A full round of fixtures to mull over again, and with each round the end picture is starting to look clearer, or is it, and we are still on for a dramatic last weekend of the season.Three different kick off times due to all fixtures being rearranged out of respect for HRH Prince Phillip, we kick off with Friday night and the Nene Valley derby.
Peterborough 3 Northampton 1
Posh moved another step closer to Championship football next season with this win over local rivals and relegation threatened Northampton. Sammie Szmodics scored a brace and Jonson Clarke-Harris dispatched a penalty to reach a notable milestone of 30 goals for the season. The Cobblers did go into the break all square courtesy of a clumsy challenge in the box by Mark Beevers which Sam Hoskins converted from 12 yards, but this was a fairly regulation win for Posh who going into the Saturday games were 8 points clear. The Cobblers are 1 point from safety and with games left against Gillingham, Ipswich, Blackpool, & Sunderland, and it’s hard to see where they are going to get much needed wins to give them a chance of survival.
Blackpool 1 Sunderland 0
The Black Cats hopes of closing the gap on the top two took a major knock at the hands of the Seasiders who with this win have increased their own chances of a playoff spot, currently sitting in 5th with a five point cushion. A deflected goal by Ellis Simms from a Luke Garbutt shot was the downfall of Sunderland on the half hour just seconds before having struck the inside of the post through Aiden McGeady. Luke O’Nien found the woodwork in the way again as Sunderland tried to draw level, but it wasn’t to be, Sunderland stay in 3rd.
Burton 1 Plymouth 1
Ryan Hardie broke the deadlock in this one 20 minutes from time. A hopeful long ball forward fell to Ryan Hardie some 25 yards out and he noticed the Burton keeper was off his line and he cheekily chipped it into a vacant net. With Plymouth trying to manage the game out in injury time Burton struck to take a share of the spoils, Kane Hemmings had a shot too hot to handle and Ryan Broom slid in to level the score. Burton are now incredibly 11 points above the relegation zone with 5 games left to play and are unbeaten in 5.
Bristol Rovers 0 Lincoln 1
Bristol Rovers are in serious trouble after this home defeat and are 4 points from safety with just 4 games left to play. A goal from Anthony Scully was the difference between the two sides after 16 minutes. Things got much worse for Rovers when former Don Ed Upson got involved in a scuffle with two Lincoln players. The ref sent Upson for an early bath and booked the two Imps players, much to the disgust of Joey Barton. Meanwhile Lincoln cement their place in the top 6, next up for Rovers is a visit from the Dons on Tuesday night.
Charlton 0 Ipswich 0
A game of few outright chances and the draw doing little to enhance the playoff aspirations of both teams, in a game that both teams looked more frightened to lose than actually grab the game by the scruff of the next and go out and try and win. Charlton are in 5th but with Oxford likely to overtake them in the later kick offs, Ipswich remain in 9th.
Hull City 2 Fleetwood 1
Fleetwood never read the script for this one and took the lead after 22 minutes, Wes Burns skilfully setting up Kyle Vassell to simply tap the ball home. Normal service resumed in the 2nd half following goals from Josh Magennis and Keane Lewis-Potter. Hull City now need two wins from their last 4 games to go up automatically, the title will be the cherry on the cake but Posh are still breathing down their necks for the silverware.
Rochdale 3 Accrington 1
Rochdale aren’t leaving League 1 without a fight, a few days after recording their first home win in 6 months, what do you know another one, like a London bus follows straight behind with a convincing win over Accy Stan. Jimmy Keohane got Dale off to a good start curling a shot round the Stanley keeper Toby Savin. 3 minutes later Stanley were level as Ben Barclay headed powerfully home a David Morgan cross. Dale took the lead again when the Accy keeper failed to hang on to the ball and Jake Beesley had an easy task three yards out. The points were made safe in injury time, Savin hooked a clearance straight to the feet of Conor Shaughnessy who calmly side footed it into an empty net from 40 yards out. Dale move off the bottom with 5 games left, and fixtures left versus Blackpool, Crewe, AFC, Doncaster, and us on the last weekend of the season.
Shrewsbury 0 Doncaster 2
Doncasterlona recorded their first win in 10 games, but you get the feeling the playoff ship has sailed and Rovers will look back at this winless run in the summer and wonder what could have been when they looked so long to be playoff bound or more. Former Shrews player Fejiri Okenabirhie set Rovers on their way in the 15th minute latching on to a sloppy back pass and fired past the Salop keeper. The Shrews tried in vain to get an equaliser and Donny were constantly trying to catch them on the break and then 10 minutes from time they broke up the Shrewsbury play with a rapid move and Brighton loanee Taylor Richards was on hand to smash it home.
Wigan 2 Crewe 0
Wigan recorded their third win a row and have a rare head of steam that has given them a bit of breathing space over those below them moving up to 19th . Wigan took the lead after 15 minutes when a bizarre deflection off Joe Dodoo took it past the Crewe keeper. Crewe were down to ten men 20 minutes from time when Omar Beckles took out Callum Land just as he was setting to shoot. Lee Evans blasted the spot kick past Jaaskelainen who managed to get both hands to the ball but couldn’t stop it going in.
AFCW 4 Swindon 0
I’m sorry to disappoint everyone but as I suggested last week AFC are too good to go down, or it would probably be more accurate to say those around them just aren’t good enough, Swindon being a prime example, who it has to be said are dreadful. First half goals by Joe Pigott from the spot, Will Nightingale, and Ayoub Assal and the game was just about done and dusted. Pigott piled on the misery for the Robins just after the break with his second of the game and a Tyler Smith goal for Swindon was nothing more than a consolation.
Oxford 3 Gillingham 2
Oxford had a chance to break into the top 6 after both Charlton and Pompey failed to win but it was the Gills who took the lead shortly before halftime when Vadaine Oliver scored his 15th goal of the season, slotting it into the bottom corner. The Gills made it 2-0 with 20 minutes left, a Jordan Graham corner found its way to Robbie Cundy who fired it into the bottom corner. 2 minutes later the U’s halved the deficit, Elliot Lee playing in Sam Winnall to score in the bottom corner. Oxford piled forward searching for an equaliser and they didn’t have to wait too long, Sam Long heading home a Josh Ruffels cross to set up a grandstand finish. With Oxford piling forward and the Gills defending getting more desperate it didn’t really come as a shock that the U’s snatched a late winner, Sam Long getting his second of the game following a Cameron Brannagan cross and I guess we will have to wait for Quest to see the reaction on Robbo’s face and the anger from Steve Evans that his team chucked away a two goal lead, Oxford move up to 6th completing a miserable day for Pompey who dropped down to 7th.