Championship round-up: Jordan Rhodes helps fire Blackburn Rovers top

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JORDAN Rhodes continued his hot goalscoring streak before Nuno Gomes hit a late winner for Blackburn, his fourth goal in as many games, to keep Steve Kean’s side on top of the npower Championship.

Gomes, a free summer signing from Braga, snatched all three points for his side with a close-range finish in the 85th minute to maintain Blackburn’s 100 per cent home record. But it was cruel on Barnsley, who took a deserved first-half lead through former Chelsea midfielder Jacob Mellis. Scotland international Rhodes maintained his impressive form since his £8million move from Huddersfield with an equaliser against the run of play on the stroke of half-time. It was Rhodes’ third goal in as many appearances.

Meanwhile, Craig Mackail-Smith’s sixth goal in four games was enough to sink Watford. The in-form Scotland striker grabbed the only goal from the penalty spot early in the second half for high-flying Brighton. It meant Seagulls boss Gus Poyet was able to put one over on his old Chelsea team-mate Gianfranco Zola as they met as managers for the first time.

Bolton’s miserable form on their travels continued as they were beaten by Birmingham, for whom Leroy Lita scored on his home debut.

Marlon King’s 48th-minute penalty, awarded when assistant referee Steven Copeland flagged for a foul by Marcos Alonso, proved decisive in an action-packed encounter after a stunning free-kick from Chris Eagles had cancelled out Lita’s early opener. Owen Coyle’s side now boast the unenviable record of four defeats from as many away matches this term, while Birmingham have lost just one 
of their last 26 league games at 
St Andrew’s.

Jamie Ward’s first double for Derby in a 3-2 win over Charlton helped the Rams secure back-to-back victories at Pride Park.