After the highly emotional East Anglian derby at the weekend, when Norwich City took the honours and local bragging rights with another victory over Ipswich Town, the Canaries were expectant of further success against struggling Wigan Athletic last night. Sadly for them, their recent momentum and run came to an end, with an unexpected 1-0 home defeat.

After relegation from the Premier League last season, Norwich had started the new campaign solidly and had featured in the automatic promotion places during the early stages. A poor run of results though had seen them drop into merely being challengers for the play-off places in the last few months.

All that had changed in recent weeks though and a fresh optimism had swept over the city, as they faced the prospect of moving back into the top two places in the league on goal difference, should they manage to beat Wigan at Carrow Road.

With expectation also comes pressure though and despite their league position in the bottom three, Wigan demonstrated once again that any side in the division is capable of causing an upset and beating anyone else on a particular day. Alex Neil's troops fell to their first defeat in eight games as an eighth minute strike from South Korean Kim Bo-kyung proved to be enough for the Latics to gain all three points, perhaps giving them and their fans hope of avoiding relegation by the end of the season.

Norwich were disappointing on the night, struggling to gain any fluency to their play and perhaps feeling the expectation from their fans after a run of six successive victories.

The loss leaves Norwich in fifth place in the league, still in the play-off positions but now three points behind Derby County in second, who had also suffered somewhat unexpected defeat at Brighton on Tuesday evening.

Middlesbrough have surged to the summit, a point ahead of Derby after their convincing 3-0 win over Millwall on Tuesday, in this topsy-turvy Championship season.

The 'Tractor Boys' from Ipswich Town had hoped to get their own promotion campaign back on the rails after losing ground to the teams around them in the past month.

The derby defeat to Norwich was a particularly bitter pill for their fans to swallow, but they gained no more satisfaction from a 2-1 reversal at Leeds United last night. The main action and talking points all came in the final twenty minutes. Alex Mowatt put the Elland Road side ahead, only for their keeper Marco Silvestri to fumble a Freddie Sears' shot into his net three minutes later. Billy Sharp's volley re-established the Yorkshire side's advantage on 77 minutes, but it looked as though the visitors would level again six minutes from time, when they were awarded a penalty. Daryl Murphy's spot kick was turned on to the post by Silvestri though, to make up for his earlier mistake.

The loss puts Town back in seventh place, one place and one point behind Brentford, who fill the last play-off place for now.

With all of the sides battling for the automatic promotion and play-off positions having their good and bad spells during a long Championship season, it remains to be seen whether one or other of the East Anglian teams can sustain their challenge at the top, with the glittering prize of the Premier League tantalisingly still within their grasp.