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Match Roundups

Round-up: EFL Good Friday

30 March 2018

A packed bank holiday schedule produced thrills, spills and plenty of goals for all in attendance across the EFL.

Millwall set the tone for the afternoon that would unfold just 29 seconds into their fixture with Nottingham Forest. Shaun Williams netted for the Lions and set up what would turn out to be a routine 2-0 victory.

Cardiff City and Fulham both continue to fight it out for an automatic promotion spot, both picking up victories. The Bluebirds swept aside Burton Albion by three goals to one in Wales, making it seven consecutive wins for Neil Warnock's side.

The Cottagers traveled to Norwich City and emerged as 2-0 winners. Stefan Johansen and Tom Cairney scored within four second-half minutes of each other to wrap up the three points and keep up the pressure on the top two.

Behind them are Aston Villa, who could only manage a point in their Saturday evening kick-off away at Hull City, where the game finished goalless.

Sheffield Wednesday inflicted Preston North End's first away league defeat since November, and in emphatic fashion. Atdhe Nuhiu netted goals either side of a Lucas Joao strike, and Fernando Forestieri scored in his first appearance since August to secure a 4-1 triumph at Hillsborough.

Brentford and Bristol City were both held to draws as they attempt to continue their chase for a Play-Off place. Lee Johnson returned to former club Barnsley and came away with a point after twice coming from behind to draw 2-2. The Blades squandered a 1-0 lead at Brentford and headed back north from Griffin Park with only a point to show for their efforts.

Leeds United earned only their second victory of 2018 at home to Bolton Wanderers. Caleb Ekuban and Pablo Hernandez scored for Paul Heckingbottom's side to give the Whites faithful a much-needed lift.

There were three evening fixtures from the division, too. Table-topping Wolverhampton Wanderers were 2-1 winners at Middlesbrough, but it wasn't plain sailing. Wolves built up a two-goal lead before having two men sent off and allowing Boro a route back. They could only find one goal though, and the visitors held on to victory.

Paul Clement got off to a winning start as Reading manager, and he has Vito Mannone to thank for it. Sone Aluko gave the Royals a 1-0 lead with a stunning individual effort, but the goalkeeper saved a late penalty kick to ensure all three points against Queens Park Rangers.

In the final action of the day, Sunderland beat Derby County 4-1 at Pride Park. The victory lifts the Black Cats off the bottom of the table and provides a glimmer of hope for survival.

And speaking of survival, Birmingham climbed out of the bottom three after Jota's penalty gave the Blues a 1-0 win over Ipswich Town.

Wigan Athletic returned to the top of the standings with a routine victory at home over Oldham Athletic. Goals from Will Grigg, James Vaughan and Nick Powell provided victory for Paul Cook's men.

In the day's other early kick-off, Karl Robinson picked up his first point as manager of Oxford United after the U's drew 1-1 at home to Scunthorpe United.

Shrewsbury Town dropped out of the automatic promotion spots after they fell to a rampant Rochdale side at Spotland. Dale were 3-1 winners and were awarded EFL Result of the Day.

Rotherham United and Peterborough United faced off as both hunted down a crucial win to further their play-off hopes. The Millers were the better side throughout, and held a 1-0 lead heading into the final moments, but then Jack Marriott struck.

Plymouth Argyle's momentous climb up the division continued. The Pilgrims now occupy sixth spot, and do so after an impressive 4-0 win at home to Southend. Graham Carey and Ruben Lameiras netted a brace apiece, the latter picking up EFL Star of the Day.

Charlton Athletic were also 4-0 winners on Good Friday. Their victory at Northampton Town means the Cobblers have not won on home soil since January.

Portsmouth made sure they stayed in the race for the top six with a 1-0 win at Walsall, courtesy of Gareth Evans' winner on Saturday afternoon.

Bottom club Bury let a one-goal lead slip at Bristol Rovers. Dom Telford netted the equaliser to Neil Danns' opener, before Chris Lines converted an 85th-minute penalty to secure the points.

Fleetwood Town were victorious away at AFC Wimbledon. Victory lifts the Cod Army eight points clear of the drop, and leaves the Dons only two above it.

Elsewhere, Doncaster Rovers were 2-1 winners at Blackpool thanks to a Tommy Rowe double.

Accrington Stanley reclaimed top spot in the division thanks to a 1-0 win away at 10-man Mansfield Town courtesy of a Seamus Conneely strike. They now have two games in hand on Luton Town, and a three-point advantage.

The Hatters fell adrift after their defeat away to Colchester. Tom Eastman and Luke Prosser's first-half strikes were enough to secure a 2-1 victory for John McGreal's side.

The battle between third and fourth finished goalless at Meadow Lane, where Wycombe Wanderers were held to a stalemate on their visit to Notts County.

Lincoln City moved into a play-off position with a 3-2 victory over fellow promotion hopefuls, Exeter City. The Imps came from behind, with goals from Danny Rowe, Matt Green and Ollie Palmer ensuring all three points.

Danny Cowley's side are now just a point behind Coventry City after the Sky Blues drew 1-1 away at Newport County. That's now seven unbeaten for Mark Robins' men.

At the bottom end of the division, Barnet made the most of dropped points around them by picking up a 2-1 triumph at home to Crewe Alexandra. The win came courtesy of a John Akinde double.

Chesterfield failed to make the most of a man advantage at Vale Park, with Danny Pugh shown the red card just moments after giving Port Vale the lead. The Spireites levelled and, but a late Ben Whitfield goal secured the victory for the Valiants.

Cambridge United were 3-1 winners at home to Crawley Town. The result is their first win in five outings.

Elsewhere, Carlisle were 1-0 victors at Cheltenham Town, while Grimsby Town and Stevenage played out a 0-0 draw.

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