Before Saturday’s matches, I predicted a breakaway is on for Newcastle United and that has proved the case.

The Friday night results had seen Cardiff 2 Bristol City 1 and Forest 3 Birmingham 1.

Bristol City were fifth and Birmingham sixth going into those games, so with third placed Newcastle up against Brentford in seventh, it gave a little extra spice to the NUFC game.

The other games at the top end today saw these results:

Brighton 2 Preston 2

Norwich 3 Rotherham 1

QPR 1 Reading 1

A bit of a shame bottom club couldn’t avoid defeat and send Newcastle top but we did have a nice bonus on the south coast, as Brighton gave an equaliser away in the second minute of added time.

So Saturday night sees the Championship  top seven looking like this:

26 Norwich

25 Newcastle

25 Huddersfield

22 Brighton

20 Bristol City

20 Birmingham

19 Reading

I had anticipated Brighton winning and a top four showing at least four points clear of fifth and the rest but the two dropped points leave Brighton three off Newcastle and with a worse goal difference.

Tomorrow sees Huddersfield at home to Sheffield Wednesday, with the Owls potentially going fifth on 20 points if they win. However, even if Huddersfield get the three points it is still all positive as three or four teams are starting to put a little daylight between themselves and the rest.

With Barnsley away on Tuesday, Newcastle have a great chance to build on this latest three game winning run – Adam Armstrong’s loan team made a positive start to the season but with four defeats (lost 4-2 at home to Fulham today) and a draw in their last five games, things are falling apart.

Here are the stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 3 Brentford 1

Goals – 

Newcastle: Clark 11, Gayle 16,49

Brentford: Hogan 52

Possession was Brentford 48 % Newcastle 52%

Total shots were Brentford 7 Newcastle 15

Shots on target were Brentford 2 Newcastle 6

Corners were Brentford 5 Newcastle 5

Newcastle starting 11:

Darlow, Anita, Clark, Lascelles (Hanley 60), Dummett, Atsu (Yedlin 72), Gouffran (Lazaar 84), Colback, Shelvey, Perez, Gayle

Unused Subs:

Sels, Hayden, Mitrovic, Diame

Referee: Simon Hooper

Crowd: 51,885

(To view the fan player ratings and to add your own in our interactive system go HERE)

(To read the instant Newcastle fan/writer reaction go HERE)

(Go HERE for the views of Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith on the 3-1 defeat)