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Newz Forum: SOCCER: Final day of the 2004/5 Coca-Cola Championship season 08/05/05

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posted on May, 8 2005 @ 09:45 AM
Wigan claimed automatic promotion to the Premiership on Sunday thanks to a 3-1 win over Reading at the JJB Stadium.

Lee McCulloch sidefooted in his 14th goal of the season in the 18th minute after Jason Roberts' cutback from the byline found its way through to him. It was 2-0 three minutes later as Roberts beat his marker with a clever dummy and rolled a low shot into the corner of the net. Nathan Ellington sealed second place in the Coca-Cola Championship with five minutes to go as he climbed high to head home a third and Steve Sidwell's late consolation goal did little to dampen the party atmosphere.

The Latics had to equal or better Ipswich's result away to Brighton and Joe Royle's side were held 1-1 on the south coast and must take the well-trodden play-off route to the top flight. Shefki Kuqi gave Town a fourth-minute lead when he drilled a low shot home from Darren Bent's pass but the Seagulls - needing a win to be certain of avoiding the drop - hit back six minutes later when Adam Virgo volleyed in.

At the bottom, Crewe climbed out of the relegation places with a 2-1 win over Coventry to send Gillingham down. The outlook was gloomy early on for Dario Gradi's team as former Alex striker Dele Adebola's close-range header gave Coventry a 1-0 lead. However, hopes were raised by midfielder Michael Higdon's 54th-minute strike drawing them level and Gresty Road went wild as Steve Jones gave them the lead with 18 minutes to go.

It was their first win since beating Leeds on New Year's Day and could not have been more timely, as a 2-2 draw at Nottingham Forest was not enough to keep Gillingham in the Championship. Forest centre-back Wes Morgan found the net from close range from Kris Commons' free-kick but the Gills drew level when Andy Melville slid Nicky Southall's cross into his own net after an hour at the City Ground. Mamady Sidibe put the Gills ahead and in line for the three points to keep them up, as he managed to steer home a volley from another Southall ball into the box 13 minutes from time but Forest substitute Eugen Bopp restored parity to condemn Stan Ternent's side to League One football next season.

Derby and West Ham secured the two play-off places up for grabs at the start of the day.

Derby leapfrogged Preston into fourth with a 3-1 win over North End at Pride Park. A quickly-taken free-kick by Inigo Idiakez gave Derby the edge on the stroke of half-time. The Rams' passage to the post-season was secured as Tommy Smith added a second four minutes into the second half. Preston, guaranteed a play-offs pot before the match, got a consolation goal from Patrick Agyemang but Paul Peschisolido restored the two-goal cushion in the final minute. West Ham held on to sixth spot by beating Watford 2-1 at Vicarage Road as Anton Ferdinand's deflected strike put them in front three minutes before the break. Marlon Harewood made the points safe with a 70th-minute penalty although Heidar Helguson halved the deficit late on for the Hornets with a another spot-kick.

There were goals galore at Molineux as Wolves led three times in securing a 4-2 win over Sheffield United, a result which extinguished the Blades' already faint play-off hopes. Goals by Joleon Lescott (12) and Leon Clarke (23) were cancelled out by Alan Quinn (13) and Andy Gray (37) but a deflected shot by Kevin Cooper and a fourth from Scotland striker Kenny Miller put Wolves out of sight.

Champions Sunderland rounded off their season with a 1-0 win over Stoke thanks to Carl Robinson's 57th-minute goal while Cardiff had Jobi McAnuff to thank for their 1-0 at home to QPR thanks to Jobi McAnuff's first goal since January from a Cameron Jerome cross.

Pride was all that was at stake in the day's other games, and there were no goals at Leeds, who faced Rotherham, Millwall, who hosted Burnley, or at Home Park where Plymouth met Leicester.

posted on May, 9 2005 @ 03:36 PM
Some great results and they seemed to finally go in the right direction for West Ham. Congrats to Wigan on making it to the top flight for the first time..

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