradley Wright-Phillips was able to break through and score the winner that kept Southampton’s play-off hopes alive and leaves Leeds deep in relegation trouble. You can view a report including some buildup to the game. Near the end of the report you’ll see the brewing trouble between Southampton and Leeds fans. Southampton fans cheered when it was announced that Hull had snatched a point to push ahead of Leeds. That response did not sit well with Leeds supporters but luckily the stewards were in place.

Other results:

Stoke 1 – 1 Hull
QPR 1 – 0 Cardiff (post-game celebrations, more crowd atmosphere)
Preston 0 – 1 Leicster
Barnsley 2 – 0 Crystal Palace
Plymouth 2 – 1 Southend
Ipswich 1 – 1 Norwich
Sheffield Wednesday 2 – 1 Coventry

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