Potters survive, Seagulls go down
By James Pearson
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Potters simply needed to avoid defeat in order to survive, and following a nervy first half, Ade Akinbiyi assured himself of instant hero status with a bullet header shortly after the break.
Reading were rarely at the races, though Steve Sidwell was inches from levelling matters with a sweetly struck shot late on.
Brighton did their best to exert pressure on their fellow relegation-threatened side, but in the end their efforts were in vain.
Things looked grim for The Seagulls early on when Michael Keane slotted The Mariners into the lead from the penalty spot after 23 minutes, though Bobby Zamora equalised before the break.
The pressure was firmly on Stoke shortly into the second half when Danny Cullip fired the visitors ahead, though Grimsby earned a point through Richard Hughes shortly after.
Portsmouth rounded off their season in style with a resounding 5-0 thumping of Bradford City at Valley Parade.
Former Middlesbrough defender Gianluca Festa had Pompey ahead early, though it was a second half hat-trick from Svetoslav Todorov that finished off The Bantams.
Just when it looked like it could not get any worse for the home side former England international Steve Stone rounded off the game with a fifth.
Sheffield United go into this season`s play-offs on the back of a defeat after Neil Cox and Scott Fitzgerald's second half efforts handed Watford victory at Vicarage Road.
Ipswich finished their season on the up after an impressive 4-1 win over Derby County at Pride Park.
Robert Lee had the home fans celebrating early on, though goals from Pablo Counago, Darren Bent and Jim Magilton turned the contest on its head before the break.
Matt Holland almost certainly scored his last goal for the club, when he completed the scoring with a fourth in injury time.
Two early goals from Nayron Nosworthy were enough to see off Crystal Palace at the Priestfield though Dougie Freedman did pull one back for The Eagles.
Millwall ensured they finished ninth in the table following a 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest at The New Den. Tony Craig and Tim Cahill were the second half scorers for the home side.
Norwich City ended the season with a 2-0 win over Preston. An own goal from Tyrone Mears put The Canaries ahead moments after the break, before Phillip Mulryne settled the tie.
Kenny Miller had looked set to hand Wolverhampton all three points at home to Leicester before Trevor Benjamin netted a late penalty for The Foxes at Molineux.
Burnley's season ended in defeat following a 2-1 reverse to Wimbledon. Gareth Taylor had the visitors ahead at Selhurst Park, though two David Connolly strikes after the break rescued The Dons.
Pedro Matias had Walsall in the lead on 56 minutes, though goals from Lloyd Owusu and Alan Quinn secured all three points for Sheffield Wednesday.
Mark Robins ensured Rotherham did not end the season in defeat when his equaliser earned his side a 2-2 draw at home to Nottingham Forest.
Alan Lee had The Millers ahead after the break, though Jack Lester equalised moments later.
Craig Westcarr looked to have handed Forest all three points at Millmoor before Robins popped up to earn his side a share of the spoils.
Click below for Division One match summaries:
Bradford 0-5 Portsmouth
Derby 1-4 Ipswich
Gillingham 2-1 Crystal Palace
Grimsby 2-2 Brighton
Millwall 2-0 Coventry
Norwich 2-0 Preston
Rotherham 2-2 Nott`m Forest
Sheff Wed 2-1 Walsall
Stoke 1-0 Reading
Watford 2-0 Sheff Utd
Wimbledon 2-1 Burnley
Wolves 1-1 Leicester
Click here for the final Division One table.