Date: 2nd May 2006 at 11:57am
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Friday 5th May 2006

Coca-Cola Championship Play-off Semi-Final First Leg
Leeds Utd v Preston NE 19.45

Saturday 6th May 2006

Coca-Cola Championship Play-off Semi-Final First Leg
C.Palace v Watford

Monday 8th May 2006

Coca-Cola Championship Play-off Semi-Final Second Leg
Preston NE v Leeds Utd 19.45

Tuesday 9th May 2006

Coca-Cola Championship Play-off Semi-Final Second Leg
Watford v C.Palace 19.45


Champions Reading surpassed Sunderland’s Football League record points total of 105 with a 2-1 win over QPR on the final day of the Coca-Cola Championship season. Dave Kitson gave the Royals the lead in the 40th minute but Paul Furlong struck a QPR equaliser in the 72nd minute. However, Richard Langley’s handball in the 81st minute meant Scotland international Graeme Murty could convert a penalty to send Reading up with the best record of a side promoted to the Barclays Premiership.

Preston secured a psychological advantage for the play-offs with a 2-0 win over Leeds at Deepdale. Both clubs went into the game having secured a place in the play-off semi-finals but Preston’s victory saw them climb above the Yorkshire side. It meant that the two sides meet at Elland Road on Friday with the return leg at Deepdale the following Monday. Preston took the lead in the 37th minute after a foul by Matthew Kilgallon on Jason Jarrett presented the home side with a free-kick just outside the Leeds box. Leeds keeper Neil Sullivan failed to get his wall right and Brian Stock clipped the ball past the former Scotland international. And Brett Ormerod scrambled home the second in the 77th minute, although there was a hint of handball against the home side in the build-up.

Watford finished third but will hope to play better than they did in drawing 0-0 with Hull. They will tackle Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday with the return at Vicarage Road on Tuesday week.

Second-placed Sheffield United leave the Championship with a 1-0 win over Palace who head to the play-offs and a meeting with Watford on the back of a defeat which came courtesy of a Chris Morgan’s 81st-minute goal.

Wolves finished the best of the also-rans with a 2-1 win at Norwich which lost some of its shine after Colin Cameron’s red card.
Wolves’ opener came from Denes Rosa in first-half stoppage time and they doubled their advantage in the 71st minute through Mark Kennedy. Wales striker Robert Earnshaw pulled one back for Norwich two minutes later before Cameron received his second yellow in the 81st minute for a foul on Paul McVeigh.

Stoke ended the season with a 5-1 win at relegated Brighton which saw a hat-trick for Adam Rooney. Rooney’s first goal in the sixth minute came in the wake of David Brammer’s corner, the ball breaking to the Dubliner who drove home from the edge of the Brighton box. His second was a close-range effort in the 22nd minute, and Stoke were three up inside the 40th minute thanks to Mamady Sidibe. Sidibe set up Rooney for his hat-trick goal after 63 minutes and Peter Sweeney (81) also netted before and Doug Loft’s 84th-minute consolation.

Sheffield Wednesday, their place in the Championship already secured for another season, completed a 2-0 win over Derby. Marcus Tudgay struck to put Wednesday ahead in the fourth minute and Leon Best clinched victory in the 85th minute.

Crewe and Millwall are both headed for League One – but the Railwaymen overtook the Lions with a 4-2 win. Millwall took the lead through Ben May after 15 minutes only for Eddie Johnson to volley in an equaliser three minutes from half-time. The home side went in front for the first time less than a minute after the break through Nicky Maynard. Millwall levelled thanks to a May header in the 58th minute but Luke Varney restored Crewe’s lead just seconds from the restart and Steve Jones made it 4-2 in the 84th minute.

Coventry were 3-1 winners over Cardiff. Stern John opened the scoring for Coventry in the eighth minute only for former Rangers striker Steven Thompson to level in the 21st minute. Dele Adebola restored Coventry’s lead in the 65th minute with a left-footed strike and Dennis Wise’s winner completed the win for the Sky Blues.

Plymouth came from behind to beat Ipswich 2-1. Nicky Forster headed the visitors in front on 12 minutes but Tony Capaldi levelled for Plymouth on 28 and Micky Evans headed in Capaldi’s free-kick in the 57th minute to give Argyle the win.

Goals from Ricardo Fuller (23) and Andrew Surman two minutes later gave Southampton a 2-0 win over Leicester.

Burnley and Luton shared the points in a 1-1 draw with the Hatters taking the lead through Rowan Vine in the 42nd minute and Kyle Lafferty equalising for the home side in the 78th minute.


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