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West Brom strengthen grip on Championship playoff place

Bradley Collyer - PA Images / PA Images / Getty

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West Brom gave themselves a seven-point cushion in the race for a Championship playoff place with a 2-1 win at home to Coventry on Friday.

In their first match since Florida-based entrepreneur Shilen Patel formally completed his takeover of the club on Wednesday, goals before half-time at The Hawthorns from Mikey Johnston and Grady Diangana put the Baggies on the road to victory.

Haji Wright pulled a goal back for Coventry with a penalty 17 minutes from time to give the visitors renewed hope of a draw. But although the visitors pressed for an equaliser, West Brom held on to all three points.

The win left the fifth-placed Baggies seven points clear of Norwich, in seventh spot, with Coventry remaining in ninth - four points adrift of the playoffs.

Only the top two teams at the end of the regular season are guaranteed a place in the lucrative Premier League.

The remaining promotion place will be decided by a series of playoff games involving the four teams finishing third to sixth.

It took the Baggies just six minutes to open the scoring against Coventry with on-loan Celtic winger Johnston beating two defenders on his way into the box before curling an excellent shot into the far corner.

Both Midlands clubs had chances to score before West Brom doubled their lead nine minutes before the break when Diangana turned in Tom Fellows' fine cross.

Coventry, however, pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute, when Wright scored from the spot after Cedric Kipre brought down Kasey Palmer, to ensure a nervous finish for the Baggies.

Championship leaders Leicester are currently six points clear at the top of the table, while second-placed Leeds are level on points with Ipswich in third.

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