Southampton sealed automatic promotion as runners-up by routing Coventry 4-0 at home, sealing second at the expense of West Ham, a Carlton Cole double in a 2-1 victory over Hull made irrelevant as the Hammers had to settle for third.
Cardiff knew that a win would ensure a playoff clash against Sam Allardyce’s side and did so, coming from behind against Crystal Palace to finish sixth. The other semi-final will be contested between Birmingham, who beat guaranteed champions Reading 2-0, and Blackpool, who slipped into fifth when Harry Kane struck a late equaliser for Millwall.
Results did not go for Middlesbrough, for whom Watford’s Troy Deeney compounded the misery with an 88th-minute winner. Another late winner benefited Leicester, who put Leeds into the bottom half thanks to Harry Panayiotou’s apparently accidental 90th-minute touch.
There was a stalemate at Oakwell between mid-table Barnsley and Brighton, while David Ball came off the bench for Peterborough to earn a 1-1 draw with Derby.
Defender Liam Fontaine had to play half an hour in goal for Bristol City when David James was injured with no substitute keeper available but, despite his conceding a goal, Derek McInnes’ men recovered through Ryan Taylor’s first goal for the club.
Ipswich came out on top in a 3-2 thriller at relegated Doncaster, Jason Scotland’s penalty the decider, while Dexter Blackstock ended Nottingham Forest’s season on a high by scoring two past League One-bound Portsmouth.
In the battle for the last automatic promotion spot in League One, Sheffield Wednesday ensured they go into the final weekend of fixtures in pole position with a 2-1 win over Brentford.
The victory saw the Owls leapfrog Sheffield United, who fought back from two goals down to draw with Stevenage. Danny Wilson's side now have to better Wednesday's result on Saturday to move back into second place.
Stevenage's point ensured they remain in the sixth and final play-off place, though only by goal difference after Notts County's dramatic 4-3 win over Wycombe.
County trailed 3-2 with two minutes remaining, but a late double moved them level on points with Stevenage, and relegated Wycombe in cruel fashion the process.
Carlisle also kept their play-off hopes alive by emphatically beating Exeter City 4-1 and sending the Devon side down into League Two, moving just a point adrift of Stevenage, who must now beat Bury to ensure a top six finish.
Chesterfield were also relegated on Saturday, after letting a lead slip in the final 20 minutes to lose 3-2 to Yeovil.
Walsall picked up a crucial point in a 1-1 draw with fifth-placed Huddersfield to make sure they remain in the third tier, while Leyton Orient also narrowly survive despite a 2-1 defeat at Hartlepool.
Elsewhere, 40-year-old former Burnley man Graham Alexander called time on his career with a late free-kick to hand Preston a 2-2 draw with champions Charlton, and MK Dons were victorious over relegated Rochdale.
Colchester's final home game of the season ended a 4-2 win over Tranmere, Bury and Oldham played out a goalless game and Scunthorpe and Bournemouth shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
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Swindon Town secured their promotion from League Two as champions this weekend, with Paolo Di Canio’s side sweeping Port Valeaside 5-0 in their final game of the season at the County Ground.
Shrewsbury Town will join the Robins in English football’s third tier after their 1-0 win over Dagenham & Redbridge sealed a second-place finish for the Shropshire outfit.
Elsewhere, Crawley Town’s automatic promotion hopes were dealt a blow by a shock home defeat to struggling Hereford, with the Bulls needing victory and Barnet not to win in their last game next week in order to avoid relegation.
Nick Powell’s late equaliser for Crewe Alexandra meant Torquay failed to take advantage of Crawley’s slip-up, with Martin Ling’s side only managing to draw level on points with their promotion rivals.
Southend remain just a point off the final automatic spot after a 2-0 win away to Oxford United, a result which struck a blow to Chris Wilder’s side’s hopes of reaching the playoffs.
Cheltenham’s 3-1 victory against Bradford ensured they would be amongst the play-off challengers, while Macclesfield dropped out of the Football League following defeat to Burton Albion.
Late goals from Sam Deering, Ben May and Mark Hughes rounded off a vital 4-0 win for relegation-threatened Barnet against AFC Wimbledon, while a brace apiece from Matt Harrold and Matthew Lund saw Bristol Rovers thrash Leyton Orient 5-1.
Morcambe and Northampton played out home draws against Plymouth and Gillingham respectively, while Aldershot were also held to a stalemate on their own turf against Rotherham.