League Two round-up: Pilgrims in pole position

Fans invade the pitch at Brisbane Road during Leyton Orient's game with Colchester
Fans invade the pitch at Brisbane Road during Leyton Orient's game with Colchester
Blues forward Nicke Kabamba

Pompey goal machine has Cherries in his sights

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The League Two title race will go down to the final day of the season.

And it’s Plymouth who have put themselves in pole position to lift the crown ahead of Doncaster and Pompey.

Derek Adams’ Pilgrims came from a goal down to beat Crewe 2-1 at Home Park, thanks to strikes from forwards Ryan Taylor and Nathan Blissett.

James Jones’ early opener had given the Railwaymen the lead.

Plymouth now have a one-point advantage over Doncaster, while they remain two clear of the Blues, who stay in third.

Rovers have led the way for much of the season, but they were defeated 3-1 at home by Exeter, who sealed their play-off place with goals from Jordan Moore-Taylor, David Wheeler and Liam McAlinden.

Hartlepool’s 95-year stay in the Football League hangs by a thread after a narrow defeat to Cheltenham left them needing a final-day great escape.

Second-bottom Pools, who parted company with manager Dave Jones in midweek and put player Matthew Bates in temporary charge, went down 1-0 at Whaddon Road, with Danny Wright’s goal proving the difference.

The result, which secured the Robins’ own survival, stretched Hartlepool’s winless run to seven games.

The defeat would also have been enough to send them down had Newport not surrendered the lead to lose 2-1 at play-off-chasing Carlisle.

The Exiles, who went ahead through defender Mickey Demetriou before conceding to Jabo Ibehre and Nicky Adams strikes, remain two points above their relegation rivals going into the final weekend of the campaign.

However, Hartlepool’s goal difference is one better.

There also promises to be plenty of twists and turns left in the race for the final two play-off spots, with seven clubs remaining in contention.

Carlisle, on 68 points, occupy sixth position after their win over Newport, with Blackpool a point further back following a 1-0 loss at Notts County – in which former Pompey defender Richard Duffy claimed the winner.

Stevenage are behind the Seasiders, only on goal difference.

That’s thanks to Josh McQuoid’s second-half leveller in a 1-1 draw at Yeovil, after Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro had put the home side ahead.

Meanwhile, Cambridge and Wycombe are both on 66 points – one ahead of Mansfield, who lost to the Blues.

Scott Wharton’s opener and a late penalty from Luke Berry earned Cambridge a 2-0 victory over Crawley, who had Josh Payne sent off.

Adebayo Akinfenwa’s 89th-minute equaliser secured Wycombe a 1-1 draw at Morecambe, after Kevin Ellison had broken the deadlock eight minutes earlier.

Colchester also moved on to 66 points, despite their game with already-relegated Leyton Orient being postponed five minutes from time.

The U’s were leading 3-1 at Brisbane Road thanks to goals from Tarique Fosu, Chris Porter and substitute Macauley Bonne, before unhappy home fans flooded the field in protest at the plight of their struggling club.

But after a two-hour delay, players returned and played the final eight minutes behind closed doors.

Elsewhere, fourth-placed Luton ran out 4-1 winners at Accrington following strikes from James Justin, Isaac Vassell and Jack Marriott and an Omar Beckles own goal.

In the day’s other game, John Akinde moved level with Doncaster’s John Marquis at the top of the division’s scoring charts with his 26th of the season as Barnet beat Grimsby 3-1.