How today's results benefitted Portsmouth and Oxford but dented Sunderland, Blackpool, Charlton, Lincoln and Gillingham aspirations

Play-off-chasing Pompey lived up to their part of the bargain today.

By Mark McMahon
Saturday, 24th April 2021, 6:08 pm

A 1-0 victory against the now-relegated Bristol Rovers saw them maintain their interest in how the top six will eventually take shape.

But they were also presented with a couple of favours as most of their rivals dropped key points in the race for promotion.

With Hull now guaranteed promotion back to the Championship and Peterborough all but there, too, focus is on who will join them in the second tier via the play-offs.

Until today Sunderland, Blackpool and Lincoln looked bankers, leaving Pompey, Charlton, Oxford and Gillingham battling it out for one final place in the top six.

But there’s no guarantees now, especially after today’s League One results.

Indeed, only seven points separate Sunderland in third and eighth-placed Charlton.

The Blues got this weekend’s action under way with a 1-0 victory against Joey Barton’s Rovers – a result which sees them move to 68 points with three games remaining.

Jonson Clarke-Harris' winner for Peterborough against Charlton could have a massive bearing on the race for promotion. Picture: Jacques Feeney/Getty Images

It also saw them temporarily jump into the top six, only for Oxford to overtake them again on goal difference following their 3-1 home win against Plymouth.

The U’s, who have played 44 of their 46 games, actually moved up to fifth thanks to Blackpool’s shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of Shrewsbury.

All three clubs currently sit on 68 points, with the Seasiders’ loss their second in as many games.

But with Pompey having a game in hand and Blackpool playing two less than Karl Robinson’s side, Oxford’s destiny remains out of their own hands.

The same, of course, can be said for Danny Cowley’s seventh-placed troops, with Charlton having them in their sights.

They were in a very strong position at the start of play, sitting sixth and with one point more than the Blues.

But their hopes were dented after second-placed Peterborough claimed a 1-0 victory at The Valley to end their 10-match unbeaten run.

Charlton now have 66 points from their 42 games played.

Gillingham’s hopes are all but over after they were held to a 2-2 draw by relegation-threatened Northampton at Priestfield.

They’re now behind ninth-placed MK Dons – 5-0 winners against Swindon – in the table with just two games remaining.

Lincoln’s 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Hull will not have done them any favours.

However, they remain fourth on 72 points from 42 games played and with the chance to overtake Sunderland with their match in hand,

The third-placed Black Cats, meanwhile, will be concerned as they desperately struggle for form.

They surrendered the lead twice against Accrington today, before eventually having to settle for a 3-3 draw.

Lee Johnson’s side are still well-placed to make the play-offs, with their 73 points from 43 games played.

But they’re now six games without a win and in desperate need of a result to take the growing pressure off.

Next up for Pompey is an away trip to Accrington on Tuesday night.

Also in midweek action are: Charlton v Crewe, Sunderland v Blackpool and Shrewsbury v Lincoln.