Sheffield Wednesday down high-flying Newcastle to keep on the play-off pace

Lawrence Ostlere
The Guardian
<span class="element-image__caption">Steven Fletcher, second left, leaps in celebration with cheering Sheffield Wednesday fans after scoring their second goal against Newcastle. </span> <span class="element-image__credit">Photograph: Serena Taylor/Newcastle Utd via Getty Images</span>
Steven Fletcher, second left, leaps in celebration with cheering Sheffield Wednesday fans after scoring their second goal against Newcastle. Photograph: Serena Taylor/Newcastle Utd via Getty Images


Sheffield Wednesday beat high-flying Newcastle 2-1 at Hillsborough to keep hold of sixth place, and seal their first back-to-back wins since mid-February. Second-half strikes by Tom Lees and Steven Fletcher ensured Wednesday kept Fulham at bay, who secured a 3-1 win over Ipswich at Craven Cottage. Floyd Ayite scored early on and Scott Malone and Stefan Johansen made sure before Christophe Berra’s consolation.

Huddersfield’s defeat at Nottingham Forest, however, means there was no harm done to Newcastle’s hold on one of the two automatic promotion places, though Rafa Benítez’s side missed the chance to regain top spot. Eric Lichaj’s tap in put Forest ahead at the City Ground and Jamie Ward raced away late on to seal a 2-0 win.

• Elsewhere in the top six, Leeds put their mini-wobble behind them and severely dented Preston’s play-off hopes in the process with a 3-0 win, and Reading had an alarming stumble in their play-off chase as Norwich put seven goals past their visitors at Carrow Road, having led 6-1 at half-time.

• Gary Rowett enjoyed a winning return to Birmingham with new side Derby. Rowett was surprisingly sacked last year but went ahead at St Andrew’s when Tomas Kuszczak put into his own goal. Birmingham enjoyed Che Adams’ leveller but Tom Ince ensured a sweet return for Rowett in the 90th minute.

• Jonathan Kodjia scored again for Aston Villa but they were pegged back by Lloyd Dyer as they drew 1-1 at Burton, while Sean Morrison and Peter Whittingham earned Cardiff a 2-1 win over Brentford.

• At the bottom of the table, Bristol City boosted their survival hopes with a crushing 3-1 win of in-form Wolves. Jamie Paterson opened the scoring and Tammy Abraham added two more, the first from the spot. Blackburn occupy the final spot in the bottom three and trail City by four points. They lost 2-0 at home to Barnsley, Marc Roberts and Marley Watkins on target inside 10 minutes.

Rotherham are already relegated and Wigan could soon join them, but the Latics gave themselves a real lifeline when the two met with a 3-2 victory at the DW Stadium. Danny Ward and Anthony Forde twice put Rotherham ahead but Gabriel Obertan and Alex Gilbey replied before Nick Powell won it in the seventh minute of added time.

League One

Sheffield United sealed their return to the Championship after a 2-1 win over Northampton at Sixfields. Marc Richards put the home side ahead in first-half stoppage time but Leon Clarke levelled after 61 minutes and John Fleck hit a winner to see Chris Wilder’s men return to the second tier. The Blades’ result was academic however after Fleetwood, the only side that could deny them automatic promotion, went down to a 2-0 defeat to Oldham.

Bolton confirmed at least a play-off place despite losing to 1-0 at Scunthorpe to David Mirfin’s early header, after Southend’s 2-1 defeat at Charlton meant they could no longer overhaul Wanderers’ points tally.

Coventry kept their slim survival hopes alive with a 1-0 win over Peterborough at the Ricoh Arena, while Chesterfield saw their own hopes of retaining their League One status receive a boost after Joe Rowley’s strike helped them beat Port Vale 1-0 – their first win in seven.

• Jonathan Obika hit a last-minute equaliser to earn relegation-threatened Swindon a 1-1 draw with MK Dons following Kieran Agard’s penalty two minutes before the break at the County Ground. Stefan Payne got the only goal as fellow strugglers Shrewsbury earned a crucial 1-0 win over Rochdale and Steve Morison’s goal earned Millwall a 1-1 draw with Gillingham after Joe Quigley had put the Gills ahead moments earlier.

• Mark Marshall and Charlie Wyke scored as Bradford consolidated their promotion hopes with a 2-0 win over Bury, while Billy Bodin’s first-minute effort gave Bristol Rovers a 1-0 win at AFC Wimbledon. And Andreas Makris’s first goal for Walsall gave them the lead against Oxford before Chris Maguire earned a 1-1 draw.

League Two

<span class="element-image__caption">Doncaster Rovers players celebrate promotion after their League Two win against Mansfield at the Keepmoat Stadium.</span> <span class="element-image__credit">Photograph: Jon Buckle/PA</span>
Doncaster Rovers players celebrate promotion after their League Two win against Mansfield at the Keepmoat Stadium. Photograph: Jon Buckle/PA

Doncaster secured promotion to League One with a 1-0 win at home to Mansfield. It took Darren Ferguson’s men 74 minutes to make the breakthrough as Tommy Rowe headed in a corner from veteran midfielder James Coppinger, but it was enough for Rovers to book a place in the third tier.

• Second-placed Plymouth snatched a last-gasp 2-1 victory at 10-man Crawley as they close in on promotion themselves, while Portsmouth, in third, ran out comfortable 3-1 winners at home to Yeovil.

• Game of the day in League Two saw 10-man Cheltenham claim a point in a 3-3 draw at Wycombe. Cheltenham’sBilly Waters scoring the rebound from his own missed penalty late on to save a point after Jordan Cranston had been sent off for two quick bookings.

Stevenage, who started the day in fourth, were thumped 4-0 at fellow play-off hopefuls Colchester, Accrington came from two goals down to beat Crewe 3-2, while Sam Jones scored twice as Grimsby claimed a 3-1 win at Blackpool.

• At the bottom, Newport moved to within three points of safety with a 1-0 win at Exeter, last-placed Leyton Orient were beaten 3-0 at Cambridge, and Hartlepool drew 1-1 at Morecambe.

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