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Sky Bet League 1 – An End of Season Showdown


An unpredictable and frantic final day concluded with many ups and downs as the curtain came down on the League 1.

Wolves rounded off an astonishing season by lifting the Sky Bet League 1 trophy after a more than comprehensive victory over relegated Carlisle.

The Cumbrian’s knew that three points were vital to them retaining their league status for at least another season. But that wasn’t to be, Kenny Jackets side opened the scoring after just five minutes, central defender Sam Rickets cutting inside to fire an unstoppable effort into the corner.

Michael Jacobs doubled the lead six minutes shy of the hour mark, with a header from a Scott Golbourne cross.

Carlisle’s fate was sealed on 57 minutes when Nouha Dicko added a third late on. The latter has proven to be an inspirational acquisition for wolves notching an impressive 13 goals in 19 appearances.

Wolves 103 points total over hauls the previous 101 record set by Charlton in the 2010/11 season. Carlisle’s horrific end to their spell in the third tier saw them win just once in 15 games.

Tranmere were the fourth and final team to join Carlisle in dropping out of league 1 along with already relegated Shrewsbury and Stevenage. An early dismissal against Bradford cost them after Junior Brown was dismissed for a dangerous lunge.

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They surrendered a lead given to them by Matthew Pennington’s early strike to increase the suffering.

The Bantams equalised on 81 minutes when Stead’s shot found the bottom-left corner, and McLean sealed Tranmere’s fate when he found the same spot from 16 yards out six minutes later. Rovers return to English football’s fourth tier after spending 13 seasons in League One.

It was Double delight for Brentford ending a magnificent campaign with a 2-0 victory over already relegated Stevenage.

Fulham loanee Marcelo Trotta put the bees in the driving seat 13 minutes from the end and Alan Judge rounded off his loan from Blackburn in style by grabbing Brentford’s second on the 89 minute.

Notts County moved to safety after a 1-1 draw with mid table Oldham at Boundary Park. Shaun Derry has provided some what a miracle since taking the reins at Meadow Lane back in November of last year.

County were sitting rock bottom after a run of only three wins in 18 games when Derry was appointed and a recent revival of form ensures they will be playing League 1 football next season.

Crewe Alexandra also guaranteed their safety with a hard fought victory over Preston North End. The Alex knew going into the clash that survival would be in their own hands come 3.00pm. Veteran defender Adam Dugdale scored his first of the season after 10 minutes and the railway men doubled the lead after the interval.

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Influential frontman Mathias Pogba calmed the nerves around Gresty Road with a right footed strike a minute short of the hour. Although John Welsh pulled a goal back for Preston deep into stoppage time, it proved to be no more than a mere conciliation as Crewe held out for a priceless win.

Leyton Orient consolidated top spot in the play offs after a fruitful 3-1 performance against an MK Dons side who were vying to end an inconsistent season on a high. Russell Slade’s side have now scored 85 goals, with only Wolves and Rotherham unsurprisingly bettering Orient’s tally.

Meanwhile Peterborough will take on Rotherham in the play offs after the Posh were held to goalless draw at home to Port Vale.

Rotherham finished the campaign in fourth after they claimed maximum points against Swindon, who agonisingly miss out on a play-off spot for the second season running.

Steve Evans can take the majority of the plaudits for what has been an excellent two years at the club, the feat of achieving promotion from League 2 last year can be followed up by promotion via the play offs to the championship this calendar year. Preston will await the Yorkshire men in the two legged semi-final.

Sheffield United overcame Coventry after Nathan Delfouneso’s first half strike was cancelled out with goals from Ryan Flynn and Ben Davies.

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Nigel Clough has guided the Blades to a 7th place finish after effectively being relegation material in December. United had only been victories on no less than six occasions before the turn of the year.

Since Clough’s tenure began, the Bramall lane faithful only suffered four defeats in the next 22 league games. Of those 22 games, 14 ended in victory along with a ten game winning streak which included victories over Fulham and Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup.

The Key to the recent upturn in form was from momentum gained from a terrific cup run which included a semi-final appearance at Wembley.

Elsewhere, Colchester rounded the campaign off with a narrow 1 nil win against an out of sorts Walsall at Bescot Stadium, and draws were of the ascendancy with encounters between Crawley – Bristol City and Gillingham – Shrewsbury finishing all square.

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