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Newcastle return to Championship summit with 1-0 win over Derby

Britain Football Soccer - Newcastle United v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship - St James
Britain Football Soccer - Newcastle United v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship - St James' Park - 4/2/17 Newcastle United fans with an Alan Shearer banner Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Ed Sykes Livepic
Modified 04 Feb 2017, 23:12 IST

LONDON (Reuters) - Newcastle United returned to the top of the Championship table with Matt Ritchie's solitary goal sealing a tense 1-0 victory against playoff hopefuls Derby County on Saturday.

Ritchie's deflected strike in the 27th minute secured all three points for the hosts but Rafa Benitez's side were forced to endure a nervous finish with Tom Ince and Darren Bent missing good chances for eighth placed-Derby.

Victory lifts Newcastle, winners of three of their previous four games, two points above second-placed Brighton & Hove Albion, who travel to Brentford on Sunday, in the second-tier Championship.

Reading remain third after twice coming from behind in a 2-2 draw away against Ipswich Town with Jordan Obita rescuing a point with his 78th-minute strike.

Cameron Jerome scored the only goal as Norwich City, winners of three successive games, climbed to seventh with a 1-0 victory at Cardiff City while Bristol City ended a 10-game winless run with a 2-1 win against bottom-of-the-table Rotherham United.

Blackburn Rovers beat Queens Park Rangers 1-0, Birmingham City were 1-0 victors against Fulham, Burton beat Wolves 2-1 and Barnsley and Preston North End finished goalless.

Nottingham Forest host Aston Villa in the Championship's late kick-off while fourth-placed Leeds United visit fifth-placed Huddersfield on Sunday.

(Reporting By Tom Hayward; Editing by Clare Fallon)

Published 04 Feb 2017, 23:12 IST
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