With the end of the season still in sight across the Football League, there were still many permutations to be settled during this weekend’s action. Here’s the best of the of the drama from the EFL.
Barnsley & Peterborough relegated; Luton & Sheffield Utd continue top 6 fight
Barnsley’s relegation was confirmed on Friday night after a 2-1 defeat in a Yorkshire Derby with Huddersfield. Jordan Rhodes scored in successive Huddersfield games, with Harry Toffolo also scoring on the stroke of half time. Callum Styles picked up a late consolation for Barnsley. On Sunday, it was confirmed that the Tykes had parted company with boss Poya Asbaghi, with the Swede spending less than six months in charge. Under 23’s boss Martin Devaney will take charge of the final three games of the season.
Barnsley Football Club can conﬁrm the departure of both Poya Asbaghi as First Team Head Coach, and Ferran Sibila as Assistant Coach, by mutual consent.
— Barnsley FC (@BarnsleyFC) April 24, 2022
Peterborough’s relegation was also confirmed on Saturday after they were beaten 1-0 at home to Nottingham Forest. Sam Surridge scored his fifth goal for the club and Forest are still in the hunt for automatic promotion. They sit just five points behind Bournemouth with four games left, and they have to face each other before the end of the season. Forest’s 1-0 defeat at Luton on Good Friday is their only league defeat since January.
💙 A tough season. Through the good times and the bad times, your support has been nothing but 𝙚𝙭𝙘𝙚𝙥𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙖𝙡.
Thank you for your continued backing. 👏
Up The Posh!#pufc pic.twitter.com/mAAULDddA4
— Peterborough United (@theposh) April 23, 2022
The top two went head-to-head at the Vitality Stadium, as Fulham played Bournemouth. Dominic Solanke’s late penalty cancelled out Aleksander Mitrovic’s controversial header earlier in the second half.
Luton and Sheffield United make up the top six picture. The Hatters drew 1-1 with Blackpool in Saturday’s early kick off, with Gary Madine’s penalty cancelling out Elijah Adebayo’s 2nd minute opener: his 16th league goal of the season. Luton have lost only once in eight league matches. Sheffield United beat Cardiff 1-0 at Bramall Lane, with Iliman N’Diaye’s header giving them the points and sixth place as a result.
Promotion race intensifies; Wimbledon & Doncaster all-but-down
The race for promotion is perhaps the most intriguing of all three EFL leagues. Wigan failed to secure promotion at home to Plymouth Argyle as the Latics drew 1-1. They go to Portsmouth in midweek with the best away form in the league, knowing that a win at Fratton Park will put them in touching distance of the Championship.
The constant battle of Rotherham and MK Dons for promotion has been quite astonishing. The Millers had lost four of their last five league games but managed to claim a vital 2-1 win at home to Oxford. Midfielder Dan Barlaser scored at the wrong end – and then at the right end – to secure the win. They face a tricky trip to Sunderland on Tuesday night. The Dons occupy third but have played a game more than Wigan and Rotherham. They beat Morecambe 2-0 at Stadium MK on Saturday, with Harry Darling and full back Daniel Harvie securing the win.
Wycombe played Sheffield Wednesday at Adams Park in an intriguing battle for the play off places. The Chairboys won 1-0 thanks to Jordan Obita’s second half goal, which keeps the Owls out of the top six. They have hit form at the right time, going without a loss in 11 league games. Four clubs are separated by just one point going into Saturday’s final day, with one of Sunderland, Wycombe, Plymouth and Sheffield Wednesday unfortunately set to miss out on the top six.
Want another angle of that @jordanobita11 finish? Go on then!#WYCvSHW pic.twitter.com/JGlrGUhi54
— Wycombe Wanderers (@wwfcofficial) April 24, 2022
At the bottom, AFC Wimbledon and Doncaster’s relegation was all but confirmed, with a poor goal difference meaning survival for both is highly unlikely. Wimbledon have made it a club record 26 games without a win, the longest winless streak in the EFL since 1988. Luke McCormick nearly ended the spell until veteran Joe Garner’s indirect free kick two minutes from time secured Fleetwood Town a vital point. Wimbledon have also lost an incredible 37 points from winning positions this season. After the draw, Fleetwood sit just outside the bottom four. In 21st are Gillingham. The Gills lost 3-1 at Portsmouth, with Ronan Curtis’ double helping to sink them. Doncaster beat Burton Albion 2-0 with Joe Dodoo and Josh Martin giving them the win.
Realistically, one of Gillingham, Fleetwood and Morecambe will join Crewe, AFC Wimbledon and Doncaster in League Two next season.
Disaster for Oldham, Elation for Forest Green Rovers
There is only one place to start in EFL League Two. Oldham Athletic were relegated to the National League following a 2-1 defeat at home to Salford City, after 115 years as a football league club. That defeat, along with wins for Barrow and Stevenage over Sutton and Tranmere respectively, meant the Latics were the first club once representatives of the Premier League to drop into non-league. The game finished later than expected after a fan protest on the pitch meant the game was abandoned for a short period of time.
Forest Green Rovers finally secured promotion to League One for the first time in their history after a 0-0 draw with Bristol Rovers. They went seven games without a win throughout February and March which meant their run to win the League title had stuttered.
Easy like Monday morning ☕️ #WeAreFGR 💚 pic.twitter.com/a8HiBZr8Lu
— Forest Green Rovers (@FGRFC_Official) April 25, 2022
Exeter’s promotion is also within touching distance. They recorded a 2-0 win over Rochdale, securing a sixth home win in a row at St James’ Park. They realistically need just one point from their remaining three games. Northampton have the best first half record in the division and they went 3-0 up at Leyton Orient by the 38th minute. The game finished 4-2 at the Breyer Group Stadium, taking Port Vale’s place in the final automatic promotion place. The Valiants lost 2-0 at Walsall to dent their automatic promotion hopes. Lastly, Jamie Murphy and Lucas Akins goals for Mansfield Town secured them a 2-0 win over Crawley. The Stags are still very much in the promotion picture.