Despite losing their third match in four games, Yeovil Town are still holding in 15th place in the League One table, but the chasing pack continues to bunch up behind them significantly. Wins for Gillingham and Hartlepool United ensured that the bottom four positions changed yet again, with Tranmere Rovers ending up where they had started the Bank Holiday weekend - back in the bottom four.
With most clubs having just six games left, the last chance saloon is starting to beckon for one club. Stockport County will be relegated on Saturday if they lose to Yeovil Town, whilst even a draw in the match at Edgeley Park will leave them only able to survive on goal difference - and that's assuming that Tranmere Rovers and Leyton Orient don't pick up points. If either of those two equal or better Stockport's result on Saturday then again the Hatters are down. Their 2-1 defeat at league leaders Norwich City was predictable, even if the Cheshire side did make a fairly good fist of it, with Jabo Ibehre cancelling out Anthony McNamee's early strike, but Grant Holt netted the winner. Holt has now netted his 30th of the season.
Just above them are Wycombe Wanderers, who should join them mathematically in a week or two. They lost 2-1 at Walsall with goals from Emmanuele Smith and Julian Gray condemning them before Adam Hinshelwood grabbed a late consolation. Wycombe are now nine points adrift and so unlikely to survive.
Gillingham started the day in the relegation zone, but had a huge game against 22nd placed Southend United. The Shrimpers continued their slide with a 3-0 defeat as the Gills home form carried them through with Dennis Oli, Rene Howe and Andy Barcham netting. The Gills climb to 18th, whilst Southend are now three points adrift.
Joining Southend in the bottom four are Tranmere Rovers, who committed suicide twice during their away match at second placed Swindon Town. Ben Gordon put Alan Sheehan's cross into his own net, and then Terry Gornell decided that stamping on Swindon striker Billy Paynter in the penalty box was a good idea. Gornell was dismissed, whilst Paynter netted a second. When Paynter nets for Swindon, strike partnet Charlie Austin is usually close behind, and the former Poole Town striker notched his 18th of the season, whilst Payter stands on 25 goals. Tranmere lie in 21st place on goal difference.
Just above them are managerless Leyton Orient. Changing managers seven games before the end of the season smacks of desperation and a knee-jerk reaction. But that decision looked a good one when John Spicer put Orient 1-0 up at St Mary's. But Adam Lallana grabbed a double for Southampton to restore normality and keep the London side on the edge of danger.
Exeter City played out a goalless draw at Brentford this afternoon that pushes them a point behind the Glovers, whilst Hartlepool United ended Brighton and Hove Albion's recent impressive run, thanks to goals from Dan O'Donovan and Andy Monkhouse. After starting Saturday morning in the relegation zone, Pools have picked up maximum points over Easter and have climbed five places in doing so.
All the other games featured teams at the top end of the table, where all of the top five sides won their games. Colchester United's catastrophic run continued with a 1-2 home defeat against Millwall who stayed third. A Danny Batth own goal sealed their fate, after Kevin Lisbie had equalised Sean Morison's opener for the Lions. With the top five now having opened up a nine point gap on Huddersfield and Colchester, only the final play-off place appears to be up for grabs now.
Charlton Athletic are just about holding steady their hopes of automatic promotion, even though they currently lie in 5th, as they are just two points behind the automatic slots. A single Sam Sodje goal was enough to defeat Carlisle United. One place above them on goal difference are Leeds United. Their 2-1 win over Yeovil Town is covered in detail earlier today.
Bristol Rovers kept up their faint hopes of producing the improbable when a Chris Lines shot was deflected in by Jo Kuffour for the only goal of the game against Milton Keynes Dons, who have continued to slip into midtable. Rovers are now four points off the play-offs, but have played a game more than Huddersfield Town (6th), who play Oldham Athletic (19th) on Tuesday night at the Galpharm Stadium, with the two teams having put back their game by 24 hours.
Link: 2009-10 Latest League One Table.
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