Seagulls and Eagles soar

  • Last Updated: September 14 2012, 21:56 BST

Craig Mackail-Smith scored his fifth goal in three games as Brighton moved to the top of the npower Championship table with a 3-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night.

Craig Mackail-Smith celebrates his goal

Gus Poyet's in-form side handed the Owls a sound beating after taking a first-half lead through Wayne Bridge's deflected free-kick.

But there was nothing fortuitous about the way they tore through their opponents at the start of the second half.

Mackail-Smith followed up consecutive braces against Barnsley and Burnley with a simple 54th minute finish following a jinking run from Spanish full-back Bruno Saltor.

Will Buckley made it three shortly afterward, with Bruno once again the architect, as Brighton secured a third consecutive win. Dave Jones' Wednesday have now suffered back-to-back losses to check their impressive start.

In Friday night's other game, Kagisho Dikgacoi's second-half strike settled the south London derby as Crystal Palace beat Charlton in the league at The Valley for the first time since 1968.

The South African midfielder lashed home a superb finish as rejuvenated Palace made it back-to-back wins - having previously lost their opening three matches.

They also leapfrogged their newly-promoted neighbours, who have now lost two on the bounce, in the npower Championship table.

Charlton will feel hard done by, though, not least because Bradley Wright-Phillips had what looked a perfectly good goal ruled out for offside.

They also had chances following Dikgacoi's decisive strike just after half-time, but Palace held on to take the points the short journey back to Selhurst Park.