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Loftus Road (ATT 18,198) 2nd April 2005 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: P Dowd

QPR Queens Park Rangers vs Sunderland S'land

QPR 1

ft

S'land 3

Black Cats move five clear

Last Updated: 02/04/05 5:30pm

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Championship leaders Sunderland produced a fine second half fightback to beat QPR 3-1 and move five points clear of Wigan and Ipswich with six games left to play.

Dan Shittu had put Rangers in front in the first half at Loftus Road, but the Black Cats came out fighting after the break and goals from Andy Welsh, Chris Brown and Julio Arca gave them the three points.

With a trip to Wigan looming in midweek for Mick McCarthy's men this seventh consecutive league victory was crucial for establishing a margin for error at the top.

It was the home side who forced the pace in the first half, with Lee Cook and Paul Furlong denied by goal-line clearances before the breakthrough came after 22 minutes.

Shittu was left completely unmarked at the far post as he met a corner from Martin Rowlands and he beat Thomas Myhre with a powerful header.

Sunderland should have equalised when Arca crossed towards Whitehead, but the young winger headed wide of Simon Royce's goal.

Furlong missed another good chance as he forced a smart save from Myhre, before Georges Santos had a header cleared off the line in stoppage time.

The second half was a different story as Sunderland took control and they wasted no time in drawing level, as Welsh volleyed in Stephen Wright's cross in the first minute of the half.

A fine passing move then led to the second goal on 63 minutes. Marcus Stewart released Whitehead down the right and his cut back was turned in from 10 yards by Brown.

Arca put the result beyond doubt 15 minutes from time with Sunderland's third, ramming the ball home after Royce had blocked Stewart's initial effort.

Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Derby County 17 32
2 Bournemouth 17 31
3 Middlesbrough 17 31
4 Brentford 18 31
5 Ipswich Town 17 30
6 Watford 17 29
7 Blackburn Rovers 17 27
8 Charlton Athletic 17 27
9 Wolverhampton Wanderers 17 27
10 Norwich City 17 26
11 Cardiff City 18 26
12 Nottingham Forest 17 25
13 Sheffield Wednesday 17 21
14 Reading 18 21
15 Leeds United 17 20
16 Huddersfield Town 17 20
17 Fulham 18 19
18 Millwall 17 18
19 Rotherham United 17 18
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 17 17
21 Bolton Wanderers 17 17
22 Wigan Athletic 17 16
23 Birmingham City 17 16
24 Blackpool 17 7

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