Nottingham Forest secure final play-off place
Saturday 07 May 2011
Nottingham Forest secured the final npower Championship play-off place ahead of Leeds in style with a 3-0 victory at Crystal Palace this afternoon.
Lewis McGugan's 17th-minute volley put Billy Davies' men in front before Palace defender Dean Moxey was shown a straight red card.
Marcus Tudgay headed a second in the second half and David McGoldrick struck a long-range third to end any faint hopes of a Palace comeback.
That meant Leeds' impressive 2-1 win at champions QPR brought no reward.
Forest started the day in the box seat, with their Yorkshire rivals needing to make up a three point deficit and a six-goal swing, and it never looked on the cards after Heidar Helguson capitalised on a Kasper Schmeichel error to put Rangers ahead inside the first minute.
Rangers' promotion party was already in full swing after the Football Association announced this morning they would not be deducted points over the transfer of Alejandro Faurlin, and even a Leeds equaliser through Max Gradel before the break and a deflected winner from Ross McCormack after it could not dampen the celebrations.
Swansea will meet Forest in the play-off semi-finals after the Swans moved above Cardiff to claim third with a 4-0 thrashing of relegated Sheffield United.
They finished above their Welsh rivals on goal difference after the Bluebirds had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Burnley.
Craig Bellamy rescued a point for Dave Jones' side in the last minute after Jay Rodriguez had netted his 15th goal of the season, but it was not enough.
The Swans in contrast had things all their own way, Stephen Dobbie scoring either side of a Scott Sinclair penalty, given for a handball which saw Shane Lowry sent off.
Leon Britton completed the rout in the last minute.
Reading, who will be Cardiff's play-off opponents, claimed a 2-1 win at home to Derby.
Hal Robson-Kanu scored a 72nd minute winner after Jamie Ward's goal had cancelled out Ian Harte's opener. Harte missed a penalty on the stroke of half-time.
Promoted Norwich finished a glorious season with a 2-2 draw at home to Coventry.
Richard Keogh put the visitors in front only for goals from Grant Holt and Daniel Pacheco to turn the game around. Lukas Jutkiewicz scored a fourth goal in 10 second half minutes to ensure a share of the spoils.
Bristol City beat Hull 3-0 thanks to goals from Jon Stead, Brett Pitman and Jamal Campbell-Ryce.
Preston ensured they did not finish the season bottom thanks to a 3-1 win at home to Watford, while Scunthorpe, also relegated, draw 1-1 with Portsmouth.
Andreas Weimann put the Hornets in front, but goals from Barry Nicholson, Iain Hume and Jamie Proctor gave the North End fans something to cheer.
Scunthorpe led through Ramon Nunez but David Nugent levelled late on for Pompey.
Middlesbrough were 3-0 winners over Doncaster with Barry Robson, Leroy Lita and Adam Reach on target.
Leicester raced into a 4-0 lead against Ipswich before running out 4-2 winners.
Andy King, Ayegbeni Yakubu, Yuki Abe and Diomansy Kamara scored to put the result beyond doubt before a Grant Leadbitter penalty and a Connor Wickham strike reduced the deficit.
Reuben Noble-Lazarus earned Barnsley a 1-0 win over Millwall.
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