Aleksandar Mitrovic left it late to ensure Fulham maintained their promotion challenge with a 1-0 win against Swansea.
The game had reached the fourth minute of stoppage time when the Serbia striker headed home Aboubakar Kamara’s cross to edge the London club 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 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 bottom 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 give Wigan a 3-0 victory at Reading and put them level on points with the 21st-placed Middlesbrough.
Cauley Woodrow’s 14th league goal of the season proved the difference.
Barnsley boss Struber said: “The last few performances have given every single player a good feeling. “The belief is to stay in the league. We can stay in the league with our quality and our aggression.
“Some teams maybe don’t think they are in the relegation (fight), but it’s very close for many teams right now,” said Barnsley’s manager Gerhard Struber. “For us, it’s not new to play with this pressure, but for other teams maybe it is. This was a very important victory when we see the table and see all the teams at the bottom picking up points. It’s a big victory for us.”
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-off places was dealt a blow when they could only draw 0-0 with Michael O’Neill’s struggling Stoke at Ewood Park. Rovers remain eighth, and Tony Mowbray admitted that the visitors made life difficult for his side.
He said: “I think they came with a pretty decent defensive gameplan. “Michael has been around, has managed his country against top, top teams and knows how to set up teams to defend. They played deep to nullify our speed over the top. They narrowed their midfield. It was difficult for us to get through them.”
There were no goals either at Millwall as Birmingham took a point back to St Andrew’s.