League One round-up: Charlton secure title but who will be second Steel all to play for
20:45 GMT, 21 April 2012
Charlton wrapped up the npower League One title with a 2-1 victory over Wycombe, but the fight for the second automatic promotion spot will go into another week after differing fortunes for the two Sheffield clubs.
The Addicks had already ensured they would be playing Championship football next term, but opened up an unassailable nine-point gap at the top with Saturday's win.
Lift-off: Charlton manager Chris Powell is thrown in the air after securing the League One title
Yann Kermorgant fired Charlton in front after 13 minutes and, although Stuart Beavon replied before half-time, Dale Stephens sealed the points in the 75th minute.
Chris Powell, the first man to win a league title as both Charlton player and manager after taking over 15 months ago, said: ‘It’s a huge moment for this club, make no mistake. There’s been far too much trying to reach for the stars and falling way, way short around here in recent years.
‘The key to things has been the spirit that we’ve generated, and the way the players have driven themselves forwards. When we’ve had upsets, we’ve got up, dusted ourselves down and got back on with it.
'Next year we’ll look to play proper football, like we have all year, and we’ll see how we go. We’ll do things properly, though, because that’s what we’re about.
We've done it: Powell and Charlton are in the Championship
'Through hard work we’ve managed to recreate the feeling that was around the place when I was a player here. That’s been the secret.’
Sheffield United remain second in the table but now sit just one point ahead of city rivals Wednesday following a 1-0 loss at MK Dons.
Alan Smith scored the only goal after 15 minutes, while the Owls snatched a last-gasp victory over Carlisle courtesy of Michail Antonio's strike.
Wednesday went in front through Chris Lines (26), but James Berrett's equaliser eight minutes from time looked to have earned a draw until Antonio's late heroics.
Something to shout about: Charlton Athletic players and fans celebrate at The Valley
MK Dons are assured of a place in the play-offs along with Huddersfield, who beat Scunthorpe 1-0 with a late goal from Lee Novak. Stevenage strengthened their play-off hopes with a fortuitous 2-1 victory at home to Brentford.
Clayton Donaldson and Sam Saunders had both missed penalties for the Bees before Craig Reid gave Stevenage a 53rd-minute lead.
Flag day: Charlton fans are happy again
Luke Freeman added a second nine minutes later with Saunders netting a late reply for the visitors.
Notts County sit two points outside the play-off places with two rounds remaining after a 4-2 defeat against Bury.
A Giles Coke own goal brought County level after David Worrall's opener, but a double from Mike Grella opened up a 3-1 lead for Bury.
Yann the man: Kermorgant (2nd left) salutes the fans after putting Charlton in front
Mike Edwards reduced arrears once more for the home side and Bury suffered another setback with the dismissal of Andrai Jones, but a last-minute goal from Mark Carrington wrapped up the points.
At the other end of the table, Rochdale's relegation was confirmed with a 2-1 defeat at fellow strugglers Chesterfield.
Goals from Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro (73) and Danny Whitaker (86) sandwiched Scott Boden's 82nd-minute strike to send Dale down.
Wasn't me: Kermorgant fells Wycombe's Grant Basey
Exeter live to fight another day after a 4-2 win over 10-man Walsall. Walsall twice led through Alex Nicholls and Florent Cuvelier, with Daniel Nardiello briefly equalising for the Grecians.
But the dismissal of Emmanuele Smith turned things in Exeter's favour, with Alan Gow scoring twice before Liam Sercombe rounded off the result.
Exeter sit five points from safety with two rounds remaining. Leyton Orient are four points above the relegation zone following a 2-2 draw against Yeovil.
Point proven: Chris Powell is joyous at the final whistle
Kevin Lisbie gave the home side a 2-0 lead but Andrew Williams and Jonathan Obika secured a point for the Glovers.
Tom Eastman cancelled out Shaun MacDonald's early opener as Colchester shared a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth. Oldham and Preston played out a 1-1 draw, with Robbie Simpson on target for the Latics and Chris Holroyd replying for North End.
Tranmere were also held 1-1 at home by Hartlepool, with Antony Sweeney earning a point for the visitors after John Walsh's opener.