Hull City and Barnsley stormed to convincing victories in their respective Sky Bet Play-Off semi-final first legs on an action-packed Saturday.A fine strike from Abel Hernandez and an own goal from Derby defender Jason Shackell saw Hull into a 2-0 half-time lead in the first game of the day, before Andy Robertson netted the Tigers’ third late on to cap a rousing win at the iPro Stadium.
It all means Derby, who were beaten in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final at Wembley two years ago, have it all to do in their bid to reach the showpiece later this month.
Barnsley also ran out comfortable 3-0 winners in their Sky Bet League 1 Play-Off semi-final first leg against Walsall, leaving them within touching distance of a return to the national stadium for the second time this season.
Adam Hammill’s effort on the stroke of half-time deflected in off Walsall’s Jason Demetriou, before two goals in as many minutes from Sam Winnall put Barnsley in dreamland.
The visiting Saddlers, who are seeking a return to the Championship for the first time in 12 seasons, now face an uphill task when they host the second leg at Banks’s Stadium next Thursday.
In the late kick-off, AFC Wimbledon left it late to secure a first-leg advantage over Accrington Stanley.
Tom Beere popped up in the 93rd minute with the only goal of the game, meaning it's all to play for in the return leg next Wednesday.