Last weekend brought about another entertaining set of fixtures in League One with thrilling encounters at both ends of the table
The charge for automatic promotion…
10-man Shrewsbury moved to the top of the League One table with a narrow victory over struggling AFC Wimbledon. Stefan Payne scored his 11th league goal of the season with a close range effort before Shrews midfielder Bryn Morris was sent off with five minutes left to play. With Blackburn not playing, Wigan moved into the second automatic promotion place after a convincing win at bottom of the table Bury. The Latics took the lead midway through the first half when Nick Powell connected with a Michael Jacobs cut-back to net for the 13th time this season. Wigan’s lead was then doubled just after half time when defender Chey Dunkley headed home a Max Power corner. Victory leaves Paul Cook’s side just a point behind Shrewsbury with two games in hand.
The play-off race…
Both fourth placed Rotherham and fifth placed Scunthorpe slipped to disappointing results last weekend, Rotherham fell to a 2-0 loss at Chris Powell’s Southend in what was their third defeat in their last four league games. Meanwhile, Scunthorpe could only draw at home to relegation threatened Rochdale. Dale took a surprise lead on 20 minutes when former Northern Ireland international Callum Camps struck a brilliant long range effort past the outstretched Matt Gilks. Scunthorpe were able to salvage an equalizer when Ivan Toney headed home but The Iron could not secure a much needed three points. Saturday marked Scunthrope’s eighth league game without a win and prompted the club’s board to relieve manager Graham Alexander of his duties.
Steve Evans’ Peterborough were able to move into the final play-off spot despite failing to beat Bristol Rovers. Posh fell behind as Tony Craig netted his first Rovers goal since joining from Millwall in January, before Danny Lloyd-McGoldrick quickly leveled the scores. Peterborough were able to leapfrog Plymouth who fell to a disappointing defeat at managerless Charlton. The Addicks got off to the perfect start as defender Lewis Page powered home his first professional goal with a stunning effort from the edge of the box with just four minutes on the clock. The lead was then doubled shortly after as on-loan striker Michal Zyro netted his second goal for the South London club with a header from close range. Charlton’s victory has re-ignited their play-off hopes, leaving The Addicks just two points behind Peterborough with a game in hand. Meanwhile, Plymouth will be fearful of losing momentum following their first defeat in eight league games.
Bradford City moved to within four points of the play off places with a narrow victory over Gillingham. The Bantams struck the only goal of the game as Dominic Poleon finished off a brilliant passing move to fire Bradford to their first league win in 10 games, giving Simon Grayson his first victory as boss in the process.
Portsmouth also kept up the pressure on the play-off chasers with an emphatic victory over Oxford on Sunday, to move themselves up to eight place. Karl Naismith struck an early goal for Pompey before a Brett Pitman brace confined Karl Robinson to defeat in his first game in charge of the U’s. Robinson’s afternoon was made worse when Alex Mowatt received a straight red card for an altercation with Portsmouth’s Nathan Thompson, shortly after the Oxford midfielder had missed a crucial spot-kick, which would have leveled the scores.
The relegation battle…
John Sheridan’s Fleetwood put more daylight between themselves and the drop zone with with a 2-0 win over Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s Northampton. The Cod Army recorded their second win in as many games as goals from Kyle Dempey and Cian Bolger moved Fleetwood five points above the relegation zone. Northampton meanwhile remain in 21st position following Saturday’s loss.
Defeat for Bury has left them cut adrift, ten points from safety, whilst Rochdale remain encamped in the drop zone despite earning a credible point at Scunthorpe. Dan Micciche’s MK Dons are still a point away from escaping the drop zone after being held to a stalemate at home to mid table Blackpool.