Championship round-up: Mateusz Klich goal keeps Leeds on front foot
Fulham maintain promotion push thanks to late Aleksandar Mitrovic goal
Leeds United’s Mateusz Klich scores during the Championship match against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium. Photograph: Richard Sellers/PA Wire
Mateusz Klich fired Leeds back to within four points of t Championship leaders West Brom with a hard-fought victory at Middlesbrough.
The Poland international midfielder’s goal on the strike of half-time clinched a 1-0 win at the Riverside Stadium, a third on the trot after a disappointing run of form.
Leeds had already seen Boro old boy Patrick Bamford and Stuart Dallas go close when they finally took the lead in first-half stoppage time when Pablo Hernandez, who had hit the post seconds earlier, fed Klich to score off the inside of the upright.
George Saville was denied an equaliser by Kiko Casilla’s fine save five minutes after the restart and Marcus Tavernier saw his 64th-minute effort come back off the crossbar as the home side fought, ultimately in vain, for a way back into the game.
As a result, Boro head coach Jonathan Woodgate, who started his playing career at Elland Road, saw his side – who are now without a league win in eight attempts – slip to within goal difference of the drop zone.
Aleksandar Mitrovic left it late to ensure Fulham maintained their promotion challenge with a 1-0 win over Swansea.
The game had reached the fourth minute of stoppage time when the Serbia international headed home Aboubakar Kamara’s cross to edge the Londoners above Nottingham Forest into third place, but still five points adrift of the top two with a first victory in four.
There were significant wins at the foot of the table too, with both Barnsley and Wigan boosting their survival hopes.
Cauley Woodrow scored the only goal as Barnsley beat Hull 1-0 at the KCOM Stadium to climb off the foot of the table and drag themselves to within three points of safety, while efforts from Kieffer Moore and Jamal Lowe either side of half-time and Michael Jacobs’s strike in the ninth minute of stoppage time were enough to hand Wigan a 3-0 victory at Reading and put them level on points with 21st-placed Middlesbrough.
Both the Tigers and the Royals are sliding alarmingly, with the former having collected just two points since New Year’s Day and the latter having won only once in the league during the same period.
There was late drama too at Hillsborough, where Sheffield Wednesday striker Steven Fletcher’s injury-time header was enough to beat Charlton 1-0, the Owls’ first Championship victory in eight outings.
However, Blackburn’s hopes of closing the gap on the play-of places was dealt a blow when they could only draw 0-0 with struggling Stoke at Ewood Park, and there were no goals either at Millwall as Birmingham took a point back to St Andrew’s.