Wolves cel­e­brate as pro­mo­tion is se­cured

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Football -

Wolves were cel­e­brat­ing pro­mo­tion to the Premier League last night with­out even kick­ing a ball af­ter a late Brent­ford equaliser at Craven Cot­tage meant Ful­ham dropped points and so can no longer catch the lead­ers.

Ful­ham needed a vic­tory to re­gain second place from Cardiff in the Sky Bet Cham­pi­onship and to deny lead­ers Wolves au­to­matic pro­mo­tion.

The west Lon­don club took the lead with 20 min­utes to go through an Alek­san­dar Mitro­vic strike, but Neal Mau­pay’s goal in the 94th minute sig­nalled Wolves’s re­turn to the elite for the first time since 2012.

Wolves man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Lau­rie Dal­rym­ple hailed the in­flu­ence of man­ager Nuno Espírito Santo, who took charge last sum­mer. Dal­rym­ple said: “What he’s brought in has been fan­tas­tic. He came in, he changed the play­ing style. We’ve re­cruited well and he’s gal­vanised the group re­ally strongly in a very short space of time. Very, very quickly he had us play­ing a dif­fer­ent style of foot­ball than we’d been ac­cus­tomed to and a brand of foot­ball that was de­liv­er­ing re­sults re­ally quickly.”

Cardiff had left it late ear­lier but kept them­selves in the hunt for an au­to­matic pro­mo­tion place with a 2-0 win at Nor­wich. Ken­neth Zo­hore squeezed the ball past Angus Gunn in the 86th minute be­fore Ju­nior Hoi­lett’s goal in added time ended Cardiff ’s two-game los­ing streak.

Mid­dles­brough stormed into the play-off places af­ter com­ing from be­hind to beat Bris­tol City 2-1 at the River­side Sta­dium. Mi­lan Djuric volleyed the vis­i­tors into a 13th-minute lead be­fore Ge­orge Friend lev­elled five min­utes later. Daniel Ayala then headed home the win­ner in the 68th minute, mov­ing Mid­dles­brough up to fifth and dent­ing Bris­tol City’s top-six hopes.

Vet­eran striker Steve Mori­son struck his fifth goal of the sea­son for Mill­wall as they came back to draw 1-1 against fel­low play-off hope­fuls Sh­effield

United in the early kick-off. Leon Clarke opened the scor­ing for the Blades in the 74th minute, but Mori­son equalised in­stantly to grab a point. The sixth-placed Lions re­main un­beaten in the league since New Year’s Day and Sh­effield United, who are ninth, have not lost at home since late Jan­uary. Derby slipped out of the top six, but Bur­ton moved off the bot­tom and to within five points of safety af­ter a 3-1 vic­tory over the Rams at the Pirelli Sta­dium.

Sun­der­land slipped to the foot of the ta­ble and re­main six points below Bolton af­ter draw­ing 2-2 at Read­ing.

Liam Kelly gave the Roy­als the lead from the penalty spot. Paddy Mc­Nair fired a stun­ning equaliser just af­ter the break be­fore Lee Cat­ter­mole’s first goal since Au­gust 2014 put the vis­i­tors in front in the 66th minute. Yann Ker­mor­gant re­stored par­ity for Read­ing with 11 min­utes re­main­ing to leave Chris Cole­man’s side on the brink of rel­e­ga­tion.

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