Championship Round-Up: Boro top the table at New Year
30th December 2015

Middlesbrough were the only top-four side to win their final fixture of 2015, as a 1-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday sees Aitor Karanka’s side end the year at the top of the Championship.

Christian Stuani’s goal after just 44 seconds was enough for Boro to pick up their third successive win to move them a point above second placed Derby.

The Owls remain in seventh, but are now four points outside the play-offs after failing to win for the sixth time in their last eight outings.

Derby slipped to second and failed to retain top spot after a 2-2 draw with Leeds at Elland Road.

The Rams took an early lead through Jeff Hendrick, only for Sol Bamba to bring the hosts level before half time.

Chris Wood then put Steve Evans’ side ahead with 20 minutes left, but Tom Ince rescued a point for Paul Clement’s team as they stretch their unbeaten run to eight matches.

Hull City stay in third, four points behind second-placed Derby, despite a 1-0 defeat away at Preston North End.

16 May 2015 Premier League Football ; Tottenham Hotspur v Hull City;  HUll manager Steve Bruce. Photo: Mark Leech

Steve Bruce’s Hull stay third despite their defeat at Preston

The Tigers arrived buoyed by a convincing Boxing Day win over rivals Burnley, but Paul Gallagher’s second half effort gave North End the win that moves them seven points clear of the bottom three in 17th.

Promotion hopefuls Ipswich handed fourth-placed Brighton only their second defeat of the season with a 1-0 win at the Amex.

Daryl Murphy scored the the game’s only goal to give the Tractor Boys their fifth straight away victory and move Mick McCarthy’s side to within one point of fifth placed Burnley.

Chris Hughton’s Albion remain in fourth but are only four points ahead of Ipswich following a fifth game without a win.

Burnley returned to winning ways with a 4-0 thumping of Bristol City at Turf Moor.

Andre Gray was the Man of the Match, notching a hat-trick for the Clarets to take him to 15 for the season.

Scott Arfield scored the other as Sean Dyche’s men sit seven points off the automatic promotion places, while the Robins remain in the bottom three after a fourth game without a win.

Brentford moved up to eighth with a 2-1 victory away at Reading.

A Ryan Woods thunderbolt and a stunning goal form Liverpool loanee Sergi Canos was enough to lift the Bees level with seventh placed Sheffield Wednesday.

Garath McCleary had earlier equalised for the Royals, who had Michael Hector dismissed late on and dropped down to 13th after a second defeat in three days.

Birmingham move up to ninth, and join the group on 36 points, following their 1-0 win against lowly MK Dons.

A solitary effort from Jacques Maghoma was enough to give the Blues three points which sees them start 2016 just outside the play-offs.

22 September 2015 - Capital One Cup (3rd Round) - Aston Villa v Birmingham City - Jacques Maghoma of Birmingham City - Photo: Marc Atkins / Offside.

Jacques Maghoma scored Birmingham’s winner against MK Dons

The Dons’ position is less promising; they sit just a single point above the relegation zone after a fifth defeat in nine league matches.

Bottom club Bolton have given themselves hope of a great escape with a 1-0 win over local rivals Blackburn.

After 17 games without a win, Gary Madine was the Trotters’ hero as his second half strike lifts Neil Lennon’s side to within four points of safety.

Rovers’ second defeat in three days sees them drop down to 16th and they are now 12 points adrift of the top-six.

Charlton stay stuck in the relegation zone after they lost 2-0 to Wolves at The Valley.

Jordan Graham continues to impress and opened the scoring early in the second half for Wanderers, before a Harry Lennon own goal clinched a second three points in three days for Kenny Jackett’s men.

The Addicks, who have now not won in their last seven matches, remain in 23rd, two points from safety and two above bottom side Bolton.

After beating Bolton 4-0 at the weekend, Rotherham crashed back down to Earth in spectacular style as they were hammered 4-1 at Fulham.

A brace from England under-21 international Cauley Woodrow set the ball rolling, before Alexander Kacaniklic and top scorer Ross McCormack completed the scoring for a Cottagers who had new manager Slavisa Jokanovic watching from the stands.

Farrend Rawson netted the Millers’ goal as they are kept out of the bottom-three only on goal difference.

The week’s remaining fixtures both ended in 1-1 draws as play-off hopefuls Cardiff came from a goal down to earn a point at home to Nottingham Forest, while Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink saw his QPR side draw for the fourth time in his first five matches in charge as Nakhi Wells’ strike with four minutes remaining keeps the Dutchman waiting for his first win.

Championship Team of the Week: Bolton
Championship Player of the Week: Andre Gray (Burnley)
Championship Goal of the Week: Sergi Canos (Brentford)

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