EPL Promotion Watch: Forest, Brighton Draw, Cardiff Slips Up on Road

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2013

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 30: Lewis McGugan of Nottingham Forest is congratulated on scoring his goal  during the npower Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Brighton and Hove Albion at City Ground on March 30, 2013 in Nottingham, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The 39th round of fixtures in the Championship took place over a span of two days in England as the top six began to take shape. 

A set of five fixtures were played across England on Friday, but the most impactful of the weekend's fixtures came to us on Saturday. 

The biggest of the seven matches played on Saturday came at the City Ground between Nottingham Forest and Brighton and Hove Albion.

The two clubs fighting for position in the top six ended the match in a 2-2 draw after Henri Lansbury equalized in stoppage time for Forest. 

The Seagulls jumped ahead in the 57th minute by way of a Jose Ulloa goal and they had the lead for most of the second half until Lewis McGugan scored for the home side in the 82nd minute.

Just three minutes after the first equalizer by Forest, William Buckley put Gus Poyet's side back in the lead until Lansbury's goal handed both clubs a point when the final whistle blew.

The draw kept both clubs in the top six after seventh-place Leicester City lost to Millwall on Friday at the King Power Stadium.

The most shocking result of the weekend came on Saturday at London Road, as bottom feeders Peterborough United stunned league leaders Cardiff City, 2-1. 

Cardiff City went ahead in the 23rd minute through an Aron Gunnarsson goal, but the Bluebirds conceded two second-half penalties to earn the loss. 

Grant McCann converted penalties in the 72nd and 79th minutes for the home side as they sent the Bluebirds back to Wales with a disappointing loss and just a four-point lead over Hull City in the table.

Hull City took advantage of the misfortune of the league leaders as they narrowed the gap at the top of the table with a 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town. George Boyd's goal in the 46th minute gave the Tigers the victory. 

As for the rest of the top six, Watford stayed in third-place with a thrilling 3-3 draw against Burnley at Vicarage Road. The Hornets seemed to have the win locked up until Sam Vokes equalized for the visitors in the third minute of stoppage time. 

Fourth-place Crystal Palace had a night to forget in front of their fans at Selhurst Park as they were thrashed 4-0 by Birmingham City. 

There is no rest for the 24 clubs in the Championship this week as action in the English second flight gets back underway on Monday with a slate of eight matches.

The action continues on Tuesday with four matches, highlighted by the top six showdown between Hull City and Watford at the KC Stadium.

Here is how the Championship table looks after this weekend's matches.

The top two clubs will earn automatic promotion to the EPL while the clubs placed in third through sixth will compete in a four-club playoff for the final promotion spot. 

Club Matches Played Points Goal Differential
Cardiff City 38 75 21
Hull City 39 71 11
Watford 39 67 24
Crystal Palace 39 65 14
Nottingham Forest 39 61 8
Brighton and Hove Albion 39 60 16

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