Sheffield Wednesday manager Danny Rohl was disappointed with his side’s failure to win after taking the lead as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Stoke.

Liam Palmer gave the home side a 68th-minute lead before substitute Luke Cundle equalised in the 76th minute.

Rohl said: “I think today is hard to take. We dominate the whole game with so many chances. I think after 10 minutes we have to lead two or three-nil.

“At the moment a draw is not helpful for us, so it’s hard to take today. But then next week we have to go again. I have to lift my players. The good thing is it’s just one point behind.

“It’s football. I think we showed a good performance but all in all it’s about results and even at home at the moment we have just three draws and in our situation it’s not enough to make the step. Now we can try in three more games, nine points to take and this will be what we will try.

“I don’t know what Stoke thought about the game. I think they know how strong we are at home, they know how we play. We were on the front foot, we created a lot of chances. And then they have the momentum and they use one more chance.

“But now we have two ways. We can be disappointed and take it to the next week, to the next game. Or we say, no, we do it again, we lift us and we try it again and this is what we have to do.

“I know today it’s hard to say, but this is what I will do.”

Stoke boss Steven Schumacher believes the point gained by his team could be vital.

He said: “We planned to come under the cosh. Obviously we didn’t want to be under as much pressure as we were, but credit to them. They started the game really well.

“The crowd was behind them, they had loads of crosses into the box, loads of corners and we’ve defended them really well. We’ve needed the goalkeeper. Daniel (Iversen) made a brilliant save, they hit the bar as well in that spell but we got through it and got stronger as the half went on.

“At half-time we spoke about just trying to close the distances a little bit better and try and get them under a bit more pressure, which I felt we did.

“And then we fell behind, we showed brilliant character again, changed the shape and got our fresh legs into the game when there was a bit more space and fully deserved to get something from the game. It could be a massive point.”

Struggling Sheffield Wednesday had to settle for a point after Stoke substitute Luke Cundle cancelled out Liam Palmer’s opener to earn a 1-1 draw.

The result dealt Wednesday a real blow in their bid to avoid the drop due to results elsewhere.

Marvin Johnson, Ike Ugbo and Will Vaulks were all restored to Wednesday’s starting line-up.

Stoke boss Steven Schumacher made six changes, recalling Tyrese Campbell, Mehdi Leris, Sead Haksabanovic, Ben Wilmot, Jordan Thompson and Lewis Baker.

The visitors were put under pressure from the start with Palmer the first to threaten, firing in a drive which was deflected off-target.

Ugbo then saw his effort kept out by Daniel Iversen, and Michael Ihiekwe’s header was cleared off the line by Campbell.

Michael Smith went close to breaking Stoke’s resistance when his shot struck the bar in the eighth minute.

As Wednesday continued to dominate, Pol Valentin fired over later in the half, with Stoke failing to pose a serious attacking threat during the first half.

The closest they came to a chance was in the final minute of the half when Baker’s free-kick led to a scramble in the penalty area before Wilmot put the ball wide.

The Stoke line-up showed a change at the start of the second period with Bae Jun-ho coming on in place of Haksabanovic.

The visitors were forced to make a further change just four minutes after the restart when Wouter Burger had to go off after receiving treatment, with Enda Stevens coming on in his place.

Wednesday keeper James Beadle was called into action for the first time to save Jun-ho’s long-range effort.

Beadle then made a comfortable save from Campbell’s deflected shot soon afterwards.

As Stoke looked to capitalise on their impressive start to the second half, Baker sent a free-kick a fraction wide of Beadle’s left-hand post.

The home side responded with Ihiekwe heading just wide from Vaulks’ delivery.

Midway through the second period, Wednesday manager Danny Rohl made an attacking change, with Callum Paterson taking over from Josh Windass.

The opening goal finally came in the 68th minute when Barry Bannan’s cross was headed back by Ihiekwe to Palmer, who found the net with an emphatic finish.

Cundle, who had only been on the field for a few minutes, equalised in the 76th minute. Campbell found Cundle in space on the left-hand side and he advanced into the area before slotting past Beadle.

Stoke skipper Josh Laurent then had a shot which hit the side-netting.

Jun-ho threatened late on with a goal-bound shot which struck team-mate Cundle.

Luke Williams urged his Swansea players to show the same intensity and aggression they displayed in their 3-0 win over Stoke across their final four games of the Championship season.

The Swans were largely dominant against the Potters and went ahead through Liam Cullen’s seventh goal of the campaign on 19 minutes.

Matt Grimes bagged Swansea’s second from the penalty spot in the 53rd minute after Luke McNally tripped Ollie Cooper.

Josh Key completed a fine win for the hosts in south Wales by rifling into the roof of the net after slick play from Jamal Lowe on the left wing in the 73rd minute.

And Williams has called on his players to end what has been a frustrating campaign in style by replicating their efforts from their emphatic win over Steven Schumacher’s men.

“When we sit and review the (previous three) games, without the emotion on the day, we’re controlling the game in the last three games we played,” explained Williams.

“We get there and we fizzle out a little bit. We gave not too much to the opposition but then something was missing.

“We’re getting there and not quite scoring, we’re keeping the opposition out and they get a chance and score from nothing, so there was something missing.

“But tonight we put the intensity and aggression, all of that lovely stuff, we put back in and got a really great result.

“We have to finish off now, the bare minimum, we have to play with that type of intensity and connection. I want us to continue like that.”

Victory lifted Swansea seven points clear of the relegation zone while Stoke remain only three points above the bottom three.

And Schumacher conceded that his side – whose three-game unbeaten run came to an end in south Wales – were second best against Swansea.

“I felt we got beat by the better team on the night, Swansea in all departments were better than us,” he said.

“They won all of the battles, the 50:50s and they also passed the ball better and were brighter from set-piece moments.

“It was a poor performance from us and it’s one that we weren’t expecting because we’ve been playing really well.

“We just fell a bit low tonight and we got punished.

“That’s the Championship for you, if you’re not at it 100 per cent you can get turned over.”

The Stoke boss was left unimpressed with referee Keith Stroud’s decision to rule out Niall Ennis’ first-half goal and the referee’s call to award Swansea a spot-kick.

“There’s also a few key decisions that’s gone against us,” added Schumacher.

“In any game in the Championship you need those big decisions to go for you, tonight unfortunately they didn’t go our way.

“I won’t use that as an excuse because the overall performance wasn’t good enough and they (Swansea) were better anyway.”

Swansea eased any lingering relegation concerns by beating Stoke 3-0 to leave the Potters hovering perilously above the Championship drop zone.

Liam Cullen poked Jamie Paterson’s cross beyond Daniel Iversen to put Swansea ahead in the 19th minute before Matt Grimes doubled the hosts’ lead after 53 minutes with a penalty after Luke McNally tripped Ollie Cooper.

Josh Key capped off a fine victory for Luke Williams’ men with his second goal of the campaign after 73 minutes as Swansea claimed a first win in four, ending Stoke’s three-game unbeaten run and leaving them three points above the bottom three.

The Swans started on the front foot as former Stoke defender Josh Tymon teed up Jay Fulton who drilled well wide.

The hosts should have gone ahead in the 13th minute as Paterson left Ki-Jana Hoever spinning before picking out Fulton who could only rifle against the post from 10 yards.

But Swansea did take the lead soon after following a quickly taken free-kick.

Captain Grimes fed Paterson who had acres of space to cross to Cullen who poked home his seventh of the season from close range.

Cullen had a chance to double his side’s lead moments later when Grimes intercepted Michael Rose’s wayward clearance, although the Welshman could only volley over from the edge of the 18-yard box.

Stoke struggled to threaten in the torrid south Wales rain, with Wouter Burger heading wide from Million Manhoef’s corner just before the half-hour mark.

The Potters thought they had equalised in bizarre fashion just seconds later though when Rose chipped into the Swansea box.

Goalkeeper Carl Rushworth gathered the ball before losing control after an unintentional collision with Niall Ennis who duly poked into the net, although the goal was swiftly disallowed by referee Keith Stroud.

After a slow start, Steven Schumacher’s men found a foothold in the contest, with Manhoef flashing an effort wide.

And they spurned a fine chance to level proceedings in the dying seconds of the first half when Ennis played Manhoef through on goal, although Harry Darling recovered to force the Dutchman to fire wide from an acute angle.

They were ruthlessly punished for not taking their chances as Swansea doubled their lead with a penalty after the break.

McNally tripped Cooper on the edge of the area, and Grimes stepped up to rifle into the roof of the net from the spot.

Cullen almost got his second of the night from a well-worked corner routine minutes later, although his deflected effort trickled inches wide.

But Swansea got their third late on as Jamal Lowe danced up the left wing, teeing up Key whose first touch took him beyond Rose before unleashing a fierce effort into the net.

Stoke boss Steven Schumacher felt his side got what they deserved as they recovered from 2-0 down to get a point against West Brom.

Second-half goals from Million Manhoef and Andre Vidigal, a rebound after his penalty was saved, secured the battling Potters a vital point in their survival bid at the bet365 Stadium.

The visitors had led through goals from Celtic loanee Mikey Johnston and Jed Wallace, but they had to settle for a point in the play-off race.

Schumacher said: “I thought we played really well. On the balance of the game we definitely deserved something.

“I thought we were the better team. The only negative from the performance was we didn’t take the chances that we created in the big moments, especially to go ahead in the game.

“West Brom were more clinical than us with their two chances but again we’ve shown plenty of character, we didn’t lose our composure or our faith. We kept going for it and got our rewards in the end.

“I told the boys I felt we were the better team and I asked them if they sensed that and they said they did.

“I told them to stick to the plan then because they agreed. And we wanted to keep playing the same tempo and keep going forward.

“We knew if we kept running forward it would tire West Brom out and with our energy at the end of the game we might get something out of it and that’s what happened.

“They got their second with their first attack in the second half. It was almost a smash and grab from an away team.

“Our players didn’t deviate from what we wanted to do and we got what we deserved in the end.”

The Baggies stretched their unbeaten run to nine but it is now three draws in a row, with seventh-placed Coventry just six points behind in the play-off race.

Boss Carlos Corberan praised his side’s clinical nature but was left wanting more after dropping two points from a commanding position.

He said: “They had more chances than us. We should have managed the game better. We were more accurate with our chances.

“Unfortunately, in attack we couldn’t dominate the game more. They started to create more problems as the game went on. That made them think they could achieve something.

“We tried until the end to go for three points and unfortunately we couldn’t score with two very good cutbacks Tom Fellows put in at the end.

“We missed the finishing in front of the goal at the end.

“We didn’t create enough in attack. We didn’t show enough personality in the first minutes of the game. The weather conditions affected us more than we expected.

“We need to compete better than we did early. The level we showed wasn’t enough to win three points.

“As a coach you want to create more chances because the more you create, the more chance you have to win the game.”

Stoke picked up a precious point in their fight for Championship survival as they came back from 2-0 to draw with West Brom.

The Baggies stretched their unbeaten run to nine but it was a case of what could have been for Carlos Corberan’s side, who could have further cemented their play-off spot with victory at the bet365 Stadium.

Celtic loanee Mikey Johnston and Jed Wallace put the visitors two goals to the good with strikes either side of half-time.

But Million Manhoef grabbed one back before Andre Vidigal levelled with the rebound after Alex Palmer saved his penalty.

Stoke are now four points clear of the drop after picking up five points from their last three.

Steven Schumacher freshened up his side after Monday’s draw against Huddersfield with a quartet of changes.

Three of them were in attacking areas as Manhoef, Sead Haksabanovic and Ryan Mmaee returned to the starting line-up along with defender Enda Stevens.

Meanwhile, Corberan made three changes as Cedric Kipre, Grady Diangana and captain Jed Wallace replaced Semi Ajayi, John Swift and Tom Fellows after the draw with Watford.

Baggies stopper Palmer had to be alert early on to keep out Haksabanovic’s strike after he skipped past a defender.

Palmer was quick off his line to deny Mmaee one-on-one, before Haksabanovic fired wide from a tight angle.

For all of the Potters’ good work, it was the visitors who took the lead in the 24th minute. Johnston broke the deadlock with his seventh goal since making the switch from the Scottish giants as he smashed home at the near post after being found by Diangana.

Down the other end, Stevens came close to drawing the hosts back level as he struck wide of the mark.

And Mmaee did the same after he was exceptionally found by a ball over the top from captain Josh Laurent.

After the break, the Morocco international drove his way into the box and forced Palmer into action, but he went down injured soon after and was replaced by Tyrese Campbell.

Wallace doubled the lead just before the hour mark as Daniel Iversen could only push Brandon Thomas-Asante’s cross into his path.

Vidigal and Wouter Burger were hauled on by Schumacher in a desperate attempt to get something from the game.

Vidigal linked up with fellow substitute Campbell as the dragged his effort wide.

But the hosts halved the deficit with little over 20 minutes to go when Dutchman Ki-Jana Hoever flicked the ball into compatriot Manhoef’s path and he made no mistake as he buried his first goal for the club.

Substitute Yann M’Vila gave away a penalty when he brought down Campbell inside the box with 13 minutes left.

Palmer kept out Vidigal’s spot-kick but the Portuguese forward made no mistake from the follow-up to level.

Albion’s big chance came in the seventh minute of stoppage time as Andreas Weimann, an 87th-minute substitute, poked wide.

Andre Breitenreiter was pleased with Huddersfield’s performance even as they let another lead slip in a 1-1 draw at Stoke to remain in the relegation zone.

The Terriers’ winless run stretched to six games, with Breitenreiter without a victory since his opening game in charge.

Bojan Radulovic broke the deadlock on the cusp of half-time with his first goal following a January switch from HJK Helsinki.

But Huddersfield’s lead proved to be short-lived as a beautiful Ki-Jana Hoever strike levelled the scores shortly after the restart.

The visitors rallied in search of a late winner but could not hand their survival bid a boost.

“We are happy with the performance of the team today,” said Breitenreiter.

“We had a lot of injuries and it was a young team, but we controlled the first half and we knew that there’d be opportunities to create chances.

“Second half, we conceded another goal of the month (contender), it’s unbelievable, but again we must defend better and tighter.

“At the end of the game, if it’s fair or not fair, we should take the lead again and we had some big chances. But we didn’t score and this has been a problem for many weeks.

“It was sometimes too easy to concede the goals and we don’t capitalise from our opportunities.

“We have players with potential and in my opinion, they showed that today – but to win the close games we need the goal.

“We have to do the best with the situation and every player has to give his best for 30, 45 or 90 minutes.

“The boys want to play this style and I’m sure that this is the style to lead us to success.

“For every team at the bottom, it’s important to win because of confidence – the performance was good so we have to believe and do it every matchday.”

Huddersfield had an earlier Matty Pearson goal disallowed but Stoke spurned a host of chances to complete their comeback, with Luke McNally’s header cleared off the line.

The Potters remain precariously above the relegation zone, five points above the dotted line with six games remaining.

“We could have won it, especially in the second half, but four points over the Easter weekend is okay,” said boss Steven Schumacher after his side beat Hull on Friday.

“That was a bit of a battle; we started the game well but lost our way, they got on top and deserved to take the lead.

“We played with a bit more tempo and urgency in the second half, so it’s pleasing to come from behind and get something from the game.

“It’s important that everyone contributes goals so hopefully Hoever keeps that habit up and it was a brilliant finish.

“After that, we grew in confidence and got into some good areas but just didn’t manage to make one of them count.

“It was a good reaction from the lads in the second half; we were excellent and could have won it and then defended our box well.

“It’s a real positive that we’ve done that in the second half because it’s not easy here and the disappointment affects everybody too much.

“Nobody likes to concede a goal but they are going to happen at home; we can’t overreact to it and have to stay positive and keep believing.

“We take the point and move on. It was important not to lose and let Huddersfield get any closer to us.”

Huddersfield remain in the relegation zone as they let the lead slip in a 1-1 draw with Stoke.

Bojan Radulovic’s strike just before half-time – his first following a January move from HJK Helsinki – handed the visiting Terriers the ascendancy.

But an impressive Ki-Jana Hoever finish shortly after the restart levelled the proceedings – his second goal in as many games.

The visitors, who have won only one of their seven games under new boss Andre Breitenreiter, could not restore their advantage as their winless run stretches to six.

Meanwhile, with only two losses in their last six games, Stoke remain five points above the dreaded dotted line.

Despite their recent form, Breitenreiter would have been encouraged by a heartening Huddersfield start in the Potteries.

The Terriers’ early promise was nearly rewarded when a Matty Pearson header nestled in the back of the net. However, the defender’s celebrations were cut short with the goal ruled out for offside following Patrick Jones’ interference in front of keeper Daniel Iversen.

Heeding their early warning sign, Stoke gradually grew into the fixture with Lewis Baker testing Lee Nicholls from range.

A high-tempo opening to the game ensued and Huddersfield spurned two half-chances in quick succession before the half-hour mark.

Radulovic’s tame strike from a promising position and a wild David Kasumu effort were then nearly punished by the lively Baker. The former Chelsea youngster came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock but his free-kick from 30 yards crashed off the crossbar with Lee Nicholls helpless.

And it was Huddersfield who snatched the advantage before the break as Radulovic skipped beyond the challenge of Michael Rose to fire confidently beyond Iversen.

But the Terriers’ lead proved short-lived as Stoke returned for the restart with the wind in their sails.

The in-form Hoever levelled the scores in impressive style, cutting inside Sorba Thomas before firing a pinpoint effort beyond the despairing Nicholls.

Buoyed by their equaliser, the Potters attempted to complete a rapid turnaround with Hoever first going close with an audacious strike from range.

Wouter Burger then raced through on goal but the Dutch midfielder failed to generate the power to beat the onrushing Nicholls.

Huddersfield were fortunate not to fall behind, with Nicholls pawing a Laurent header only as far as Luke McNally whose effort was hooked off the line by Jack Rudoni.

Despite Stoke’s second-half dominance, it was Huddersfield who finished the stronger and they nearly snatched a late winner.

Substitute Delano Burgzorg was thwarted by a block and then an Iversen save as he spurned two chances.

With six games remaining, both sides still have work to do to secure their Championship status for next season.

Liam Rosenior admitted his shot-shy Hull players need to learn how to win when they do not play well.

The Tigers failed to produce a shot on target against a Stoke side who eased their Championship relegation fears with a 2-0 away win courtesy of goals from Josh Laurent and Ki-Jana Hoever.

Defeat dropped Hull two places to ninth in the table as the Potters moved five points clear of the drop zone.

Rosenior said: “There are games in the Championship when some teams have an off day, but they find a way to win. We have to find a way to win when we don’t play well.

“When you don’t play to your level you have to keep the back door shut and nick the win. We found a way to lose today.

“Some of our decision making in the final third, we showed such a lack of killer instinct. We didn’t have a shot on target. We got let down in both boxes which is really disappointing.

“I think the fans were great. Today we didn’t give the fans enough to shout about. It was brilliant to see a full house, but we didn’t give them enough to get behind.”

A first half devoid of chances saw one effort on target and it took until well into the second period before the deadlock was finally broken from a corner.

Ryan Mmaee headed towards the left post where an unmarked Laurent side-footed home from close range with 21 minutes to go.

The game was well into four minutes of stoppage time when Hoever sealed the victory for the visitors.

Stoke head coach Steven Schumacher praised a team performance which saw his side control the game.

He said: “I thought we played well, I thought we were the better team from the first whistle.

“In the first half, our performance was excellent, and we just lacked a goal. In the second half we had to weather the storm for the first 10 minutes. The lads were nice and calm and stuck to the plan.

“We’ve got a big squad so I can’t pick everyone every week. We felt in the last four games we had played well in three of them and not in the last one.

“Over the international break we had conversations with a few of the lads who started today, and we said it was up to them to come into the team and play well.”

Laurent got his first league goal of the season and Schumacher praised the forward who showed composure following a first-half yellow card.

“He had to use his brains because he was closing down and putting people under pressure,” Schumacher said.

“It was a captain’s performance. He was in the right place at the right time to get his goal.

“That’s three wins in five which is good for a team in the bottom half of the table. Showing some consistency is key now.”

Play-off chasing Hull’s poor home form again cost them as second-half goals from Josh Laurent and Ki-Jana Hoever earned relegation-battling Stoke a 2-0 win at the MKM Stadium.

Hull went into the game with seven wins out of 19 at home this season and were on a run of just one win in their last 10 Championship matches at the MKM.

Defeat dropped Hull two places to ninth in the table as the Potters moved five points clear of the drop zone.

Stoke did not start like at team at the wrong end of the table, forcing a corner after a minute, and from their next five minutes later Michael Rose could only steer a low delivery from Sead Haksabanovic wide of goal.

Hull tried to respond but a volley from Anass Zaroury was well off target following a long kick by Ryan Allsop.

Sean McLoughlin headed wide as Hull forced two corners in quick succession and then the defender, in for suspended skipper Jacob Greaves, headed another chance over as the Tigers started to exert more pressure.

Regan Salter’s surging run was ended with a foul by Rose and Zaroury’s free-kick was scrambled clear for a corner just before the half-hour mark, but Alfie Jones headed the delivery well over as both sides struggled to carve out a clear opening.

Stoke captain Laurent was booked for his challenge on Fabio Carvalho and was then warned by referee Graham Scott he risked another after arguing about the caution.

Stoke’s Mehdi Leris headed a free-kick tamely at Allsop with 10 minutes of the half remaining in the only on-target effort of the first half.

Noah Ohio flicked on rather than shooting from a Carvalho low cross and Jones headed a free-kick wide.

At the other end Haksabanovic shot over as Hull struggled to clear from their own area in the final action of a poor first period.

The game desperately needed a spark at the start of the second half but both sides continued to struggle to find a cutting edge.

Ryan Giles again probed down the left as the hour approached but his cross was headed wide by Ohio.

Hull broke through substitute Abdulkadir Omur but when his pass found Jaden Philogene the forward’s shot failed to trouble Daniel Iversen when he had team-mates better placed.

Jordan Thompson shot high and wide after working an opening on the edge of the Hull area but shortly after the visitors went in front from a corner.

Ryan Mmaee headed towards the left post where an unmarked Laurent side-footed home from close range with 21 minutes to go.

Leris forced Allsop into a save to his left, but Omur and Philogene both went close to an equaliser before Hoever fired home Stoke’s second in stoppage time.

Norwich manager David Wagner felt his team were hitting consistent form at the perfect time as they continued their push for a Championship play-off spot with a comfortable 3-0 win away at relegation-threatened Stoke.

Josh Sargent, Gabriel Sara and Ashley Barnes all got their names on the scoresheet as the Canaries made it six wins from their last nine matches.

Victory keeps the Canaries in sixth place – the fourth and final play-off spot – but they are now three points clear of seventh-placed Hull having played a game more.

“One thing is the numbers (the scoreline), but the other thing is the performance,” Wagner said. “I think it was another very, very good performance away from home.

“The guys looked super sharp, super solid defensively, super aggressive and, with the ball, they played some wonderful football, scored great goals and had chances for more.

“They have a lot of confidence at the moment. They’re brave on the ball as well – everybody knows what he has to do and likes to do.

“Obviously, this is why I’m absolutely delighted with what I’ve seen and the shift which the players put in.”

The win comes on the back of a 5-0 home victory over Rotherham last weekend and also ends a run of four league away games without picking up all three points.

“To be fair, I think that we’re able to score (plenty of) goals. We’ve known this more or less from the beginning of the season,” Wagner added.

“But to consistently do it and to do it away from home as well, is always important at this stage of the season.

“Every win – home or away – is super, super important and the players are in good form.

“They do enjoy playing football together. They do enjoy fighting together for every inch, and trying to keep the ball out of the net. And this is exactly what they do now consistently, home or away.

“Obviously, away, there haven’t been so many wins like at home, but performance wise, I think consistently now in recent weeks or months I can say they’ve done it on a very consistent and high level.”

Defeat for Stoke, who had come into the match in confident mood on the back of two wins from their last three games, leaves them just two points clear of the relegation zone.

Manager Steven Schumacher was bitterly disappointed with his team’s display.

“At the end of the day, we lost the game because they were better than us and we weren’t good enough in too many areas of the game,” he said.

“We didn’t do what we have been doing well in the last couple of games.

“I felt we were a little bit too passive – it took us 78 minutes to make a tackle, which is not going to get you any results against a team as good as Norwich.

“We weren’t close enough, we weren’t aggressive enough and when we did have the ball, we gave it back to them a bit too cheaply as well.”

Schumacher was particularly concerned about his side’s response to going behind.

“Once we’ve conceded the first goal, we just don’t see any sort of reaction from the lads,” he added. “It’s like we freeze and everybody goes in their shell – that can’t happen.

“Even if you go a goal down you’ve got to respond and try and do something about it.”

Norwich continued their Championship play-off push with a comfortable 3-0 victory away at relegation-threatened Stoke.

Josh Sargent, Gabriel Sara and Ashley Barnes all got their names on the scoresheet as David Wagner’s side made it six wins from their last nine matches.

Victory keeps the Canaries in sixth place – the fourth and final play-off spot – but they are now three points clear of seventh-placed Hull, having played a game more.

Defeat for Stoke, meanwhile, leaves them two just points clear of the drop zone and still firmly among the candidates for relegation.

Norwich – unchanged from the team that started the 5-0 win over Rotherham last time out – came flying out of the traps, with Borja Sainz’s half-volley forcing a good save out of Daniel Iversen in the opening minute.

Stoke responded well though and nearly took the lead when right-wingback Ki-Jana Hoever went on a long mazy run before unleashing a close-range shot that was diverted against the post by goalkeeper Angus Gunn.

The missed opportunity came back to bite the hosts after 24 minutes as Norwich captain Kenny McLean threaded the ball through to Sainz, who held it up before feeding Sargent to score into an empty net for his 13th goal of the season.

Sargent turned provider for Sainz moments later as the visitors’ confidence grew, hanging up a cross for a volley that was well stopped by Iversen.

And the Canaries doubled their advantage just before the half-hour mark, with Sainz finding Sara, who guided the ball into the corner of the net from outside the box.

Potters skipper Josh Laurent had a great chance to halve the deficit five minutes later, but he could only head the ball over the crossbar from Lewis Baker’s corner.

Stoke continued to battle for a way back into the contest as the second half got underway, with Tyrese Campbell heading over after meeting Baker’s delivery.

But the game was effectively put to bed on the hour mark as Barnes slotted home a rebound after McLean’s effort in the box was deflected into his path.

Iversen denied Sara from distance in the 72nd minute and Sargent from up close shortly after to prevent Norwich adding further gloss to the scoreline.

Stoke came close to bagging a late consolation on a couple of occasions but it was an extremely disappointing day for Steven Schumacher’s team, who had come into the match in confident mood on the back of two wins from their last three games.

Some of the home fans were leaving with 10 minutes left to play and it is bound to be a nervy end to the campaign for them, with eight matches remaining.

Ryan Lowe hopes his Preston side will take their shock 2-1 home defeat to Championship strugglers Stoke as a wake-up call in the Lilywhites’ fight for the play-offs.

A second-half own goal from Andrew Hughes, plus Luke McNally’s late winner were scored either side of substitute forward Milutin Osmajic’s equaliser for the hosts, ending the Lancashire club’s seven-game unbeaten run and leaving them in ninth – five points from the top six.

The former Plymouth manager was particularly disappointed with the nature of the two goals conceded, with the first coming about through a vicious left-sided cross from Lynden Gooch and the second arising after a defensive mix-up which allowed McNally to tap in from point-blank range.

Lowe said: “It was tough because we were nowhere near the levels that we’ve been at.

“We knew Stoke were going to come and fight and they obviously changed shape to nullify us and stop us from playing. We were flat. We weren’t on the level we’ve been at during the last few weeks.

“Maybe that will give us a kick up the backside. You can’t give teams like Stoke, who are fighting for their lives, opportunities to score goals.

“I just don’t want the season to fizzle out. I want us to keep pushing.

“There are some good teams in around us. I know how tough the Championship is, but I want to give the lads a chance to stay in and around the top spots.

“The points that we’ve got are excellent and hopefully this can give us a bit of a kick up the backside, so we don’t get too carried away.

“We need to get a result against Plymouth now before the international break.”

In the other dugout, another former Plymouth boss in Steven Schumacher was delighted with his team’s performance in blustery conditions.

The travelling Potters began the game third-bottom but came racing out of the blocks to put the hosts on the backfoot almost immediately.

Yet supporters had to wait until the second half for their strong showing to represent itself on the scoresheet, with McNally’s 87th-minute winner meaning Stoke rise to 19th in the table and three points clear of the drop zone.

Schumacher said: “It’s an important win. We’ve had a good week actually with a really good performance against Leeds on Tuesday where we could have got a point.

“To come here today and take all three points is a really good achievement because we were up against a really good team who are in excellent form, so yeah it was a battle.

“It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but with that pitch and the style of game it was going to be, it doesn’t matter.

“Getting the win is all that matters. This result can give everyone a bit of confidence and belief. It’s huge to be out of the bottom three.

“Everyone understands that there are so many teams down there fighting for their lives.

“We need to back that up now in the next game against Norwich and see if we can get a result there, because every point is going to be crucial.”

Luke McNally scored a late winner as Stoke boosted their survival hopes with a 2-1 Championship victory over play-off hopefuls Preston at Deepdale.

Andrew Hughes was unfortunate to put into his own goal after 64 minutes to give Steven Schumacher’s Potters the lead.

Preston substitute Milutin Osmajic’s clever finish – three minutes later – levelled matters before McNally’s 87th-minute winner clinched a surprise victory in Lancashire to take them three points clear of the relegation zone.

Ryan Lowe’s side’s play-off hopes were dented as they fell to their first defeat since January and now lie five points off the top six.

The hosts were first to threaten to break the deadlock in the 19th minute when their penalty claims were dismissed after in-form striker Emil Riis latched onto a smart Alan Browne ball in the box, but slipped under pressure from defender Ben Wilmot.

The travelling Potters were made to wait until the 37th minute before their first shot on goal, as Bae Junho collected a loose ball deep in the Lilywhites’ half and had a low effort easily collected by goalkeeper Freddie Woodman.

Schumacher’s men then tested Woodman’s gloves again only five minutes later, when forward Tyrese Campbell’s quick right-sided run allowed him to release a tame strike on goal from the near post.

Preston looked rather more comfortable following the break and had another strong call for a penalty denied in the 54th minute after Riis excellently flicked in Browne, who stumbled under pressure on the right-hand side of the box.

Lynden Gooch should have put the visitors ahead two minutes later when he picked up Preston midfielder Mads Frokjaer’s loose pass by the near post, but Woodman just about managed to parry the former Sunderland player’s strike.

But the former Premier League side’s pressure paid dividends in the 64th minute as Gooch whipped in a venomous ball from the left wing and Hughes opened the scoring with an own goal.

Yet that lead only lasted for around four minutes before Hughes worked to cancel out his mistake. Preston achieved parity through Osmajic, who flicked Hughes’ left-sided cross under former North End goalkeeper Daniel Iversen.

Preston then almost carved out a lead of their own in the 82nd minute when midfielder Ben Whiteman was slipped in one-on-one by via a counter attack, yet his effort was excellently saved by Iversen.

The hosts were left to rue that missed opportunity only five minutes later as they failed to clear a Lewis Baker free-kick and McNally poked the ball home following a defensive mix-up to edge Stoke into the lead.

A boisterous home support willed their side on for a much-needed equaliser, but none was forthcoming as the Lilywhites’ seven-match unbeaten run came to an end.

Daniel Farke felt Leeds’ 1-0 victory over Stoke was his side’s “best win in 2024” as they continued their Championship automatic-promotion charge.

Dan James could have had a couple in the first half but for Daniel Iversen’s saves before the Wales international put his side ahead with his 11th goal of the season just after the half-hour mark.

Stoke did not roll over and Illan Meslier kept out chances from Lewis Baker, Tyrese Campbell and Josh Laurent in the second period.

Mateo Joseph saw one blocked off the line to deny Leeds a second while substitute Ben Pearson was sent off late on for the visitors.

Farke said: “For me, it is the best win in 2024 because everyone expects us to win this home game.

“Everyone expects us at Elland Road to beat each and every opponent right now against a team not in the best position and think it should be an easy win.

“It feels like in the stadium ‘we are going there for a cup of tea and a cake’ perhaps instead of this explosion we had against Leicester where everyone was on it.”

Leeds kept the heat on top two Leicester and Ipswich and will play their third league game in six days when they travel to Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night.

Farke’s side have a chance to put points on the board before their promotion rivals but the German bemoaned the congested fixture list.

He added: “Even today was our third game in six days with two tough away games and thank God the home game today.

“Four games in 10 days, I’m not sure any other teams in Europe have such a schedule but what else can we do. We have to adapt to it and try keep going and stay unbeaten.

“When you have such a schedule you cannot expect offensive fireworks and top-class games. You can’t always be at your best in this schedule – I’m happy out of the last three games we have seven points.”

Stoke boss Steven Schumacher praised his side, who remain in the bottom three of the Championship.

He said: “I think we showed some real character and stood up to some intense pressure at times.

“We didn’t fold or buckle which is a good sign from the team that they are ready for the challenge and I think in the second half we showed everyone what type of team we can be but didn’t do enough to get the equaliser we probably deserved.

“I don’t think he (Pearson) needs to get involved in the first one and the second one there is not a lot in it. It’s frustrating because we will miss Ben again.

“Iversen made some good saves tonight and he kept us in the game. He is a good goalkeeper and we will need him in the run-in.”

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