Friday, January 20, 2012

Race for Championship hotting up

Charlton Athletic moved a step closer to a return to the Championship after a crucial 1-0 victory over fellow promotion hopefuls Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Saturday.

Wednesday went into the game in fine form having lost just once in 12 games and the soccer betting was unable to separate the sides come kick-off. But Johnnie Jackson’s free-kick was enough to see the leaders prevail and consign Wednesday to their first home defeat of the season.

Wednesday would have gone just two points behind Charlton with victory. Instead, they dropped eight points behind the table-toppers in fourth place. They fell one place as Huddersfield Town capitalised on their defeat.

Town left it late in their game with Oldham Athletic at the Galpharm Stadium. It looked as if Huddersfield would have to settle for a frustrating goalless draw heading into the dying stages, only for substitute Alan Lee to head the winner four minutes from time. They moved to within three points of Sheffield United, who ran out convincing 3-0 winners at Gigg Lane.

Bury were unbeaten in the league since October but had no answer as the Blades scored three
second-half goals without reply to keep pace with Charlton at the top. Richard Cresswell, Ched Evans and Lee Williamson were the scorers for Danny Wilson’s side.

MK Dons are the only other side with realistic automatic promotion aspirations and they endured a frustrating weekend after their game against play-off hopefuls Carlisle United was postponed at the last minute due to a frozen pitch.

Charlton are in pole position however for punters looking to bet on the championship title. They are four points ahead of Sheffield United with a game in hand. Intriguingly, the top two face off at the Valley this weekend. It is a six-pointer which could prove to be season-defining.

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