23.04.2016 19:07 h

Brighton eye automatic promotion, Dons relegated

Brighton bolstered their bid for automatic promotion to the Premier League with a 3-1 win at Charlton on Saturday, while Milton Keynes Dons were relegated to the third tier after a 4-1 thrashing by Brentford.

Chris Hughton's Brighton are third in the Championship but only goal difference is keeping them below leaders Burnley and second placed Middlesbrough with two games remaining in a thrilling finale to the promotion race.

Burnley had moved to the top of the table following a 1-0 victory at Preston on Friday and they remain in pole position after Middlesbrough were held to a 0-0 draw by Ipswich at the Riverside Stadium.

Brighton ignored a protest by fans of relegated Charlton, who delayed the match by several minutes when they threw balloons on the pitch, to take the lead through Sam Baldock.

Jiri Skalak and Tomer Hemed also netted for Brighton after Johann Berg Gudmundsson's equaliser for Charlton briefly threatened to make it a nervous day for the visitors.

At the other end of the table, third bottom Milton Keynes' relegation to League One was confirmed in dispiriting fashion.

Nicky Maynard's early opener gave Dons the perfect start, but goals from Sergi Canos, Lasse Vibe, Ryan Woods and Jake Bidwell ended their one-season stay in the Championship.

Sheffield Wednesday were unable to seal a play-off place after Derby striker Darren Bent's 82nd-minute header cancelled out Barry Bannan's stunning opener for the sixth placed Owls in a 1-1 draw at the iPro Stadium.

That result gave hope to seventh placed Cardiff, who dramatically defeated relegated Bolton 2-1 to move within four points of Wednesday.

Zach Clough gave Bolton an early lead but Kenneth Zohore equalised after Niall Maher's red card for the visitors and Cardiff nicked it through Peter Whittingham's penalty deep into stoppage-time.

Whittingham's winner sets up a fascinating meeting between Wednesday and Cardiff at Hillsborough next weekend, with the south Wales club needing a win in their penultimate game of the season to remain in the hunt for a play-off place.

Fourth-placed Hull's chances of automatic promotion are over following a 2-2 draw with Leeds.

Rotherham secured another season in the Championship with a goalless draw at Wolves, while Fulham are also safe despite a 3-1 loss to Nottingham Forest.

Bristol City can also look forward to another season in the second tier after a 2-2 draw at Blackburn.

Deniss Rakels' goal earned Reading a 1-1 draw at QPR, who had opened the scoring through Grant Hall, and it was the same scoreline at Huddersfield after Joel Lynch responded to David Cotterill's opener for Birmingham.