Newcastle are all but promoted from the Coca-Cola Championship after a 3-2 victory over Peterborough today coupled with Nottingham Forest's draw at Bristol City.
Defeat for Forest would have sealed the Magpies' immediate return to the top flight but as it is they must wait at least until Monday, safe in the knowledge they have a 15-point cushion and a goal difference that is vastly superior.
Dominic Green gave rock bottom Posh a surprise 11th-minute lead but Kevin Nolan equalised on the stroke of half-time and Joey Barton put the visitors ahead three minutes after the break. Shola Ameobi (59) made it three and Newcastle held on despite a 76th-minute strike from Liam Dickinson.
Peterborough could have been relegated but live to fight another day after Watford and Sheffield Wednesday were both held to 1-1 draws.
Will Buckley (35) put Watford ahead at Preston but they were pegged back by Callum Davidson (53) while Tom Soares earned Wednesday a point at QPR with 13 minutes remaining after Alejandro Faurlin (23) had given Rangers the lead.
Forest, meanwhile, had to come from behind to secure a 1-1 draw at Ashton Gate. Liam Fontaine put the hosts ahead after only three minutes but Guy Moussi levelled (29).
There was another 1-1 draw at the Riverside, where Middlesbrough's play-off hopes were dealt a blow by struggling Crystal Palace. Scott McDonald put the hosts ahead in the 15th minute but Alassane N'Diaye struck just before the break to keep Palace within a point of Watford.
Sheffield United joined Boro on 55 points, six adrift of the play-off places, after a goalless draw with Barnsley. The Blades' Paul Connolly saw red in the final minute after picking up a second yellow card.
Meanwhile, Plymouth claimed a last-gasp 2-1 victory over Doncaster, Ipswich are surely safe thanks to a 2-1 win over in-form Reading, and Finally, the battle between midtable midlands rivals Coventry and Derby went the way of Nigel Clough's side thanks to Shaun Barker's 20th-minute effort.
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