Sheffield Wednesday rescued a dramatic 1-1 draw at Preston on Saturday as the Championship play-off contenders underlined their determination to make it to the Premier League.
After being denied a lucrative spot in the top flight by a narrow defeat against Hull in last season’s play-off final, Wednesday, owned by a Thai consortium, are back on the promotion trail this term.
A 1-0 win against second-tier leaders Newcastle over Christmas showcased Wednesday’s promotion credentials and they remain in possession of the final play-off berth thanks to their late show at Deepdale.
Preston, who had two goals disallowed in the second half, went ahead in the 77th minute as Greg Cunningham was slipped in behind on the left edge of the area and his low cross was deflected in off Wednesday’s Sam Hutchinson.
But Wednesday pushed hard for an equaliser and got their reward four minutes into stoppage time when Adam Reach, who was on loan at Preston last season, smashed home after a goalmouth scramble.
Wednesday’s Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield also scored four minutes into stoppage time in a 1-1 draw against Blackburn.
Nahki Wells curled home a brilliant late free-kick to cancel out Danny Graham’s 81st-minute header.
Rovers remain in the bottom three despite halting their four-match losing run, while Huddersfield end 2016 in fourth place.
Derby sit just outside the top six after being held to a goalless draw at home by struggling Wigan.
Steve McClaren’s men extended their unbeaten run to 10 league games but missed the chance to start 2017 in a play-off position.
QPR ended their horrendous run of form by beating Wolves 2-1.
Ian Holloway’s men had lost their last six games and failed to score in the previous four.
The goal drought was ended when Idrissa Sylla scored in the 53rd minute.
Dave Edwards equalised for Wolves just after the hour mark but Pawel Wszolek struck with three minutes left to lift his side five points clear of the bottom three.
Gianfranco Zola is still awaiting his first win as Birmingham boss despite the Blues playing most of the second half against 10 men in their 2-2 draw at Barnsley.