By Jon Harries
So here we are, potentially the final game of the season. Who would have guessed after the start of the season we had we would be in this position? The outsiders in an automatic promotion battle, even winning the title has an outside chance of happening. Remember Rotherham had the chance to be 14 points clear when we faced off at the New York Stadium…. Only one point separates us now. The equation is simple. Win Saturday and if Rotherham drop points at relegation threatened Gillingham, we claim automatic promotion. We are guaranteed 3rd as it stands in the play offs, who we could potentially play is anyone’s guess. Wigan are away at Shrewsbury; it depends on who handles the pressure best.
Last Saturday saw potentially the last game of the season at Stadium MK as Morecambe were the visitors. They started brightly with Cole Stockton trying an audacious lob over Cumming, but once the Dons settled into the game there was only one winner. Harry Darling given the freedom of Milton Keynes to charge forward, cut inside and curl the ball beautifully into the far corner. Theo Corbeanu had a couple of shots saved by Carson either side of half time before Daniel Harvie got his first goal of the season, hitting the ball with his wrong foot squirming inside the near post. A composed professional performance. Rotherham won at home to end Oxford hopes of the play offs, then proceeded to lead then concede late to only draw at Sunderland whereas Wigan drew at home to Plymouth, then blew a 2-goal lead away at Portsmouth. Does anyone want Automatic Promotion?
Plymouth come into Saturday knowing a win guarantee play offs so will have to come out and play. Michael Cooper joined Darling and Twine in the L1 team of the season on Sunday night and will play higher at some point. Dan Scarr has been sensational as part of a back 3 with Brandon Galloway unfortunately out injured towards the end of the season. Connor Grant scored the equaliser at Stadium MK in December (live on Sky). Jordan Houghton and Panuche Camara have been sensational in midfield with a special mention for Ryan Broom who has filled in when necessary. Up front Ryan Hardie, Luke Jephcott and Niall Ennis are dangerous threats.
Danny Mayor will be the Man in Focus Saturday lunchtime. The 31-year-old is a master of the set piece delivery and with 5 assists this season the danger is there. Able to unlock defences with one pass or unleash a piece of magic. Keeping him quiet is paramount to keeping Plymouth quiet. No one expected Plymouth to go the distance. Write them off at your peril.
Kesler – O’Hora – Darling – Lewington – Harvie
Kasumu – Coventry
Corbeanu – Twine – Parrott
Go Big or Go Home. What do we have to lose? Our strongest side possible in what should be a close match. Plymouth need to win, it’s as simple as that. That should play to our advantage. Home Park will be rocking with a sell-out crowd expected. Wing back will be a key battle to win, whichever comes out on top holds all the cards. I’m going with a narrow 1-0 win. L1 POTS Twine to get us over the line, then all eyes on Gillingham. Don’t underestimate the Pilgrims. The 6th best home record against the 2nd best away record. This is going down to the wire.
I’d just like to take the opportunity to thank Colin and everyone at the MKDSA for their help and support throughout the season, alongside Ollie Charnock and Martin from DonsAction, Liam, Ross and Joe from MK1, John Taylor from SDOWSYC and Steve Manning from MKDWW. You guys have all been there when I’ve needed advice and I’ll be eternally grateful.