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Match Roundups

Round-up: Matchday 44

21 April 2018

An action-packed day of EFL action that was full of ups and downs unfolded as goals flew in across all three divisions.

Wolverhampton Wanderers were crowned Champions of the Sky Bet Championship after winning 4-0 away at Bolton Wanderers. Goals from Barry Douglas, Diogo Jota, Benik Afobe and captain Conor Coady provided the victory and a historic day for all involved with the club.

The race for the second automatic promotion place remains hot. Fulham were 3-0 Friday night winners against Millwall, while Aston Villa were also comfortable victors on Saturday afternoon, easing to a 4-0 triumph at Ipswich Town.

However, Cardiff City defeated Nottingham Forest 2-1 in Saturday's evening kick-off to ensure they moved back into second spot. 

Middlesbrough maintained their hopes of a top-six finish, overcoming fellow play-off chasers Derby County at Pride Park. The three points keeps Boro in fifth, four clear of the seventh-placed Rams.

Brentford sit just a point outside a play-off place after seeing off local rivals QPR, registering a 2-1 win at Griffin Park.

The game of the day came at Ashton Gate, where just the 10 goals were shared between Bristol City and Hull City. The Robins had led 2-1 at half-time and 4-2 after 65 minutes, but a Tigers fightback saw the visitors go 5-4 up before Joe Bryan popped up with a 93rd-minute equaliser.

At the bottom, Sunderland's hunt for survival was ended and their relegation sealed. They let a 1-0 lead slip at home to fellow strugglers Burton Albion and were beaten 2-1, sending them down and throwing the Brewers a Championship lifeline.

Barnsley remain two points off safety after falling to a 2-1 defeat to Yorkshire foes Leeds United, with former Tykes boss Paul Heckingbottom coming out on top at Elland Road.

Birmingham City pulled five clear of the drop, coming from behind to defeat Sheffield United, hampering the Blades' play-off hopes in the process.

Elsewhere, Sheffield Wednesday were 3-0 winners over Reading, and Preston North End and Norwich City played out a goalless draw.

Wigan Athletic confirmed their promotion to the Sky Bet Championship with an emphatic 4-0 win over Fleetwood Town.

The passage to the second tier was confirmed due to their victory and Shrewsbury Town's draw at home to the already-relegated Bury.

In the race for the Play-Offs, there were plenty of ups and downs. Charlton and Portsmouth clashed, and it was the Addicks that were the victors. Nicky Ajose's first-half goal gave them victory and moved them four points clear of Plymouth Argyle in seventh.

The Pilgrims went to struggling Northampton Town and left empty handed. The Cobblers mustered up a performance not seen for some time at Sixfields, boosting their survival chances by defeating Derek Adams' side 2-0.

Rotherham's spot in the Play-Offs has now officially been confirmed; they were 2-0 victors at home over Bristol Rovers, while Scunthorpe sit in sixth spot, after a 1-0 win at home to Walsall. 

At the bottom end, Rochdale remain a point below Oldham Athletic and safety, after they battled for a home point against Bradford City.

Milton Keynes Dons' future looks to be in Sky Bet League Two; they suffered their fourth successive defeat, this one came away to Southend United. Chris Powell's side defeated their visitors 4-0 the day before the gaffer ran the London Marathon. A fine effort, Chris!

Elsewhere, Blackpool travelled to Gillingham and were 3-0 winners, while Oxford United won 1-0 away to Doncaster Rovers.

There was another confirmed promotion in Sky Bet League Two – Luton Town clinching their spot in the third tier for next season. They did it with a 1-1 draw away at Carlisle, and despite the distance, plenty of the Hatters' faithful were there to witness it.

Accrington Stanley missed out on the chance to be crowned champions due to Luton's draw. However, they did travel to third-placed Wycombe Wanderers and ran out 4-0 winners, edging a step nearer to the title.

Exeter City missed out on the chance to move above Wycombe and into the third automatic position after being held to a 2-2 draw by Harry Kewell's Crawley Town.

In the play-off race, only one side that sits outside the top seven can now claim their place in the post-season fixtures. That side is Mansfield Town, their home point against Port Vale means there is still a glimmer of hope.

Coventry City and Lincoln City both sit three points clear of the Stags. The Sky Blues were 3-1 winners on Friday night over Stevenage, before the Imps defeated Colchester United 2-1 at Sincil Bank on Saturday. Luke Waterfall struck late on for the 10 men, keeping hopes alive of another Wembley appearance and a second successive promotion.

Notts County's hopes of automatic promotion are again alive after produced a fine home performance to see off Yeovil Town. A 4-1 win at Meadow Lane moved the Magpies to within two points of third place.

At the bottom, Chesterfield's fate is all but sealed. They need a huge swing in goal difference to now survive after they were beaten 4-1 by Forest Green Rovers.

Barnet picked up a 2-0 victory at home to Newport County. That triumph moves Martin Allen's side four points from safety with two games left to play.

The side for the Bees to chase down are Morecambe, who lost 1-0 at Crewe Alexandra, whereas Grimsby Town are now five points from the drop after Mitch Rose's third penalty in three games saw them past Swindon Town.

Last but not least, Cambridge United came out on top against Cheltenham Town. Barry Corr's third goal in two games since returning from injury finally settled a seven-goal thriller at the Abbey Stadium.

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