Championship leaders Newcastle United could be promoted to the Premier League as early as the weekend after a hard-fought win over Nottingham Forest.
Should United beat Peterborough and Forest lose to Bristol City, the Magpies will bounce back into the top flight after one season away.
They secured a 2-0 win over promotion rivals Forest after substitute Shola Ameobi scored in the 71st minute.
Jose Enrique blasted the ball past Lee Camp for Newcastle's second late on.
Despite a goalless opening 70 minutes, this top-of-the-table clash proved a gripping encounter from start to finish, with Forest playing their part as they looked to bring their run of six away defeats to an end.
But it was Newcastle, unbeaten at home this season, who enjoyed the best of the first-half chances.
Kevin Nolan spurned a fine chance to break the Forest defence early on, the former Bolton man passing to striker Andy Carroll when he should have taken Forest on himself.
Carroll fluffed the opportunity but almost made amends moments later, stretching to get a foot on a teasing Wayne Routledge cross to force Forest skipper Camp into a diving save.
Two penalty appeals followed at either end, referee Alan Wiley waving away both.
The first came when Radoslaw Majewski fell under the challenge of Newcastle's Mike Williamson.
Then James Perch, restored to the Forest line-up after an ankle injury, nicked the ball off a goal-bound Peter Lovenkrands, who then tumbled to the floor.
As Wiley dismissed the second appeal, Carroll, attempting to force home the loose ball, danced around a string of Forest players but was unable to get a shot on goal.
Lovenkrands was then presented with a fine chance just before the break as the entire Forest defence missed a cross from Jonas Gutierrez.
Lee Camp was alert to the danger, however, and dived on the ball, along with his defensive colleagues, to frustrate Newcastle yet again.
Forest started brightly in the second half, Nathan Tyson almost heading home within seconds of the restart but directing his effort into the arms of Steve Harper.
Forest kept up the pressure, but Danny Guthrie, making his 100th club appearance, came close to putting the home side in front from a set-piece.
He shot over the bar after substitute Ameobi, on for Carroll who had suffered a knock in the first half, had won a free-kick on the edge of the box.
Ameobi proved the difference between the two sides soon afterwards, though, latching on to Nolan's pass to turn and shoot beyond Camp.
Routledge almost grabbed a second, his volley stinging the gloves of Camp.
Nolan then forced the outstanding Forest goalkeeper into another fine save, the Forest captain diving to his right to palm away a vicious volley.
Camp then saved two more Guthrie free-kicks but could do little when Enrique scored the first goal of his career to secure all three points and edge Newcastle closer to automatic promotion.
Newcastle boss Chris Hughton: "It's that close. We are where we are and we thoroughly deserve to be where we are and if [winning promotion] happens on Saturday, then no one will be more delighted than me.
"But the most important thing is we have to win first.
"The nature of our business is you have to enjoy the wins and it will be a nice day tomorrow at the training ground.
"I'm quite sure everybody will have a spring in their step. But we very quickly have to bring them back down to earth.
"If we are able to take a spare chunk of what we had tonight into [Saturday's game at Peterborough] then we have got a good chance of coming away with a victory."
Nottingham Forest boss Billy Davies: "I'm not admitting defeat, I am saying I think Newcastle United, in my opinion, will finish the job.
"We've got a challenge for second place that is very much still on the go."
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