Bolton Wanderers were finally put out of their misery on Saturday as a 4-1 defeat to Derby County confirmed their relegation from the Championship to League One.
Two goals from Johnny Russell plus strikes from Tom Ince and Jacob Butterfield secured a comfortable win for the promotion-chasing Rams, while sending Bolton to a 23rd loss of the season.
Defeat sees Bolton slip into the third tier for the first time since 1993, a Zach Clough penalty a mere consolation for Jimmy Phillips’ side.
MK Dons and Charlton Athletic occupy the final two places in the bottom three after defeats to Rotherham United and QPR respectively, Rotherham’s 4-0 win opening a nine-point cushion to the relegation zone.
Victory sees Derby climb a place into fifth after Sheffield Wednesday were beaten 4-1 by Bristol City, but Hull City remain fourth thanks to Adama Diomande’s stoppage-time equaliser in their 2-2 draw with Huddersfield Town.
Middlesbrough stay within a point of leaders Burnley – who beat Leeds United 1-0 –
thanks to a narrow victory over Preston North End, Albert Adomah with the decisive goal.
League One also saw a relegation confirmed as Crewe Alexandra were beaten 3-0 by local rivals Port Vale, while Colchester United picked up a much-needed 1-0 victory over Blackpool to keep their survival hopes alive.
Wigan Athletic moved four points clear of Burton Albion as Will Grigg’s 20th goal of the season wrapped up a 1-0 win over Coventry City, the Latics edging closer to securing at least a play-off place.
Northampton Town will take their place in League One next season as their promotion from League Two was confirmed despite them squandering a two-goal lead against Bristol Rovers.
The 2-2 draw was enough in the end, though, as Plymouth Argyle were beaten 2-1 by AFC Wimbledon.
Meanwhile, at the bottom, Dagenham and Redbridge are 11 points from safety after a 4-1 hammering at home to Portsmouth.
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