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Norwich’s Premier League promotion party put on hold

The Canaries could have sealed top spot with victory at the Bet365 Stadium but they had to settle for a point for a fourth game in succession.

Norwich missed a chance to secure promotion at Stoke but the job is almost done (Martin Rickett/PA)
Norwich missed a chance to secure promotion at Stoke but the job is almost done (Martin Rickett/PA)

Sky Bet Championship leaders Norwich were forced to wait to secure promotion to the Premier League after being held to a 2-2 draw by Stoke.

The Canaries could have sealed top spot with victory at the Bet365 Stadium but they had to settle for a point for a fourth game in succession.

That allowed Sheffield United to cut the gap at the top to three points but Norwich will still return to the top flight if they take a point from either of their two remaining games.

Onel Hernandez fired Daniel Farke’s side ahead against Stoke after 24 minutes but the Potters responded after the break through Ashley Williams.

Teemu Pukki, netting his 28th league goal of the season, restored Norwich’s lead against the run of play but a low strike from Tom Edwards ensured a deserved draw for the hosts.

The second-placed Blades had little trouble seeing off Hull, easing to a 3-0 victory at the KCOM Stadium with all their goals coming in the first half.

David McGoldrick headed the opener and added a second with a long-range effort before Enda Stevens nodded a third.

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David McGoldrick scored twice as Sheffield United won comfortably at Hull (Mike Egerton/PA)

Leeds failed to keep up the pressure in third and their hopes of automatic promotion suffered a blow as they slumped to a 2-0 loss at Brentford.

Neal Maupay and Sergi Canos scored either side of half-time for the Bees, condemning Marcelo Bielsa’s side to back-to-back losses over the Easter weekend.

At the bottom of the table, Rotherham remain three points adrift of safety after surrendering a lead to lose 3-1 at home to Birmingham.

Matt Crooks put the Millers ahead but Jacques Maghoma equalised with a fine individual effort and a neat finish from Jota gave Blues the lead after a good run by Che Adams. Kerim Mrabti completed the victory in the last minute.

Wigan ensured their safety with a 2-0 win over 10-man Preston at the DW Stadium.

Goals from Leon Clarke and Owen Evans in each half secured the crucial points for the Latics. Preston had Ryan Ledson sent off and the loss ended their slim hopes of claiming a play-off place.

Millwall remain just outside the bottom three after losing 1-0 to form side Aston Villa, whose victory was a new club record 10th in succession and secured their place in the play-offs.

Jonathan Kodjia scored the only goal in the 30th minute.

Reading inched closer to safety as they drew 0-0 at fourth-placed West Brom, who also made sure of a play-off position.

Harry Wilson scored twice in injury time as Derby snatched a dramatic 2-0 win over QPR to move into the final play-off position.

Wilson struck from the penalty spot in the fourth added on minute before grabbing a second on a breakaway in a remarkable end-to-end finale.

That win meant the Rams leapfrogged Middlesbrough and Bristol City, who both slipped up.

Boro, who began the day in sixth, were beaten 3-0 at Nottingham Forest.

Joe Lolley opened the scoring from the penalty spot and added Forest’s third after Alexander Milosevic got the second.

Bristol City went down 2-0 at Sheffield Wednesday. They fell behind to a long-range strike from Barry Bannan and Lucas Joao doubled the Owls’ lead.

Elsewhere, Wayne Routledge was on target as relegated Ipswich lost 1-0 at home to Swansea.

Bolton, who are also heading down to League One, were beaten 2-0 at Blackburn after goals from Ben Brereton and Adam Armstrong.

PA

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