Oof. The tension is growing, the drama unfolding and the nerves are shredding. Now the Easter weekend is behind us, the League Two run-in has taken a giant leap towards completion. The automatic promotion spots might be all done and dusted, but we’re no closer (yet) to knowing which four will contest the playoffs. For Boro’, taking one point from our Easter outings left our hopes hanging in the balance. The numbers involved? Three fixtures left; a two-point cushion between making it and not; and nine others trying to bump us out.
League Two Run-In: The Final Countdown
Last time we did this, we’d just clocked up our 39th result of the current campaign. On one hand, not a huge amount has changed. Back then, fourth-placed Boro’s had a three-point advantage over Carlisle in eighth. Now, that gap is down to two points. It’s not a seismic shift by any stretch, not when Chelsea see their Premier League lead shrink from 13 points to four over the last month. The problem Boro’ (and others, to be fair) have, however, is how close the chasing pack now are. It makes for a gripping end to the League Two season.
4th: Luton Town – 68pts
Notts County (15th, H) – Accrington (11th, A) – Morecambe (17th, H)
5th: Stevenage – 66pts
Mansfield (12th, H) – Yeovil (18th, A) – Accrington (11th, H)
6th: Exeter City – 65pts
Morecambe (17th, H) – Doncaster (1st, A) – Carlisle (8th, H)
7th: Blackpool – 64pts
Cheltenham (21st, H) – Notts County (15th, A) – Leyton Orient (24th, H)
If you’re a sport betting fan, these are the four in control of their own fate at the moment. And each of the four candidates leading the way in this League Two run-in have two of their three remaining games at home. At the same time, however, all have tough away days too. Boro’, for example, aren’t renowned for winning at Yeovil. Meanwhile, Luton travel to an Accrington outfit who have gone from fighting for survival to battling for promotion in a matter of weeks! Exeter v Carlisle, too, is shaping up to be a massive last-day dust-off.
8th: Carlisle United – 64pts
Crawley (20th, A) – Newport (23rd, H) – Exeter (6th, A)
9th: Cambridge United – 63pts
Portsmouth (3rd, A) – Crawley (20th, H) – Wycombe (13th, A)
10th: Colchester United – 62pts
Plymouth (2nd, H) – Leyton Orient (24th, A) – Yeovil (18th, H)
11th: Accrington Stanley – 62pts
Newport (23rd, A) – Luton Town (4th, H) – Stevenage (5th, A)
12th: Mansfield Town – 62pts
Stevenage (5th, A) – Portsmouth (3rd, H) – Crawley (20th, A)
13th: Wycombe Wanderers – 62pts
Doncaster (1st, H) – Morecambe (17th, A) – Cambridge (9th, H)
The chasing pack, then, and in there are Cambridge and Accrington – both of whom were nowhere to be seen four games ago. You almost couldn’t script how some of the final fixtures have fallen in this League Two run-in. But, yes – yes you can, because it is not exactly beyond the realms of the imagination. For Cambridge, Colchester, Mansfield and Wycombe, a lot surely rests on their next results – each of them taking on a team in the top five. Pompey perhaps have nothing left to contest, but there’s still a title race on between the top two.
It’s getting close. Too close.