The race for promotion to League One is wide-open following an afternoon that saw Mansfield, Forest Green and MK Dons all lose key matches.
With Tranmere’s game against Bury falling victim to the weather earlier in the day, it was all eyes on fixtures elsewhere. Tranmere are not guaranteed a play-off spot yet, and that fact remains tonight, however, let’s look at the race for automatic promotion for the moment.
While Lincoln have won the league at a canter, it’s an incredible five-way race for the remaining two automatic promotion spots. With seven days of the regular season remaining, it simply couldn’t be closer.
EDIT: it’s a four-way race. Due to the fact MK Dons and Mansfield play each other, Forest Green cannot win automatic promotion.
Mansfield were beaten at home 2-1 by Stevenage, a result that puts Stevenage right in the thick of the play-off chase. Forest Green trailed 1-0 at Crewe before rallying and finding themselves 3-1 in front at Gresty Road.
However, a stunning late show from the Railwaymen saw them strike back to win 4-3 in an astonishing end to the match in Cheshire.
The leaves MK Dons who were in action at Colchester United, themselves chasing a play-off spot. The Us put the Dons to the sword with a comfortable 2-0 win.
That leaves the race for automatic promotion looking like this.
Rovers will do battle with Bury in what is a massive game on Tuesday night. It’s somehow now even bigger than it would have been if played today.
Victory for Rovers will mean the five-horse race goes down to the final day of the season, a day which season Forest Green host an Exeter side desperate for a win, MK Dons host Mansfield and Bury host Port Vale. Victory for Bury will see them promoted. A draw keeps it all ticking over but probably just about counts Rovers out on goal difference.
Race for the play-offs
As we said at the outset, Rovers aren’t quite guaranteed a play-off spot yet. In fact, we could finish anywhere from second to eight, which is crazy in itself. The reason for that is Newport County.
Newport host Oldham on Tuesday night. If they were to win, that means they could be just two points behind Tranmere depending on the outcome of our own game on Tuesday.
The final play-off spot is currently occupied by Exeter. They travel to Forest Green on the final day knowing only a win is likely to guarantee a play-off spot – although they could be passed by Newport before that!
As-it-stands, behind them by just two points are FOUR teams; Colchester, Carlisle, Stevenage and Newport. It’s a quite unbelievable.
On the final day, Colchester go to Lincoln, Newport are away at Morecambe, Stevenage host Cheltenham and Carlisle United have the long old trip to already relegated Yeovil Town.
It promises to be a quite breath-taking final week in League Two.