EFL goals and round-up: Middlesbrough, Coventry and Hull win in Championship
Middlesbrough moved up to third in the Sky Bet Championship as first-half goals from Chuba Akpom and Marcus Forss earned a 2-0 home win over fellow promotion-chasers Watford.
Akpom put Michael Carrick’s men in front in the 36th minute by heading in his 14th league goal of the season and Forss slotted past Daniel Bachmann in first-half stoppage-time to double the advantage.
The result saw Boro leapfrog Watford, who are now a point behind them in fourth.
Coventry ended their winless run with a 2-0 victory at home against struggling Huddersfield.
Gustavo Hamer curled in the opener on 53 minutes and Kasey Palmer added a 71st-minute header – both efforts being set up by Viktor Gyokeres – as the Sky Blues registered a first win in six and moved up to 13th. Huddersfield remain three points adrift of safety in 22nd.
Aaron Connolly netted a brace to help Hull beat QPR 3-0 at the MKM Stadium.
Scoring for the first time since joining on loan from Brighton, forward Connolly struck in the 10th and 64th minutes, with Rob Dickie scoring an own goal in between as QPR’s run without a win extended to a sixth match.
Sky Bet League One
Duncan Ferguson was given a harsh lesson in his first game in charge of Forest Green as Shrewsbury struck twice deep in stoppage time to pull off a stunning 2-1 win at the Montgomery Waters Meadow.
Jordon Garrick’s first-half goal looked to have been enough to hand victory to the former Everton striker – who replaced the sacked Ian Burchnall last week – before goals from substitutes Rekeil Pyke and Ryan Bowman in the 94th and 98th minutes sent Sky Bet League One’s bottom side to their 18th defeat of the season in the competition.
Bolton took advantage of their promotion rivals’ FA Cup commitments to shore up their play-off prospects with a 2-1 win away at Charlton.
Ian Evatt’s side were the only top-six side in action and opened up a nine-point gap to the chasing pack, thanks to goals from Aaron Morley and Dion Charles at The Valley, either side of Albie Morgan’s goal for Charlton, who stay 15th.
Morecambe climbed out of the relegation zone with an emphatic 5-1 win against Bristol Rovers, with Daniel Crowley, Donald Love, Adam Mayor and Cole Stockton scoring for the Shrimpers, adding to an own goal from Rovers’ James Connolly, to hand the resurgent hosts their fourth win in five games. Burton stayed in the relegation zone despite beating Oxford 2-0 at home.
Peterborough gave their play-off hopes a boost with two goals in the first half from Jonson Clarke-Harris helping them to a 2-1 win at home to Portsmouth. Pompey hit back with a late own goal from Nathan Thompson but could not salvage a draw.
Exeter won 2-0 away at MK Dons to climb to 10th, Cheltenham played out a goalless draw at home to Port Vale, while Cambridge slipped to second bottom after a goalless draw with Lincoln.
Sky Bet League Two
Leyton Orient missed the opportunity to stretch their advantage at the top of League Two after going down to a 1-0 defeat at Tranmere.
With second-placed Stevenage in FA Cup action, Orient now sit only two points clear, but Boro have two games in hand.
An own goal from Omar Beckles was enough to give Micky Mellon’s side their first win in four games and inflict a third straight away defeat on the O’s.
Ben Fox and substitute Shaun McWilliams scored second-half goals as Northampton shrugged-off back-to back defeats to beat Barrow 2-0 at Holker Street.
Carlisle kept the pressure on those in the automatic promotion places with a 1-0 win at Rochdale.
John-Kymani Gordon scored the only goal after eight minutes and the Cumbrians are just one point adrift of Northampton.
Salford stay in fifth after going down to a 3-2 defeat at Crawley in Scott Lindsey’s first game in charge of the hosts.
Dom Telford, Dion Conroy and Teddy Jenks had Crawley coasting before Salford hit back with late goals from Ryan Watson and Matthew Lund.
Charlie Austin hit a double as managerless Swindon came from two goals down to draw 3-3 with Gillingham.
Jonny Williams put Swindon 1-0 up in the first minute but 15 minutes later they were 3-1 down with goals from Timothee Dieng, Will Wright (penalty) and Tom Nichols.
However, Austin got one back from the spot before heading home the equaliser, while Saidou Khan was sent off for the Robins late on.
Tom Anderson’s own goal and strikes from Alfie Kilgour, Lucas Akins and Will Swan earned Mansfield a 4-1 win over Doncaster.
Harry Pell’s bullet header handed AFC Wimbledon their first league victory of the year with a 1-0 win over Stockport.
David Ajiboye hit the only goal to give Sutton a 1-0 victory over Harrogate.
Colchester’s survival fight gained another boost as they enjoyed a dramatic 2-1 win at Hartlepool.
An 88th-minute scrambled winner from Alex Newby earned the Us a fifth win in eight games after Fiacre Kelleher’s opener was cancelled out by Jamie Sterry.
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