Promotion watch: Pompey’s rivals in focus

Doncaster boss Darren Ferguson sees his side hosts struggling Morecambe at the Keepmoat Stadium tomorrow
Doncaster boss Darren Ferguson sees his side hosts struggling Morecambe at the Keepmoat Stadium tomorrow
Cork City's Turner's Cross stadium Picture: Cork City FC

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As the race for promotion in League Two gathers pace, we take a look at Pompey’s rivals in the battle to go up and who they will be facing this weekend.

Table-toppers Doncaster host struggling Morecambe at the Keepmoat tomorrow, hoping to extend their lead at the top to 10 points.

They will go into the clash full of confidence, having not lost in the league since second-placed Plymouth beat them on December 10.

The Pilgrims themselves face a tough trip away to 11th-placed Cambridge, who will be eager to bounce back from consecutive defeats at the hands of Luton and Mansfield.

Prior to that, Shaun Derry’s men had been on an excellent run of eight games without defeat, which put them in play-off contention.

Third-placed Carlisle will hope to give their season a kick-start this weekend with a trip to crisis club Leyton Orient.

The Cumbrians have been stuttering in recent weeks and will view the trip to Brisbane Road as an ideal opportunity to claim a much-needed three points.

The O’s have had a nightmare of a season and are already on their fifth manager of the campaign, with fans unhappy at the way chairman Francesco Becchetti has been running the club.

Elsewhere in the play-off places, fifth-placed Luton travel to Grimsby hoping to keep the pressure on those above them, while in-form Exeter host Crewe at St James Park.

The Grecians are unbeaten in 11 games – a run that stretches back to November 19.

They have recently come out on top against promotion-rivals Pompey and Wycombe.

One of the league’s surprise packages this season have been Barnet, who are sitting just two points off the play-off places in eighth.

They will be hoping for a Pompey win at Adams Park, which would give them the chance to go seventh with a win at home to Mansfield.