Newcastle United returned to the summit of the Sky Bet Championship after coming from behind to beat closest challengers Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.The hosts took the lead in the 14th minute through Glenn Murray’s penalty, and were comfortable for much of the game, but two goals in seven minutes from Mohamed Diame and Ayoze Perez saw Newcastle steal all three points.
Rafa Benitez’s side are now two points clear of Brighton at the top with 12 matches of the season remaining, and travel to third-placed Huddersfield Town on Saturday with the opportunity to open up an even bigger gap inside the top two.
There were also important wins for Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers in the two other Sky Bet Championship fixtures.
Jonathan Kodjia opened the scoring for Villa against his old club Bristol City, before Conor Hourihane sealed a 2-0 victory with his first goal for the club.
Blackburn capitalised on that Bristol City defeat to move level on points with Lee Johnson’s men, and they now sit adrift of safety on goal difference only. That was after they downed Derby County 1-0 at Ewood Park in Tony Mowbray’s first home match in charge.
Sky Bet Championship midweek results:
Aston Villa 2-0 Bristol City
Blackburn Rovers 1-0 Derby County
Brighton & Hove Albion 1-2 Newcastle United
Standings: Click here to see the Sky Bet Championship table
Despite the fact they never kicked a ball, it was a good night for Sheffield United in Sky Bet League One, as their closest rivals all dropped points.
Second-placed Scunthorpe United lost 2-1 at home to AFC Wimbledon, Bolton Wanderers were held at home to Bristol Rovers and Bradford City shared the spoils in an entertaining 2-2 draw with Milton Keynes Dons.
The only climber in the top half of the table on Tuesday was Millwall, who beat Peterborough United 1-0 to enter the Play-Off places. The Lions kept their run of not conceding since 21st January intact, and remain unbeaten since mid-December.
STAR OF THE NIGHT: @CAFCofficial may have lost, but Ricky Holmes netted three times to make it five goals against @shrewsweb this season! pic.twitter.com/6ihzzWaVuY— EFL (@EFL) February 28, 2017
Elsewhere, Shrewsbury Town survived a Ricky Holmes hat-trick to beat Charlton Athletic 4-3 in a thriller at New Meadow, Oldham Athletic made it three victories in their last five games with a late win at Northampton Town and Swindon Town moved to within three points of safety after their 3-1 triumph at home to Gillingham.
Sky Bet League One midweek results:
Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Bristol Rovers
Bradford City 2-2 Milton Keynes Dons
Bury 2-1 Coventry City
Millwall 1-0 Peterborough United
Northampton Town 1-2 Oldham Athletic
Rochdale P-P Port Vale
Scunthorpe United 1-2 AFC Wimbledon
Shrewsbury Town 4-3 Charlton Athletic
Swindon Town 3-1 Gillingham
Walsall P-P Chesterfield
Standings: Click here to see the Sky Bet League One table
It was also a strong night for Doncaster Rovers in Sky Bet League Two. They beat Cambridge United, who had won their previous two, 3-2 at the Abbey Stadium to capitalise on bad results for those around them.
Plymouth Argyle, now six points behind Rovers and without a win in four, lost to Notts County, while Carlisle United fell to Cheltenham Town and Portsmouth conceded late on to draw with Morecambe.
One of the biggest movers of the night was Stevenage, who thumped Leyton Orient 4-1 to move inside the Play-Off places. That loss for Orient, coupled with Hartlepool United’s 4-0 win over Crewe Alexandra, means they are now six points away from safety.
Other results included wins for Exeter City and Grimsby Town, while Wycombe Wanderers halted a run of five straight defeats to draw 2-2 with Accrington Stanley.
Sky Bet League Two midweek results:
Accrington Stanley 2-2 Wycombe Wanderers
Blackpool 2-2 Barnet
Cambridge United 2-3 Doncaster Rovers
Cheltenham Town 1-0 Carlisle United
Crawley Town 1-2 Exeter City
Grimsby Town 1-0 Colchester United
Hartlepool United 4-0 Crewe Alexandra
Plymouth Argyle 0-1 Notts County
Portsmouth 1-1 Morecambe
Stevenage 4-1 Leyton Orient
Yeovil Town 0-0 Mansfield Town
Standings: Click here to see the Sky Bet League Two table