A look back to League One’s final day – and the Trotters’ promotion
BOLTON Wanderers manager Phil Parkinson told The FLP he was confident his players would finish the job by securing promotion against Peterborough last Sunday – and he was spot on.
A year after the Trotters were relegated to League One in ignominy, they sealed an immediate return to the Championship in style with a 3-0 victory over Posh at an ecstatic Macron Stadium.
Goals from Jem Karacan, David Wheater and Adam Le Fondre allowed Bolton to ease to promotion behind League One champions Sheffield United and hold off the challenge of Uwe Rosler’s Fleetwood Town.
A delighted Parkinson, who made the switch from Bradford City last summer, said: “It’s a difficult league to get out of, so it’s a great achievement to do it at the first attempt.
“It’s been a great turnaround for us. I think we will look at it as a start for what we want to achieve and for rebuilding the club .
“What a great day for the club – and to do it in the manner we did makes me really pleased.
“When the pressure is on and you produce a performance like that, there isn’t much more you can ask for.” Sheffield United had already wrapped up promotion and the title, but they had one more goal last Sunday – to reach the landmark of 100 points. Already-relegated Chesterfield made the Blades work hard, but, typically, Chris Wilder’s men came out on top to hit the century mark.
Daniel Lafferty struck the winner with eight minutes left as United ran out 3-2 winners in a Bramall Lane thriller.
Kieron Freeman and skipper Billy Sharp, with his 30th goal of the season, twice put Sheffield United ahead, but Kristian Dennis, from the spot, and Paul McGinn levelled for the Spireites, who had Dan Gardner dismissed for clashing with Sharp just after the second equaliser.
Fleetwood had to settle for fourth place after being held to a 0-0 draw by Port Vale, a result which wasn’t good enough to save Vale from relegation. Scunthorpe United leapfrogged Fleetwood into third with a 3-1 home win against already-demoted
Coventry. Neal Bishop and sub Hakeeb Adelakun both netted in the final six minutes to earn the Iron maximum points and
put them in good heart going into the play-offs.
Earlier, Vladimir Gadzhev had put the Sky Blues in front, only for a Kevin van Veen special to level things ups.
Bradford City remained fifth after a 1-1 draw at
Rochdale, a result which ended Dale’s slim play-off hopes. Alex Jones gave a much-changed Bantams side an early lead, but Matty Lund equalised for the hosts midway through the second half. Stephen McLaughlin netted the only goal as
Southend beat Bury at Roots Hall, but it was the visitors who were happier at the finish.
The Shakers escaped relegation to League Two, but Southend missed out on the play-offs.
That was because Millwall, who started the day a point ahead of the Shrimpers, won 4-3 in an extraordinary game at Bristol Rovers.
It looked as though it would be plain sailing for the Lions when they led 3-1 after 35 minutes, thanks to two goals from Lee Gregory and another from skipper Tony Craig, with Jermaine Easter replying for Rovers.
However, Chris Lines cut the deficit before the break and Billy Bodin struck a superb free-kick on 74 minutes to level things up and put the Lions on the brink.
However, centre-back Shaun Hutchinson headed home an 85th-minute corner to ensure Millwall’s place in the postseason – and ruin Southend’s chances.
Gillingham’s 0-0 draw at Northampton was just enough for them to retain their League One status. Josh Wright saw an early spot-kick saved by Cobblers keeper David Cornell, but it didn’t prove costly.
Josh Magennis, Jake ForsterCaskey and Ricky Holmes were all on target as Charlton rubbed salt into Swindon’s relegation wounds with a 3-0 win, while goals from Oxford
United’s Curtis Nelson and Rob Hall enabled the U’s to beat
Shrewsbury 2-0 and make it 100 goals for the season in all competitions.
MK Dons romped to a 4-1 win at Walsall, courtesy of goals from Robbie Muirhead, Ben Reeves, Stuart O’Keefe and Harvey Barnes. Erhun Oztumer replied for the Saddlers.
AFC Wimbledon failed to hit the net for the sixth game in a row as they were held at home by Oldham.
It meant Latics keeper Connor Ripley, 24, on loan from Middlesbrough, kept the most clean sheets in League One this term with 18, equalling a club record in the process.
BLADE RUNNER: Daniel Lafferty, right, struck the winner with eight minutes left for Sheffield United IT’S A WRAP: Adam Le Fondre scores Bolton’s third against Peterborough Inset: Shaun Hutchinson celebrates his late Millwall winner and Sheffield Utd and Bolton both lift their trophies