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This weekend in the EFL...

26 April 2021

It was another weekend of thrills and spills across the EFL's three divisions! Here are just some of the main headlines...

Hornets buzzing after securing promotion

An early Ismaila Sarr penalty - the Senegal international’s 13th goal of the season - sealed a 1-0 victory over Millwall and, with it, automatic promotion for Watford as they return to the Premier League at the first attempt. It also evoked memories of the halcyon days of Graham Taylor and Sir Elton John in Hertfordshire. Not since 1977/78 have Watford managed 18 league wins at Vicarage Road in a single season. They have won their past eight home games with a 18-1 goal differential. 

Birmingham benefit from the Bowyer bounce

When Lee Bowyer walked into St Andrew’s in mid-March with 10 games remaining, Birmingham were hovering perilously one place above the drop zone. Derby, meanwhile, were two places better off. Fast forward five weeks. Two Lukas Jutkiewicz headers gave Blues a 2-1 comeback win at Pride Park and made it 17 points from eight games under Bowyer, ensuring Birmingham’s Sky Bet Championship place for next season. Derby have managed just four points in the same period and remain in deep trouble.

Hull City heading straight back up

If Hull City supporters were sore to miss out on witnessing at first-hand their side secure an immediate return to the Sky Bet Championship with a 2-1 victory at promotion rivals Lincoln, they may have reflected that they couldn’t attend Hull’s 44th game of last season, either. That was an 8-0 loss at Wigan with seven goals conceded in an abject first half. The Tigers have let in a League One best 36 goals this season, 51 fewer than when they were relegated.

West Country woes as Swindon and Bristol Rovers go down

The Sky Bet League One relegation picture is a little clearer after Swindon Town and Bristol Rovers slipped through the trapdoor together. Rovers lost a club-record 26th league game of the season to a Ronan Curtis goal at Portsmouth on Saturday lunchtime. Two hours later, Swindon joined them. A 5-0 defeat at MK Dons, for whom Will Grigg scored a career-best four goals, took the Robins’ 'goals against' tally to 84.

Could Southend’s goal Rush be just in time?

With just 24 goals in their previous 43 Sky Bet League Two fixtures, Southend are the lowest scorers in the EFL this season. Knowing that only victory over Leyton Orient at Roots Hall could prolong their 101-year stay in the League, they were level at 1-1 when manager Phil Brown threw on 20-year-old striker Matt Rush, who has been on loan at Tonbridge Angels. Brown’s gamble paid off as Rush scored his first EFL goal, a 76th-minute winner to keep Southend’s hopes alive.

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