The final EFL fixtures of 2017 took place on Matchday 25, with goals and entertainment aplenty. Here’s the round-up…
Wolverhampton Wanderers extended their lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship to 10 points, thanks to a dramatic comeback at Bristol City. Ryan Bennett scored the winning goal for Wolves, who, like their opponents, had a man dismissed during the 90 minutes.
Behind Wanderers in the table are Derby County, with the Rams running out 2-1 victors at Ipswich Town, thanks to a brace from Sam Winnall which subsequently earned him the EFL Star of the Day award.
Leeds United and Sheffield United both remain in fifth and sixth respectively, depsite defeats against bottom-three opposition. The men from Elland Road went down 1-0 at Birmingham City, while Gary Madine fired Bolton Wanderers to three points at Bramall Lane.
Tony Pulis’ tenure at Middlesbrough began with a loss, as he saw his team defeated 1-0 by Aston Villa at the Riverside Stadium.
Brentford’s rise up the table and unbeaten home streak continued — they’re now 10th courtesy of a comfortable 2-0 triumph against Sheffield Wednesday at Griffin Park.
A sole Aiden McGeady strike, five minutes before the interval was enough for Sunderland to get the better of Nottingham Forest at the City Ground and move out of the relegation zone in the process.
Late drama unfolded at both Oakwell and the KCOM Stadium, as Barnsley’s Ethan Pinnock earned his team a point against Reading and Aboubakar Kamara hit a second-half brace to ensure Fulham took something from their clash with Hull City.
Once again, nothing could separate Burton Albion and Norwich City, with the two clubs playing out a second goalless draw of the season.
Paul Hurst’s Shrewsbury Town are now just two points adrift of league leaders Wigan Athletic. They reduced the gap thanks to a narrow 2-1 win at Southend United. The Latics played out a goalless draw with Charlton Athletic.
There remains the same distance between Blackburn Rovers and Scunthorpe United also, after the two played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Ewood Park.
Bradford City held off a late Oxford United rally to walk away with victory at the Northern Commercials Stadium. The Bantams had looked to be cruising to three points with the score at 3-1, but Jonathan Obika’s finish, 15 minutes from time set up a nervy finish for Stuart McCall’s men.
Portsmouth are into the Play-Off places, and they got there by coming from behind to beat Northampton 3-1 at Fratton Park.
Sitting just outside the top six are Rotherham United. The Millers won 2-1 at Walsall, with David Ball grabbing an assist and the winning goal.
Milton Keynes Dons produced an incredible rearguard action to earn a 1-0 victory over Peterborough United, despite having to play with nine men from the 35th-minute onwards.
Goals from Ashley Hunter and Devante Cole were enough for Fleetwood Town to see off Bury comfortably away from home.
Both Blackpool and AFC Wimbledon fought back in the closing stages to pick up respective 2-2 draws against Plymouth Argyle and Gillingham, while a Craig Davies goal saw Oldham Athletic share the points with Bristol Rovers, following an earlier strike from Billy Bodin.
Sky Bet League Two leaders Luton Town were emphatically beaten 4-0 away at 16th-placed Port Vale, in a display which saw Neil Aspin’s team pick up the EFL Result of the Day accolade.
Notts County remain second, but failed to capitalise on the Hatters’ defeat though, as they lost out 1-0 against Swindon Town.
In fact, the only side in the top three to win were Lincoln City, who toppled Forest Green Rovers at Sincil Bank.
Exeter City kept the pressure on those above them by scoring in the closing stages to send Barnet home empty-handed from St James Park. Marc McNulty was the match-winner for Coventry City at Carlisle United, with the Sky Blues triumphing 1-0 to rise to fifth.
Both the Grecians and Mark Robins’ men go above Wycombe Wanderers and Colchester United, whose Saturday’s ended in respective frustration. The Chairboys found themselves on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline against Mansfield Town, while the U’s couldn’t break down a resilient Chesterfield side, who subsequently hauled themselves out of the League Two relegation zone.
Accrington Stanley are back in the Play-Off positions and, they got there in comfortable fashion, with John Coleman’s side proving too much for Grimsby Town to handle at Blundell Park.
Other wins came for Cambridge United and Crawley Town in their fixtures on home turf against Crewe Alexandra and Stevenage respectively.
Elsewhere, Cheltenham Town and Newport County shared the points in a 1-1 draw at the LCI Rail Stadium.