LAST GASP POMPEY RELEGATE ROVERS

Doncaster Rovers were relegated from the npower Championship after a dramatic 4-3 loss to fellow strugglers Portsmouth on Saturday afternoon.

The bottom side looked like earning at least a temporary reprieve as they opened up a 2-0 lead at the Keepmoat Stadium with goals from Habib Beye and Fabien Robert inside the opening five minutes. But all began to go wrong as Beye conceded the first of two penalties early in the second half to earn a red card.

Greg Halford tucked away both spot-kicks and although James Coppinger put Doncaster back ahead, Pompey substitutes Dave Kitson and Marko Futacs sealed their fate in the closing minutes.

Portsmouth themselves remain seven points off safety with just nine points to play for while the other side in the bottom three, Coventry City, could only manage a 1-1 draw at Burnley. Charlie Austin gave the Clarets a 20th minute lead at Turf Moor with the Sky Blues, who are four points from the crucial 21st place, replying through Clive Platt.

LEADING THE CHASE

At the other end of the table West Ham tightened their grip on third place with a 6-0 hammering of Play-Off hopefuls Brighton & Hove Albion. Ricardo Vaz Te set up victory with two goals inside the opening eight minutes and completed his hat-trick just after the hour while Kevin Nolan and Carlton Cole struck and Gary Dicker turned into his own net in the second half.

Liam Lawrence struck for Cardiff City after 69 minutes to secure a 1-0 victory at Barnsley while Blackpool's trip to Nottingham Forest ended in a goalless stalemate.

Birmingham City had to come from behind to claim a point and a 2-2 draw with Bristol City at St Andrews. The Robins led through Stephen Pearson and Jon Stead but Marlon King and Nikola Zigic secured the draw.

Middlesbrough kept their Play-Off hopes alive with a 1-0 win at Derby County thanks to a Curtis Main strike 10 minutes from time while Jason Scotland cancelled out a Chris Martin goal as Ipswich Town came from behind to draw 1-1 at Crystal Palace.

ELSEWHERE IN THE DIVISION

Billy Paynter and Ross McCormack scored two apiece as Leeds United beat Peterborough United 4-1 at Elland Road and Hull City's downturn continued as they were held 1-1 by 10-man Watford at Vicarage Road.

A strike from Harry Kane and a penalty from Andrew Keogh helped Millwall to a 2-1 home win over Leicester City, whose late reply came from Daniel Drinkwater.

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