James McClean got himself a goal before he heads off on international duty with the Republic of Ireland, scoring the equaliser for Wigan as they earned a 1-1 draw at Watford in the Sky Bet Championship.

However, the Latics remain bottom of the English second tier despite McClean's 51st minute goal from a Callum Lang cross which had cancelled out an opener netted by Keinan Davis for the Hornets just before half-time.

Elsewhere, Chuba Akpom continued his stunning scoring form as Middlesbrough moved within three points of second-placed Sheffield United by thrashing 10-man Preston 4-0.

The 27-year-old striker registered his 25th goal of the season - and 11th in 10 games - as Boro responded to Tuesday's home draw with Stoke in perfect fashion.

Akpom broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute before on-loan Aston Villa forward Cameron Archer grabbed a quickfire second-half double.

Preston finished the game with 10 men after Bambo Diaby saw red with two minutes left and Marcus Forss rounded off the scoring deep into stoppage time.

Boro boss Michael Carrick, one of the favourites for the Crystal Palace job following the sacking of Patrick Vieira, saw his side register an eighth win in 10 league games in their hunt for automatic promotion.

Luton, in fourth, fell three points behind Boro after a 1-1 draw at Sunderland.

Alfie Doughty's second-half effort looked to be enough to make it four successive wins for the Hatters but Amad Diallo's penalty four minutes from time helped the Black Cats to a share of the spoils.

Millwall missed a chance to climb into fifth after a 1-0 defeat at home by relegation-threatened Huddersfield.

Danny Ward netted the only goal in the 67th minute to earn Town a first win in six which moved them third-bottom.

Norwich are three points adrift of the play-off places having been held 0-0 at Stoke, which extended their winless run to three games.

Will Smallbone started for Stoke and is in the Ireland senior squad for Latvia and France

Andrew Omobamidele was a half-time substitute for the Canaries but Adam Idah, who was also named in the Ireland squad, was not involved after his midweek injury. Will Smallbone started for Stoke before he also links up with Stephen Kenny's squad.

Blackpool, the other team in the bottom three, were beaten 4-1 at home by Coventry.

Jerry Yates' penalty for the Tangerines cancelled out Ben Sheaf's opener before a Curtis Nelson own goal just before the break put Coventry back in front.

Kyle McFadzean extended Coventry's lead early in the second half and Matt Godden added a fourth as they moved level on points with Norwich in seventh place.

Rotherham's clash with Cardiff at the New York Stadium was abandoned in the 47th minute due to heavy rain. Cardiff, who started the day fourth-bottom, were leading 1-0 at the time thanks to Jaden Philogene's strike in the fifth minute.

QPR's miserable run continued with a 1-0 defeat by Birmingham at Loftus Road.

Tahith Chong's early strike condemned Gareth Ainsworth's side - thrashed 6-1 at Blackpool in midweek - to a ninth defeat in 15 league games, which includes nine losses.

Reading and Hull drew 1-1 at the Madejski Stadium, Andy Carroll cancelling out Regan Slater's opener for the Tigers.