With most teams having played around 29-30 games we are still no clearer on what the final picture will look like, although Peterborough and Lincoln have eased out a few points in front in recent weeks. The picture at the bottom is slightly clearer, but only in terms of 7 clubs standing out as likely candidates for the drop. Incredibly before going into todays round of fixtures just 3 points separated them, every game from now until the end of the season is going to feel like a cup final, and as ever we will watch with interest and bring you all the details.
AFCW 0 Hull City 3
Even if we do feel a bit down conceding in the last minute we always have the AFC result to look forward to. Promotion chasing Hull made no mistake comfortably dispatching the relegation threatened AFC with ease. It was a welcome return of form for the Tigers who re-enforced their third place standing with goals from two penalties, one from Josh Magennis after Lewis-Potter had been fouled in the box, the other via Malik Wilks after himself being hauled over. The two pens straddled a Reece Burke goal just before half time, Magennis knocking a superb header into his path and giving him the easy task of converting. The defeat leaves AFC in 22nd place on goal difference with a tricky way tie at Shrewsbury next on the agenda followed by an equally tough game up at Blackpool at the weekend.
Bristol Rovers 2 Shrewsbury 1
A somewhat surprising result for Rovers after the Shrews dominant display over us in midweek, giving Rovers boss Joey Barton his first victory and allowing Rovers to gently ease out of the bottom berths. The hosts took the lead on the stroke of half time after some great wing play by Alex Rodman who pulled the ball back for Luke Leahy to have a simple finish at the back post. On the hour mark Rovers doubled their lead through Brendan Hanlan with a superbly paced shot from just inside the box. In injury time Dave Edwards pulled one back for the Shrews, and it could have been more as Rovers keeper Joe Day foiled a late effort to concede a corner and in so doing had to go off injured. On came sub keeper Jordi Van Stappershoef who was immediately called into action making a vital safe from the resulting corner.
Charlton 0 Blackpool 3
Charlton look to be in a right shambles losing 3-0 at home. Ellis Simms put in a clumsy challenge in the box for the hosts which Jerry Yates converted from the spot. Eight minutes before the break Matty Virtue-thick made it 2-0, given all the time in the world by the tardy Athletic defence to pick his spot and duly convert. Lee Bowyer made four changes at half time to try and get back into the game but all that went out of the window when the Charlton skipper Darren Pratley just 4 minutes after the restart was given his marching orders after receiving his second yellow card. A further 4 minutes into the game Pool made it game, set and match with their second penalty of the day again scored by Yates after himself being fouled. But it wasn’t all over for Charlton and with 5 minutes to go Chuks Aneke was given a straight red for a deliberate elbow in the face of Danny Ballard. This result leaves Charlton dropping to 12th spot with 3 defeats in the last 4 games.
Crewe 2 Sunderland 2
Like us Crewe suffered a heart-breaking finish to their game with the resurgent Black Cats. Crewe looked to be cruising leading 2-0 with goals from Chris Porter and Tom Lowery. Jordan Jones reduced the deficit 20 minutes from time with a superb strike from 20 yards into the top corner. Crewe looked to be holding on for victory until the 97th minute when super sub Chris Maguire hit a superb strike from range to share the spoils and keep Sunderland in 5th spot.
Fleetwood 1 Accrington 1
Accrington remain just outside the playoff spots with this 1-1 draw but have their keeper Nathan Baxter to thank for a second half penalty save, Josh Morris fluffing his lines. The two goals of the game came within 90 seconds of each other Adam Phillips smashing home from 20 yards, Wes Burns equalising from an almost impossible angle, the Cod Army have now just won once in the last 14 games.
Ipswich 2 Doncaster 1
After a great run of games Donny cannot buy a win as they lost again but still remain in the playoff spots. Defeat came at the hands of Ipswich who look to have woken up recently and move up to 8th place with this win. A cracking free kick from the despicable Alan Judge and a fox in the box type goal from James Norwood gave the home side the lead, Jon Taylor pulled one back for Rovers but as hard as they tried they could not break down the Ipswich defence for an equaliser.
Peterborough 2 Wigan 1
Leaders Posh must have used a get out of jail card here as they looked to be heading for the unlikeliest of defeats at the hands of lowly Wigan. Thelo Aasgaard caught the Posh keeper Christy Pym out scoring direct from a corner 20 minutes from time but to the rescue came JCH. With 8 minutes to go he headed home and three minutes later the comeback was complete as Dembele was clumsily brought down and JCH converted the spot kick to make it 21 goals for the season for the Posh striker, Wigan remain second from bottom.
Plymouth 4 Lincoln 3
Argyle took a two goal lead over title pretenders Lincoln City with goals from Kell Watts and Danny Mayor, Conor McGrandles pulling one back for the Imps. Two penalties, one at least very dubious put Lincoln back in charge, both were converted by Jorge Grant. Conor Grant made it 3-3 with about ten minutes left on the clock, and in the first minute of injury time the Argyle skipper Joe Edwards smashed a superb stoppage time winner in this action packed encounter.
Portsmouth 1 Gillingham 1
Pompey took the lead in this one on the half hour when Marcus Harness beat two men and crossed for Sean Raggett to put away a low header, but just before halftime Vadaine Oliver seized on a defensive error as Brown tried to chest the ball back to his keeper and Oliver nipped in to convert, Pompey remain in 4th .
Rochdale 0 Burton 2
JFH has really injected some belief in his Burton side and the great escape is on with this valuable away win against relegation rivals Rochdale. A few weeks ago Albion looked dead and buried but the only thing keeping them in the relegation spots now is goal difference, and with this their 4th win in five games that is slowly improving. It took Albion just over the hour to take control following a long throw by Hamer which was poked home by Kane Hemmings. The prospect of Dale staging a recovery was dealt a hammer blow 15 minutes from time when Ollie Rathbone let his frustrations get the better of him and got a bit too physical with Jonny Smith and he got his marching orders. With time running out Albion made the game safe via a long range effort from Lucas Akins.
Swindon 2 Northampton 1
Ryan Watson score his second goal in a week to give the Cobblers the advantage but that was wiped out in first half injury time as Scott Twine converted a freekick from 25 yards out. 20 minutes from time Brett Pitman made the game safe nodding home at the back post unmarked. That’s 10 games without a win for the manager less Cobblers and puts them stone last, meanwhile the Robins move 3 points clear of the drop.