Newcastle's Mitrovic inflicts more pain on Preston
LONDON (Reuters) - Newcastle United's Aleksandar Mitrovic scored twice against Preston North End for the second time in five days as the Championship leaders won 2-1 at Deepdale on Saturday.
The Serb striker had been instrumental in United's 6-0 League Cup win on Tuesday and produced two clinical second-half finishes for the visitors' seventh successive win in front of a crowd of 20,724, Preston's highest at home since 2009.
Newcastle's closest rivals in English football's second tier, Brighton and Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town experienced a day of contrasting fortunes on either side of 5-0 scorelines.
Glenn Murray scored a hat-trick as the Seagulls romped past fourth-placed Norwich City, while Chris Martin hit two in Fulham's destruction of the early-season leaders Huddersfield at Craven Cottage.
At the other end of the table Wigan, who dismissed their manager Gary Caldwell in midweek, ended Neil Warnock's unbeaten start as Cardiff City manager with a 1-0 away win courtesy of a late goal from Jordi Gomez.
Another side who have recently sacked their manager, Derby County, continued their revival under Steve McClaren with a 2-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday, their second win in four games since the former England manager returned to the club.
Across the Midlands, Nottingham Forest's slide continued as former players Gareth McCleary and Chris Gunter both scored in Reading's 2-0 win at the Madejski Stadium.
Leeds United beat Burton Albion by the same score, with Chris Wood and Souleymane Doukara supplying the goals as Garry Monk's side continued their rise up to ninth in the table.
(Reporting by Neil Robinson; Editing by Rex Gowar)