While others around them stumbled, Swansea City of League One kept their nerve at Gillingham to win 2-1 and earn the season's first promotion in the Football League. The Gills started well and took a 22nd-minute lead through Dennis Oli. But two Guillem Bauza goals in as many minutes at the end of the first half gave Roberto Martinez's side the precious victory that takes them into the Championship.
"We have waited 24 years for this and we have done it in style," Martinez said. "There are no words to describe this, it was a nerve-racking game. But this something we deserve, and we must remain focused to win the title."
Other League One issues settled yesterday – Port Vale, who drew 0-0 with Huddersfield Town, and Luton Town, beaten 2-1 at home by Brighton, are both relegated to League Two.
Who'll win automatic promotion from the Championship is far from settled, but Stoke City recovered from their midweek home defeat by Crystal Palace to win 2-1 at Coventry City and go top. The Sky Blues led through Elliott Ward's 21st-minute penalty. Early in the second half Ricardo Fuller made it 1-1 from another penalty and with 11 minutes to play, substitute Liam Lawrence won it. Coventry are a point above the bottom three.
At Ashton Gate, Bristol City, third, drew 0-0 with Wolverhampton Wanderers, who were denied a penalty when Matt Jarvis was tripped. "You could tell it was a stonewall penalty," Wolves manager Mick McCarthy, said, "because the crowd went very quiet." Wolves are three points off the play-offs with two games in hand. Hull City also have a game in hand but were held to a 1-1 home draw by Queens Park Rangers. A disputed Dexter Blackstock goal saw Rangers lead until time added on, but Michael Turner clawed back a point for the Tigers.
Palace's charge from relegation zone to play-offs continued with a 2-0 win over Scunthorpe United, who go down. Palace's goals were set up by teenager Victor Moses, Tom Soares tapping in the first and Clinton Morrison heading the second.
"We all know it's going to the wire," the Palace manager, Neil Warnock, said, echoing the thoughts of every manager near the top and bottom of the table.
Southampton made Charlton Athletic's play-off credentials look thin when they drew 1-1 at the Valley, while a 2-1 win at Preston North End was Barnsley's second away win since their FA Cup semi-final defeat and lifts them further from danger. But Cup finalists Cardiff City show no sign of their Wembley date deflecting minds from a strong play-off push. Stephen McPhail, Trevor Sinclair and Peter Whittingham scored in a 3-1 defeat of Blackpool. Nor are Sheffield United out of the play-off equation as James Beattie's 21st goal of the season set up a 2-1 win over Burnley at Turf Moor.
Already relegated, Colchester United drew 1-1 at fellow strugglers Leicester City, who needed Iain Hume's 89th-minute equaliser to take them out of the bottom three on goal difference.Reuse content