Leyton Orient relegated from the Football League after 112-year stay

Lawrence Ostlere
Crewe’s Ryan Wintle gets up at the back post to head in the second goal of the game against Leyton Orient at the Alexandra Stadium. Photograph: ProSports/Rex/Shutterstock

Championship

• Nottingham Forest gave their chances of Championship survival a huge boost with a nerve-jangling victory against Reading at the City Ground. Two goals by Britt Assombalonga and a third from Mustapha Carayol had Forest cruising before a Yann Kermorgant double put the home fans on edge, but Reading couldn’t find the equaliser. The result pulls Mark Warburton’s side three points clear of Blackburn in the third relegation place, who could only manage a goalless draw at Wolves. Wigan’s 0-0 with Cardiff leaves them almost certain to go down, something which would be confirmed should Birmingham pick up a point or more in Harry Redknapp’s first game in charge on Sunday, against Aston Villa.

• Fulham took a significant stride towards the play-offs with a 4-1 win against Huddersfield, coming from behind to score four first-half goals including a Tom Cairney penalty and two opportunist strikes by Stefan Johansen just before the break. Fulham’s victory was made to look even better by Leeds’ 2-1 loss at Burton; quickfire goals by Marvin Sordell and Michael Kightly left Albion closing in on safety – and Leeds three points outside the play-offs. Sheffield Wednesday remain well-placed for a top-six finish after beating Derby 2-1 at Hillsborough, coming from behind with second-half finishes from Steven Fletcher and Gary Hooper.

League One

Swindon Town were relegated to League Two after losing 2-1 at home to Scunthorpe, ending a five-year stay in the third tier. The Brighton loanee Rohan Ince had got the Robins back into the game with a long-range strike with 10 minutes remaining but they could not find another goal. Swindon, who appointed Tim Sherwood as director of football in November, are now five points behind Gillingham with only one game to go. Scunthorpe, meanwhile, have clinched their play-off spot with those three points.

• The race to be automatically promoted with League One’s runaway winners, Sheffield United, will go to the final day of the season after both Fleetwood and Bolton earned dramatic wins. Fleetwood had gone 2-1 behind at Gillingham when David Wheater headed Bolton ahead at Port Vale, sending Wanderers fans into a frenzy with promotion seemingly sealed. Some rushed on to the pitch and clashed with home supporters which forced the referee, Carl Boyeson, to remove the players from the field for several minutes. Gary Madine eventually wrapped up a 2-0 win for Bolton but down on the Kent coast Fleetwood were mounting a comeback. First David Ball scooped in an equaliser, before their 21-year-old midfielder Kyle Dempsey scored a 92nd-minute winner, sweeping home a finish on the counterattack to earn a 3-2 win. Bolton will still go into the final round of games two points above Fleetwood, however, and with a far superior goal difference.

Bradford sealed their play-off place with a win over Wimbledon, but the final spot remains wide open after the main candidates all slipped up. Millwall were thumped 3-0 by Oxford United, Rochdale were pegged back to a 1-1 draw at Oldham, and Southend lost 1-0 at Shrewsbury.

Sheffield United moved to 97 points with one game to play after beating MK Dons 3-0, with their target of a 100-point season still in sight.

League Two

Leyton Orient’s 112-year stay in the Football League ended after a 3-0 defeat at Crewe sealed their relegation. First-half goals by Callum Ainley, Ryan Wintle and George Cooper did the damage. The club, who have had five different managers this season, have been on a downward trajectory since they were bought by the Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti in July 2014, weeks after they had narrowly missed out on promotion to the Championship, and will now play non-league football for the first time since 1905.

Newport’s stunning turnaround in form continued with their fourth win in five in a 1-0 win over Accrington to climb out of the bottom two. Ryan Bird bundled in the winner on the hour to heave the south Wales club above Hartlepool, who were beaten 2-0 by Barnet at Victoria Park. Yeovil are all-but safe despite their 4-2 hammering at Grimsby, leaving Cheltenham – who were beaten 3-0 at Blackpool – two points clear of Newport and four above 23rd-placed Hartlepool.

• The battle for all four play-off places continues. Luton are almost certain to take one after beating Notts County 2-1, but only three points separate Exeter, Blackpool, Stevenage, Mansfield, Wycombe and Carlisle – with Cambridge, Colchester and Accrington also in touching distance. Mansfield gave their chances a boost with a 1-0 victory at Stevenage courtesy of Danny Rose’s header. Stevenage remained in the top six, however, after Carlisle were stunned in the south-east by the Crawley Town captain Jimmy Smith’s last-minute equaliser in a thrilling 3-3 draw.

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