Bolton Wanderers’ push for promotion via the play-offs was given a boost at the weekend thanks to Dion Charles’ 20th goal of the season which gave them a hard-earned 1-0 win at Oxford United.
The 27-year-old’s early strike not only sealed all three points for the EFL League One side but it also meant he became the first Wanderers player to hit the 20-goal mark since Michael Ricketts back in the 2000-01 season.
“It’s a great achievement,” Charles said. “I’ve said previously I came here to score goals. I’ve said all along that if you give me the chances I will put them away.
“That’s 20 goals ticked off now and hopefully it’s going to be 25. There are still a few games left so hopefully I can score a few more.
“As a striker, I’m never happy,” he added, “I always want to strive and better myself and go one more. I need to set a target now where no-one’s going to catch me for another 20 years.”
Also on the scoresheet over the weekend was defender Trai Hume who bagged his first Sunderland goal as the Black Cats moved to within two points of a play-off spot in the EFL Championship with a 2-1 win over Birmingham City at the Stadium of Light.
After the victory Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray praised the 21-year-old’s contribution after deploying him as a central defender for the second game in a row.
“Trai was good and steady,” said Mowbray. “I feel he can play anywhere really. I’ve asked him to play in midfield at times, I’ve asked him to play really high and flick balls on from goal kicks; he takes it on board and he enjoys it and sees it as a growth programme.
“He has all the attributes to do it, he’s athletic, he’s good with the ball and I don’t worry about Trai wherever I ask him to play.”
Elsewhere in the Championship, Bailey Peacock-Farrell kept his seventh clean sheet of the season as already promoted Burnley were held to a scoreless draw at managerless Reading, while Paddy McNair was part of the Middlesbrough team who remain in fourth position following their 5-1 home success over Norwich City.
In League One, loanees Aaron Donnelly (Port Vale) and Dale Taylor (Burton Albion) both continued to gain valuable first team experience by playing the full 90 minutes for their respective clubs, although it was another disappointing day for defender Tom Flanagan who picked up his third red card of the season in Shrewsbury Town’s draw with Portsmouth.
In the Scottish Premiership Liam Donnelly scored a consolation goal for Kilmarnock who lost 4-1 at home to leaders Celtic and teenage striker Ross McCausland was named in the Rangers match-day squad for the first time this season as Michael Beale’s outfit put five past St Mirren at Ibrox.
After nine months out, with a cruciate ligament injury, striker Simone Magill was an unused substitute for Aston Villa who lost their Women’s FA Cup semi-final by a single goal to holders and treble-chasing Chelsea.
Meanwhile, the West Ham United trio of Callum Marshall, Josh Briggs and Patrick Kelly were all part of the Hammers youth team which celebrated clinching the U18 Premier League South title following a battling 2-0 success over Arsenal on Saturday.
Finally, there were assists at the weekend for Leyton Orient’s top scorer Paul Smyth and former U21 international Lewis McCann who weighed in with two as Dunfermline Athletic recorded a 5-0 home win over Dunfermline Athletic.