Cunningham and Browne keep Preston on the front foot
Championship round-up: Derby stay in automatic promotion spot; Villa win sixth straight league game
Tom Huddlestone scores Derby County’s first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match against Brentford at iPro Stadium. Photograph: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images
Goals from Republic of Ireland internationals Greg Cunningham and Alan Browne helped keep Preston within three points of the Championship playoff places after recording back-to-back wins with a 2-1 victory against Hull at Deepdale.
Hull, who dropped into the bottom three after Bolton’s victory over Bristol City on Friday, took the lead courtesy of Jarrod Bowen’s 29th-minute strike.
Cunningham brought Preston back level after 36 minutes and Browne’s penalty just before the break sealed the three points.
Tom Huddlestone inspired Derby to a 3-0 victory over 10-man Brentford which kept them in the automatic promotion places.
Huddlestone scored his first goal in 125 appearances and set up the second to help move the Rams to within eight points of leaders Wolves, who host Sheffield United in the late kick-off.
Brentford midfielder Sergi Canos was sent off midway through the first half and Huddlestone, capped four times by England, made them pay moments later.
Aston Villa remain third, a point behind Derby, after beating struggling Burton 3-2 to claim their sixth straight Championship victory.
Ahmed Elmohamady’s own goal gifted the Brewers a route back into the game, but Jack Grealish restored Villa’s two-goal cushion late on.
There was still time for Liam Boyce to score for Burton but Nigel Clough’s side are rooted to the bottom of the table.
Neil Warnock returned to haunt his former club as Cardiff kept up their promotion hopes with a 4-1 win at 10-man Leeds.
Sol Bamba’s own goal gave Leeds fans something to cheer after 54 minutes, but Republic of Ireland winger Anthony Pilkington rounded off the victory late on for fourth-placed Cardiff.
Sunderland remain second bottom and are two points adrift of safety after a 2-0 home defeat against Ipswich.
Joe Garner broke the deadlock in the 35th minute and the Tractor Boys found themselves in the clear on the stroke of half-time courtesy of Adam Matthews’s own goal.
Birmingham edged four points clear of the relegation zone with a 3-1 victory at nine-man Sheffield Wednesday.
David Davis opened the scoring for the Blues in the eighth minute and Jota made it 2-0 midway through the first half.
Marco Matias was then sent off for the Owls in the 38th minute and Jota added his second just before the break.
Josh Scowen scored his first goal for QPR to help secure a 1-0 victory against his former club Barnsley.
Rangers were reduced to 10 men when Irishman Ryan Manning was sent off in the 71st minute, but struggling Barnsley failed to find an equaliser.
Norwich beat Middlesbrough, who had Rudy Gestede sent off in the first half, 1-0 courtesy of Tom Trybull’s goal, while Leandro Bacuna’s own goal and a Lee Gregory strike helped Millwall win 2-0 at Reading.