Relegation dogfight is hotting up

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Preston North End - the only team keeping Sheffield United off the bottom of the Championship - chalked up a 3-0 win at Scunthorpe United last night.

Scunny are the team directly above the Blades in the last relegation place; they are two points ahead of United.

But if they lose at Ipswich Town on Saturday and Micky Adams’ men can win the red-hot Yorkshire derby against Leeds United, they will swap places, giving Bramall Lane fans some hope.

A one time Blade Keith Treacy, Billy Jones and former Barnsley striker Iain Hume scored the Lancashire club’s goals last night.

It was the 13th attempt at victory for Phil Brown as Preston manager.

The 51-year-old had failed to preside over a win in his first dozen matches but those first-half goals made it a lucky 13 for Brown a year ago to the day since he was sacked as Hull City boss.

Scunthorpe striker Joe Garner hit a 20-yard shot into Iain Turner’s arms with 15 minutes remaining - and that was the feeble hosts’ only effort of note during the entire 90 minutes.

Ipswich should be bursting to do well against the Iron on Saturday, as they lost 2-0 at home to Watford last night.

Coventry, three places above the Championship drop zone, managed a decent 2-2 tie at Burnley.

In League One, Huddersfield’s 1-0 win at Brentford kept in second place them above Sheffield Wednesday-conquering Peterborough.

Notts County, who won at Hillsborough last Saturday, could not sustain their attempts to keep away from the wrong end of the table, they went down 1-0 at Rochdale.

In League Two, league leaders Chesterfield saw the side closest to them, Bury, go down 2-1 at home, to Torquay.