OWLS TAKE FLIGHT TO HIGHER LEVEL

Sheffield Wednesday earned promotion back to the npower Championship after a 2-0 win over relegated Wycombe Wanderers kept them ahead of city rivals Sheffield United.

Wednesday knew they only needed to match the Blades' result to secure promotion alongside Charlton after two seasons in the third tier and they took the lead through Michail Antonio in the 25th minute. United could only take a point at relegated Exeter City.

Wycombe's defensive record is the reason they will return to League 2 and Nile Ranger was given far too much space to head in Chris Lines's free-kick seven minutes after half-time and seal victory for the Owls.

Exeter went ahead in the 24th minute through a fine goal from Alan Gow, and United's woes continued when they were reduced to 10-men when James Beattie was shown a straight red card for a tackle on James Dunne.

But Lee Williamson levelled matters a minute before the break and Kevin McDonald put United ahead within two minutes of the restart, though Scot Bennett equalised late on, and if the Blades are to bounce straight back to the Championship it must be through the Play-Offs.

EXTENDING THEIR SEASON

Stevenage kept alive their hopes of two straight promotions by securing the final Play-Off spot and a clash against United with a 3-0 win over Bury. Craig Reid opened the scoring in the 24th minute, Joel Byrom gave Stevenage breathing space with a 77th minute penalty and Chris Beardsley added gloss in injury time.

Huddersfield Town jumped above MK Dons, who they will meet in the Play-Off semi-finals, into fourth thanks to a 2-0 victory over Yeovil Town - Lee Novak and Daniel Ward netting for the Terriers. Dons will go into that two-legged tie on a losing note after Will Grigg scored the only goal in a 1-0 win for Walsall.

ELSEWHERE IN THE DIVISION

Stevenage's result meant Notts County missed out on the Play-Offs on goal difference despite a 4-1 victory over Colchester United, with Jeff Hughes, Daniel Bogdanovic, Alan Judge and Kieron Freeman scoring their goals.

Carlisle United also went into the day with an outside chance of making the top six but it was out of their hands and they went down 2-1 to Oldham Athletic. James Tarkowski put the hosts ahead in the 49th minute and, although Tom Taiwo equalised for United, parity lasted only four minutes before Oumare Tounkara headed a 72nd minute winner.

Champions Charlton Athletic ended their season with an entertaining 3-2 victory over Hartlepool United. Brentford, Bournemouth and Leyton Orient also all finished with a win, the Bees seeing off Chesterfield 3-2, Bournemouth beating Preston North End 1-0 and Orient defeating bottom side Rochdale 2-1, while Tranmere Rovers and Scunthorpe United drew 1-1.

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