Joao Ferreira rescued a point as Watford recorded a 1-1 draw at home to Rotherham but the result did little to help their automatic promotion chances from the Sky Bet Championship.

In addition to Ferreira’s superb equaliser from 20 yards, which cancelled out Shane Ferguson’s first-half opener, Watford clipped the visitors’ woodwork on two occasions on what proved to be a frustrating afternoon for the Vicarage Road crowd.

Slaven Bilic’s side sit third but are 13 points behind second-placed Sheffield United, and an almost unbridgeable 18 from leaders Burnley.

Norwich continued their superb start under new boss David Wagner with a 4-2 victory at Coventry.

Having thrashed Preston 4-0 in Wagner’s first league game in charge, the Canaries raced into a 3-0 lead inside 18 minutes through a Michael Rose own goal and strikes by Onel Hernandez and Josh Sargent.

Coventry reduced the deficit to one with quickfire hits from Jamie Allen and Kasey Palmer – all five goals coming inside the opening 26 minutes – before Kieran Dowell added a fourth for Norwich in the 65th minute.

Wigan remain rooted to the bottom of the table after suffering a second home defeat to Luton in the space of four days – with the Hatters easing to a 2-0 win.

Having won on this ground in midweek to advance to the fourth round of the FA Cup, Luton started the brighter and took only 11 minutes to open the scoring through Harry Cornick.

The visitors doubled their lead nine minutes after the restart when Elijah Adebayo collected a return pass from Cornick before slotting past Ben Amos with ease, leaving Wigan boss Kolo Toure winless from his last seven games.

Dwight Gayle ended his 50-match goal drought as Stoke claimed their first points of 2023 with a 4-0 thrashing of Reading.

Will Smallbone’s smart early finish paved the way for the Potters, with the influential Tyrese Campbell doubling his side’s advantage in the second half before Jacob Brown added a late third.

An impressive performance was rounded off by Gayle, who scored his first goal since December 2020.

Preston inflicted a fifth-straight league defeat on Birmingham in a 2-1 win at St Andrew’s that saw referee Rebecca Welch make history.

In the first Championship game to be refereed in full by a female official, first league goals of the season from Ryan Ledson and captain Alan Browne in the opening 15 minutes won it for Ryan Lowe’s side.

Substitute Lukas Jutkiewicz made it a nervy finish when he reduced the arrears late on, but North End held on.

Jay Fulton’s late equaliser earned Swansea a point from a 1-1 draw at QPR.

Jamal Lowe’s goal on his full debut – against his former club – put Rangers ahead after 27 minutes. But the Welsh side hit back thanks to a well-worked goal with nine minutes remaining from their first shot on target.

Blackburn battled their way to a 1-1 draw with Bristol City at Ashton Gate, despite having captain Daniel Ayala sent off.

The visitors went in front after 54 minutes through Bradley Dack, but City levelled 14 minutes later as Rovers goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski could only a parry a Zak Vyner shot from outside the box and Antoine Semenyo slotted home the rebound.

Blackburn were reduced to 10 men in the 74th minute when Ayala received asecond yellow card for pulling back Nahki Wells as he threatened to break clear, but the visitors reorganised well and deserved their point against improving opponents on a decent run.

Cardiff’s slide towards the relegation zone continued following a 1-0 home defeat against Millwall.

Following a pre-match protest against owner Vincent Tan, Tom Bradshaw’s first-half strike condemned the Bluebirds to another loss.

Meanwhile, Blackpool’s game against Huddersfield was postponed because of a frozen pitch.

Sky Bet League One

Plymouth resumed their charge for promotion with a 4-2 win against Cheltenham in Sky Bet League One.

The Pilgrims had only managed to pick up two points from their previous two games, but they returned to winning ways to stay top of the table.

Goals from Dan Scarr and Ryan Hardie put them 2-0 in front after 28 minutes, but the Robins pulled one back through Taylor Perry.

Callum Wright made it 3-1 after the hour mark, but Cheltenham continued to push with Alfie May aiming to spark a comeback with his goal, before Sam Cosgrove restored the two-goal cushion in the final 10 minutes.

Six goals were also scored in Shropshire as Shrewsbury eased past a struggling Cambridge 5-1.

Captain Luke Leahy kicked off a dominant afternoon scoring from the spot and Jordan Shipley added another just before the break.

Matthew Pennington’s sixth goal of the season extended their lead before Joe Ironside pulled one back for the U’s.

Christian Saydee restored the three-goal lead before Leahy capped the game off with a stoppage-time goal, leaving Cambridge third-from-bottom.

Sheffield Wednesday remained second after Marvin Johnson’s first-half strike helped them edge to a 1-0 win against Fleetwood.

Ipswich lost ground on the top two after Cameron Brannagan’s strike made it back-to-back wins for Oxford.

Leif Davis quickly cancelled out Yanic Wildschut’s opener, but Brannagan struck in the 83rd minute to secure a 2-1 home win.

Derby extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 18 games after beating play-off rivals Bolton 2-1.

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Conor Hourihane both scored for the Rams, with Kieran Sadlier earning a stoppage-time consolation for the Trotters.

Sixth-placed Barnsley also continued their push for the play-offs with a 3-1 win against Accrington.

James Norwood, Jack Aitchison and Jordan Williams all scored in the opening 20 minutes for the Tykes, but Tommy Leigh’s stoppage-time penalty denied them a clean sheet.

John Mousinho got off to a winning start as Portsmouth manager as they beat Exeter 2-0 at Fratton Park with goals from Marlon Pack and Joe Morrell.

Forest Green remain rooted to the bottom of the table after fellow strugglers MK Dons came from behind to beat them 2-1.

Myles Peart-Harris put Rovers ahead but a double from Mohamed Eisa either side of half-time picked up three points for the Dons.

Sky Bet League Two

Nine matches failed to beat the cold snap in Sky Bet League Two but the mouth-watering top-of-the-table clash between Stevenage and leaders Leyton Orient survived.

Unbeaten in four league games, Stevenage took the lead after just six minutes thanks to Jamie Reid’s header and five minutes later doubled their lead through Jordan Roberts.

Orient’s misery was compounded just before half-time when Idris El Mizouni saw red after picking up a second yellow card.

Luke Norris made it 3-0 in stoppage time, which helped Stevenage cut the gap at the top to just two points.

The three teams propping up the division were in action in the remaining two games.

Gillingham moved off the bottom with a 2-0 victory at Colchester, with first-half goals from David Tutonda and Tom Nichols.

The Gills were replaced at the foot of the league by Rochdale, who lost 2-0 at Hartlepool.

The visitors faced a tough task when Ethan Ebanks-Landell was shown a straight red for a high challenge after 51 minutes.

Hartlepool quickly took advantage with a goal three minutes later from Josh Umerah, and Jack Hamilton doubled the lead.

Rochdale finished the game with nine men when Sam Graham was shown a second yellow card in stoppage time.

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