01.04.2024 22:31 h

Ipswich go top of Championship with comeback win

Jeremy Sarmiento proved to be a 'super sub' after scoring a stoppage-time winner as Ipswich returned to the top of the Championship on Monday with a dramatic 3-2 win at home to Southampton.

With both teams pushing for a return to the Premier League, it seemed as if goals from Che Adams and Adam Armstrong had put Southampton on course for victory following Leif Davis's well-struck opener for Ipswich.

But Ipswich, who've now won 31 points from losing positions this season, again proved themselves masters of the comeback.

Nathan Broadhead equalised in the 68th minute with a shot on the turn before Southampton's Jason Bree was sent off five minutes from the end of normal time for dragging back Davis.

Ipswich's never-say-die attitude was summed up when Sarmiento, despite a slip, struck in the seventh and final minute of stoppage time to spark delirious scenes at Portman Road.

Victory left Ipswich two points clear of Leicester, who won earlier in the day and meant they could not be overtaken Monday even if Leeds defeated Hull in a late kick-off.

"It was right up there," said Ipswich manager Kieran McKenna. "It was another brilliant day, brilliant match to be involved in...Of course when you win it with the last-minute winner like that, it's a moment to really cherish."

Defeat effectively ended Southampton's hopes of automatic promotion, with manager Russell Martin lamenting: "We were the best team, we didn't deserve to lose...Even at 2-2, I thought we were going win the game and then with 10 men, David Brooks goes through in the box and squares, we nearly score."

Leicester reignited their bid for automatic promotion with a 3-1 win at home to Norwich.

Goals from Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Stephy Mavididi and Jamie Vardy enabled Leicester to complete a comeback after Gabriel Sara's fourth goal in as many games gave Norwich the lead.

Leicester have topped the table for much of the season, but Monday's success was just their third win in eight Championship games.

Only the top two clubs at the end of the regular season are guaranteed automatic promotion to the Premier League, with Leicester boss Enzo Maresca saying: "This was important, because we are in the final part of the season."

He added: "Probably in the last six games, we won one game and it was the one we didn't deserve -- Sunderland. We lost four games, and not one of them we deserved to lose."

Defeat left Norwich in sixth position -- still in contention for the play-offs that will decide the third and final promotion spot.

Liam Kitching scored two own goals as Coventry lost ground in the play-off race following a 2-1 home defeat by Cardiff.

At the other end of the table, Rotherham staved off relegation for at least another week with a 2-1 win over Millwall.

This was just Rotherham's fourth league victory of the season, ending a run of 15 games without a win.

Seb Revan put them ahead in the 71st minute before Ryan Longman equalised for Millwall. But four minutes from time, on-loan striker Charlie Wyke headed in a winner for Rotherham.

Birmingham moved two points clear of the relegation zone with a 1-0 win over play-off hopefuls Preston, Jay Stansfield scoring the only goal of the game.