Championship roundup: Brentford thrash Preston as Lowe lifts Swansea

  • Brentford back on form with 5-0 triumph at Preston
  • Lowe strikes twice as Swansea beat Millwall 3-0

Brentford kept their faint automatic promotion hopes alive with a fine 5-0 victory at Preston. The Bees scored twice in the first half and three times in the second to end a run of four straight Championship draws in emphatic style.

Their biggest away win of the season – thanks to goals from Bryan Mbeumo, Marcus Forss, Ivan Toney, Sergi Canós and Emiliano Marcondes – moved Thomas Frank’s side within nine points of second-placed Watford, with six games still to play. Watford, in turn, are eight points behind leaders Norwich, who won 1-0 at Derby.

Related: Kieran Dowell’s free-kick fires Norwich past Derby and closer to promotion

Hull kept themselves clear at the top of League One with a convincing 3-0 win at Plymouth. Keane Lewis-Potter fired the Tigers in front early on, with Josh Magennis and Greg Docherty wrapping up victory in the second half. 

Bottom-side Grimsby lost 1-0 at Bradford with Stefan Payne sent off in bizarre circumstances – headbutting his own teammate, while Port Vale’s 1-0 win over Morecambe had a 45-minute break in play midway through the first half because of snow. 

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Sarr’s quickfire double against Reading takes Watford closer to Premier League

Watford moved a step closer to an instant Premier League return after two goals in as many first-half minutes from Ismaïla Sarr earned a 2-0 win at home to Reading. Xisco, the Watford manager, saw his side move to within five points of leaders Norwich as well as establishing a 12-point lead over third-place Brentford, who have two games in hand including Saturday’s visit to Preston.

Related: Rangers join Swansea’s social media boycott over online abuse

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Young people taking action as part of NCS Action Day

EFL Trust

This weekend, thousands of young people across EFL communities will be giving up their time to make a positive impact in their area. Tackling issues such as homelessness, loneliness, the environment, cultural divides and mental health, teens will be taking action as part of NCS Action Day, a national movement organised by National Citizen Service (NCS).