Bees reach English summit after 74 year absence
The EFL Championship kicked off the Bank Holiday action on Saturday, and it was Brentford who emerged victorious, beating Swansea City 2-0 courtesy of first-half goals from the ever present Ivan Toney and Emiliano Marcondes.
Brentford dominated the early proceedings, winning a penalty on nine minutes after Bryan Mbuemo was brought down by the onrushing Freddie Woodman, leaving referee Chris Kavanagh no choice but to award a spot-kick. Toney stepped up and coolly converted past Woodman for his 33rd goal of the season.
Just ten minutes later, the Bees extended their lead as a quick-paced counter attack ended with Mads Roerslev finding Marcondes at the back post, stroking the ball home to double Brentford's lead and send the 6,000 travelling fans into delirium.
Thomas Frank's side controlled proceedings for the rest of the game, with Steve Cooper's Swans unable to manage a single shot on target. Matters got worse for Swansea as midfielder Jay Fulton slid into Mathias Jensen from behind, resulting in a straight red card.
It was a day to forget for Swansea, but a day to remember for Brentford as Thomas Frank guided the Bees to a long awaited return to England's top division.
Tangerines' rebuild takes one giant step
Next up on Sunday was the turn of EFL League One, and Blackpool made their return to Championship football, coming from behind to beat Lincoln City 2-1 with a brace from Kenny Dougall deciding the final.
It was a disastrous start from Blackpool's perspective, as a low cross from Lincoln winger Brennan Johnson was turned goalwards by Blackpool defender Ollie Turton, giving the Imps a dream start.
Jorge Grant's long range effort clipped the crossbar, as Lincoln went in search of a second, but it was Blackpool who hit back just before half-time as Dougall's low shot crept under the outstretched Alex Palmer to level the scores.
Blackpool seemed to be growing in confidence as the game went on, and the Tangerines took the lead on 54 minutes after Jerry Yates held the ball up in the penalty area, finding Dougall who found the same corner as his first goal, sparking wild celebrations from the travelling Seasiders.
Blackpool fended off late Lincoln pressure, as Neil Critchley's side sealed a return to Championship football after a six year absence, denying Michael Appleton promotion in his first full season in charge.
Shrimps secure League One football for the first time
The final play-off game of the 2020/21 season on Monday saw a face-off between EFL League Two's Morecambe and Newport County, as the Shrimps beat the Exiles 1-0 in extra time, with Carlos Mendes Gomes' spot kick proving crucial in the contest.
Newport had an early penalty shout on 12 minutes, as Morecambe goalkeeper Kyle Letheren came off his line to claim the ball from a corner, but ended up punching Scot Bennett with referee Bobby Madley waving appeals away.
42-year-old Kevin Ellison made his entrance just before extra-time, looking to disrupt his former boss Derek Adams, and Ellison was involved in Newport's best chance as the striker reached out to meet Nicky Maynard's cross, putting Joss Labadie off who blazed his shot over the bar.
Goal mouth action was limited in the game, but Morecambe won a penalty of their own on 106 minutes, as Ryan Haynes challenged John O'Sullivan from behind, with Bobby Madley eventually deciding to award a penalty.
Morecambe's star player Mendes Gomes took the penalty and scored emphatically, sending Tom King the wrong way for his 16th goal of the season.
Despite Newport dominating in large portions of the game, Derek Adams defeated Michael Flynn to guide Morecambe to League One for the first time in their 107 year history.