Leeds moved to the top of the table with a Yorkshire derby victory over Huddersfield. Luke Ayling’s stunning volley put them into a third-minute lead and Patrick Bamford’s first goal in eight games removed doubt in the second half as Marcelo Bielsa’s side made the most of West Brom’s goalless draw at Swansea.
Hull City look set to spend the rest of the season looking over their shoulder after being thrashed at Stoke. Nick Powell started and ended the scoring for the hosts, while Sam Clucas got a double of his own and Tyrese Campbell converted a penalty. Leo Da Silva Lopes hit a consolation for the Tigers, who have failed to win their last 12 games. Stoke’s victory was soured by an injury to Joe Allen, who ruptured his achilles and will now miss this summer’s European Championships with Wales.
Brentford strengthened their play-off position by downing Sheffield Wednesday 5-0 at home. Tom Cairney struck a late equaliser for Fulham at Bristol City after Nakhi Wells had given the hosts the lead.
There was a third consecutive defeat for stuttering Preston, who just held on to the final play-off spot, as 10-man QPR won at Deepdale. Daniel Johnson put the hosts into the lead from the spot but Grant Hall levelled. Geoff Cameron was then dismissed for a second bookable offence but it seemed to spur QPR on as Ryan Manning curled in his side’s second and Eberechi Eze settled the result.
At the bottom, Middlesbrough earned a vital win over Charlton as a Paddy McNair goal settled the result. There was little to write home about at Wigan, where Luton earned a point in a goalless draw. Two goals in as many minutes set Cardiff on their way at Barnsley. First Will Vaulks found the back of the net and then Callum Paterson doubled the lead. Reading recovered from going behind early at Birmingham to win 3-1.
Things look positive for Coventry City at the summit, as they possess a five-point lead after beating Ipswich at Portman Road, where Matt Godden struck the only goal. Meanwhile, second-placed Rotherham conceded three in defeat to relegation-threatened Rochdale. Oxford United kept the pressure on the Millers as Josh Ruffels completed a comeback to win from 2-0 down, two minutes from time, at Shrewsbury.
There is renewed hope of survival for Tranmere after James Vaughan and Mark Ellis earned them three points at Accrington. Sitting just above the drop zone are AFC Wimbledon, held to a goalless draw by Bolton. Southend have little to look forward to but did secure a rare win – their fourth of the season – over Bristol Rovers.
Kyle Lafferty’s first two goals for the club were not enough for Sunderland to defeat Gillingham. The Black Cats looked set for victory until Mikael Mandron popped up to score his second of the game in the 96th minute.
Neil Critchley’s first game in charge of Blackpool went without much incident against rivals Fleetwood, as neither side could muster a goal.
Crewe now sit top after swatting aside rock-bottom Stevenage. Chris Porter got things going for the dominant Railwaymen, before Charlie Kirk and Ryan Wintle removed any doubt. David Artell’s side leapfrogged Swindon, who lost at home to Forest Green, with Matt Stevens and Ebou Adams on target.
Plymouth opened up a three-point gap on rivals Exeter. The Pilgrims beat strugglers Macclesfield 3-0, while the Grecians fell at Walsall. Grimsby got the better of Scunthorpe in the Humber derby thanks to goals from Charles Vernam and Luke Waterfall.
After failing to win a game in over a month, Colchester moved back into the play-offs by downing Carlisle United away. Ash Hunter scored for the third consecutive game as he netted both Salfordgoals against Bradford.