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Match Roundups

Round-up: Matchday 45

28 April 2018

The penultimate weekend saw more twists and turns, with titles, promotions and relegations confirmed. Here’s the Matchday 45 review…

Cardiff City are in pole position for automatic promotion going into the final weekend, after skipper Sean Morrison scored twice in a 2-0 triumph at Hull City.

The Bluebirds returned above Fulham, who came from behind to beat relegated Sunderland 2-1 at Craven Cottage on Friday night.

One of those sides will be joined in the Play-Offs by Aston Villa, who drew 1-1 with Derby County, and Middlesbrough. A 2-0 win over Millwall in Saturday’s late kick-off guaranteed Tony Pulis’ side a top-six spot.

The Rams’ point at Villa Park stands them in good stead for a post-season place too, but they face competition from Preston North End, after Alan Browne’s second-half goal gave them a 1-0 success at Sheffield United.

At the other end, Barnsley and Burton Albion boosted their survival hopes with home wins. The Tykes defeated Brentford 2-0 to move out of the drop zone, the same scoreline by which the Brewers defeated Bolton Wanderers — who slipped into the bottom three.

Birmingham City and Reading aren’t out of trouble just yet, with the Blues losing 3-1 at QPR and the Royals comfortably beaten 4-0 by Ipswich Town at the Madejski Stadium.

Wes Hoolahan put on a show in his final Norwich City appearance, scoring one and creating another in a 2-1 win over Leeds United, while Nottingham Forest and Bristol City battled to a goalless draw.

Last but not least, champions Wolverhampton Wanderers drew 0-0 with Sheffield Wednesday on an afternoon where they were presented with the Championship trophy at Molineux.

Milton Keynes Dons’ relegation from League One was confirmed following a 2-0 home loss against Scunthorpe United.

Northampton Town would need a remarkable swing in goal difference to avoid joining the Dons in League Two, after they were sunk by a late Walsall winner.

Rochdale led Oxford United, but two penalties for the U’s were duly converted, sending Keith Hill’s side back into the relegation zone.

Oldham Athletic drew 0-0 with Doncaster Rovers and sit 20th, with the Saddlers and AFC Wimbledon still at risk of a place in the bottom four.

The Dons drew 1-1 at Wigan Athletic, a result which meant the title race remains alive — however Blackburn Rovers couldn’t take advantage, losing 1-0 at play-off chasing Charlton Athletic.

Graham Carey converted a stoppage-time penalty as Plymouth Argyle beat Rotherham United 2-1, keeping the Pilgrims in the hunt for a top-seven spot. Whoever grabs the final play-off place will take on third-placed Shrewsbury, who drew 1-1 at Blackpool.

Jack Marriott scored his 27th goal of the season as Peterborough United beat Fleetwood Town 2-0, the same scoreline which saw Southend United past Bradford City.

Elsewhere, George Miller earned relegated Bury a 1-0 win over Portsmouth, while Bristol Rovers and Gillingham shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.

Accrington Stanley have been crowned champions of League Two, following a 1-0 win over Lincoln City.

Jordan Clark’s first-half goal was enough to see off the Imps and seal the crown for the hosts.

Wycombe Wanderers will be joining them and Luton Town — who rounded off their Kenilworth Road campaign with a 3-1 win against Forest Green Rovers — in League One next term after an eventful afternoon.

The Chairboys came from behind to beat relegated Chesterfield, and their promotion was sealed with both Exeter City and Notts County losing to Stevenage and Grimsby Town respectively.

Despite defeat, both those sides will be competing in the Play-Offs, with Coventry City a step closer to joining them after a thumping 6-1 win at Cheltenham Town. Marc McNulty scored three for the Sky Blues — a second hat-trick of the day, after Alex Revell netted in the aforementioned win for Stevenage.

Mansfield Town came from behind twice, with Lee Angol netting the eventual winner at Yeovil Town which kept the Stags within reach of both Coventry and Lincoln.

At the other end, Barnet kept their hopes of a great escape alive thanks to Alex Nicholls’ winner at Morecambe. The result leaves the Bees two points behind their opponents going into the final day.

Elsewhere, there were 2-1 wins for Carlisle United, Crewe Alexandra and Newport County, while Colchester United and Swindon Town played out a 0-0 draw.

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