In the game of the day, Brentford rallied from 3-1 down at half-time to beat Burton 5-3 at the Pirelli Stadium and leave the Brewers one place and one point off the bottom three. Sergio Canos had put Brentford ahead after 10 minutes, only for a Marvin Sordell double and a goal from Cauley Woodrow to put the hosts on top. After the break, Lasse Vibe and Canos pulled Brentford level, and the visitors took the lead through Vibe with five minutes remaining. Moments later, the Danish forward set up Jota Peleteiro to seal a thrilling win.
Rotherham didn’t quite go down on Saturday, but their return to League One is a formality. The Millers lost 5-1 at improving QPR, and are now 24 points adrift with 24 left to play for. Their goal difference of -54 (40 goals behind Burton) means their survival chances are purely mathematical. It’s looking bleak for Wigan, too: defeat at home to Aston Villa, with Scott Hogan getting his first Villa goal, leaves the Latics seven points off safety.
This time last week, Fulham were celebrating victory at leaders Newcastle, with home games against Blackburn and Wolves offering them the chance to climb into the top six. After drawing with Blackburn in midweek, Fulham capitulated against Wolves, Dave Edwards completing a 3-1 win for the visitors. Sheffield Wednesday hold onto their top-six place despite defeat to Reading on Friday, with Norwich – winners at home to Barnsley – edging back into the play-off mix. Friday night also saw the surprise of the weekend, as struggling Bristol City thrashed Huddersfield 4-0.
Newcastle missed the chance to pull further away from the Terriers; they were held to a goalless draw at Birmingham, giving Brighton the chance to reclaim top spot in the late game at Leeds – but they came up short, Chris Wood scoring twice to seal a home win at Elland Road. Cardiff defeated Ipswich in a mid-table battle, Kenneth Zohore scoring twice for the hosts. In the lunchtime kick-offs, there were two derbies and two late equalisers: Daniel Pinillos for Nottingham Forest against Derby, and Aiden McGeady for Preston at Blackburn.
Barring a dramatic collapse, Sheffield United will end their six-year stay in the third tier. Chris Wilder’s side have a ten-point cushion over third-placed Fleetwood after a home win over Charlton, as Uwe Rösler’s team stumbled to a goalless draw against Wimbledon. Filipe Morais completed a late comeback for Bolton against Northampton as the Trotters reclaimed second place.
There was even later drama at Valley Parade as Charlie Wyke struck twice in the last five minutes to earn Bradford victory and deny Swindon a shock away win. Scunthorpe’s automatic promotion hopes look to be over after Curtis Nelson condemned them to late defeat at Oxford. Southend round out the top six, Anton Ferdinand’s goal helping them to a 3-2 win over Walsall as Millwall were held by Bury.
Port Vale’s win over Shrewsbury on Friday evening saw them cut the gap on their relegation rivals to just two points. Oldham, who drew at Peterborough are still in danger, as are Gillingham, just four points above Vale after losing 4-1 at Rochdale. It looks grim for Swindon and Chesterfield, who lost at Bristol Rovers, while Coventry are all but down. Stuart O’Keefe’s goal for Milton Keynes leaves the Sky Blues 17 points adrift.
There was no shock at Brisbane Road, where bottom club Leyton Orient lost 4-1 to Doncaster. Orient were level at half time, but a John Marquis double helped Rovers pull away in the second half. Doncaster are 17 points clear of fourth spot, and Plymouth have an 11-point cushion. Graham Carey’s early goal gave the second-placed Pilgrims victory over Morecambe.
The top three could have looked done and dusted, had Portsmouth won at fourth-placed Stevenage. Pompey fans have learned in recent years that nothing is ever that straightforward, and Jack King set the hosts on their way to a 3-0 win that cut the gap to four points. Carlisle’s poor run of form continued with a 2-0 defeat at Mansfield; the Cumbrians are wedged between Luton and Exeter after those two sides drew 1-1 at Kenilworth Road.
Newport remain seven points from safety after a 3-1 home defeat by Blackpool, who are closing on a play-off spot. Cheltenham and Hartlepool failed to take advantage, losing at home to Cambridge and Wycombe respectively.
Elsewhere, Chris Dagnall scored both goals as Crewe beat Colchester, while Grimsby v Crawley and Yeovil v Accrington both finished 1-1. Notts County host Barnet on Sunday.