How Portsmouth's win at Wimbledon puts them back in play-off control - and what Charlton and Oxford need to spoil a Fratton Park party
Pompey’s play-off destiny is back in their own hands after their 3-1 win at AFC Wimbledon today.
First-half goals from Ronan Curtis (24 minutes) and Lee Brown (45 and 45+4) made Joe Pigott’s controversial opener for the hosts on 23 minutes a thing of the past and handed the Blues a vital win at Plough Lane.
They did exactly what was asked of them in south-west London to remain sixth in the table and in that final play-off spot.
And while Pompey inflicted a first defeat in seven games for the Dons – who are now safe from the drop – to move up to 72 points, their position and hopes were reinforced by events at Accrington.
There, John Coleman’s side were entertaining Charlton – who held all the cards in the race for the final place in the top six with their game in hand.
At the start of play they trailed Pompey by two points but with three games remaining.
Fast forward to now, though, and their 1-1 draw at the Crown Ground sees them hand the initiative back to the Blues.
Nigel Adkin’s side remain eighth in the table.
They’ve moved up to 68 points – but, significantly, that’s four points behind the Fratton Park outfit.
Charlton, ideally, now need to win their final two games – against high-flying Lincoln and Hull respectively, which are both at home – and hope Accrington can deny Cowley’s side victory on the last day of the season next Sunday.
Four points from their remaining two matches could also still be enough, but they then need Accy to beat Pompey at PO4 and for themselves to claw back a four-goal goal-difference deficit.
Oxford also need the Blues to slip up on the final day after their 3-2 win at Shrewsbury today.
They stayed seventh (71) and point behind Pompey.
However, even if they beat Burton in their last fixture at the Kassam Stadium, it won’t be enough if the Blues win.
If Pompey slip up, though, recording even a draw, then the U’s will be lurking, looking to take advantage.
Mathematically, fifth spot remains a possibility for both the Blues and Oxford.
Blackpool, who beat Northampton 3-0 this afternoon, currently occupy that place in the table with 74 points from their 44 games played.
However, they look favourites to hang on to it, with home games against Doncaster and Bristol Rovers still to come.
Third-placed Sunderland booked their place in the play-offs with a 3-1 win at Plymouth.
Meanwhile, Lincoln (fourth) are also assured of a place after drawing 3-3 at Peterborough, who are now guaranteed to finish second.
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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