Lewis Grabban helps Aston Villa scramble a point against Preston
Championship review: Burton win sees Sunderland drop to bottom spot after Bolton loss
Preston North End’s Tom Barkhuizen scores during the Championship match against Aston Villa at Villa Park. Photograph: Nigel French/PA Wire
Lewis Grabban netted his first goal for Aston Villa to scramble a nervous 1-1 Championship home draw against Preston.
Tom Barkhuizen, North End’s leading marksman, put the playoff chasing Lilywhites ahead in the first half.
But Villa equalised as a result of a controversial penalty converted by on-loan Bournemouth striker Grabban in the 66th minute.
A struggling Villa, who had been looking to complete the double, therefore missed the chance to move into second place in the table.
Burton condemned Jose Morais to defeat in his first game in charge of Barnsley with a 2-1 victory which moved Albion off the bottom of the table.
The Portuguese, appointed as Paul Heckingbottom’s successor last week, suffered a dismal start to life at Oakwell as Jamie Allen’s screamer put the visitors 1-0 ahead inside a minute.
Jacob Davenport doubled Burton’s advantage with a free-kick on the stroke of half-time and they held on despite Daniel Pinillos’s 75th-minute goal.
Burton leapfrogged Sunderland and Barnsley but remain in the bottom three, below Hull only on goal difference.
Sunderland dropped to the foot of the table after losing 1-0 at fellow strugglers Bolton.
On-loan Nottingham Forest forward Zach Clough scored the winner in the first half to take Wanderers four points above the drop zone, level with Reading.
The Royals drew 1-1 at Nottingham Forest after Lee Tomlin’s 85th-minute equaliser cancelled out Omar Richards’s first-half strike.
Birmingham are one point from safety following a 5-0 defeat away to playoff chasing Brentford.
Brentford moved three points behind sixth-placed Bristol City while Sheffield United, Middlesbrough and Preston all bolstered their playoff hopes.
Like Preston, Boro are two points behind Bristol City after a convincing 3-1 victory over Hull at the Riverside.
Sheffield United are just one point adrift of Lee Johnson’s side after beating QPR 2-1 at Bramall Lane.
Millwall made it 11 games unbeaten at home in all competitions with a 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday.