The Promo Files...
Following a fantastic 3-1 win at Valley Parade against Bradford City, Simon Grayson's Blackpool side are well placed for their first foray into the playoffs since the 2000/2001 season when they won the said contest and clambered back into the Second Division - now known as League One.
With the League finely placed for a photo-finish for the promotion places and playoffs come the end of the season, results around the top 10 are vital for 'Pool's chances.
Doncaster vs Bristol City
City left it late against Donny, with a Jamie McCombe header in the 88th minute deciding the tie to keep the pressure on Scunthorpe United at the top of the table. Their Brazilian goalkeeper, Adriano Basso, stole the plaudits with a great performance that put the team 4 points clear of the playoff places.
Final Score: 0-1
Leyton Orient vs Scunthorpe United
The league leaders were given an almighty shock on saturday as they twice had to come from behind to grab a last-ditch point from the hands of a ten-man Leyton Orient side. John Mackie was sent off just before the hour mark for Orient and it was left to none other than Billy Sharp to bundle the ball home in the dying seconds to save Scunny's blushes.
Final Score: 2-2
Nottingham Forest vs Cheltenham
As predicted, it was a comfortable victory for Forest in this game at the City Ground, with Gary Holt, Kris Commons and Nathan Tyson on the scoresheet. Forest now piling the pressure on Bristol City and Scunthorpe United for the automatic promotion places.
Final Score: 3-0
Swansea vs Northampton
The Swans kept up the pressure on Blackpool with this win, Alan Tate and Andy Robinson goals cancelling a fantastic Bradley Johnson freekick for Northampton.
With the win, Swansea are currently 1 point behind Blackpool who have a game in hand on the Welsh club - against Rotherham on tuesday night.
Final Score: 2-1
Bournemouth vs Tranmere
One of 'Pool's closest rivals for a playoff place stumbled against one of the bottom clubs. Tranmere suffered a 2-0 loss at the hands of strugglers Bournemouth. Ian Goodison - Tranmere Skipper - had a nightmare of a game, at fault for David McGoldrick's opener, he handled Darren Anderton's freekick in the area, resulting in a penalty which James Hayter put away. Goodison was then sent off to cap off an awful afternoon.
Final Score: 2-0
Yeovil vs Chesterfield
An 89th minute winner kept Yeovil on track for a playoff finish - much to the chargrin of many 'Pool fans that were unfortunate not to travel to Bradford on saturday and were left in the company of Jeff Stelling! Nathan Jones' first for the club securing maximum points at Huish Park - a corker of a volley from 25 yards out that, rivalry aside, was worthy of a promotion place.
Final Score: 1-0
Brentford vs Oldham
A late goal and an even later controversial penalty ensured Oldham left with a share of the points against Brentford in sunday's game. Garry Richards headed Brentford into the lead, followed late on by a Joe Keith chip. Oldham then pulled one back through Leon Clarke before Sam Tillen was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area - with Clarke slotting home the penalty to get a valuable point. That late point ensured that Oldham pulled a further point ahead of the Seasiders who are on 62 points compared to Oldham's 64.
Final Score: 2-2
Carlisle vs Gillingham
Gillingham fans look away now...Carlisle grabbed 3 points with an impressive 5 goal drubbing of the Gills with Danny Graham - I seem to remember that name from somewhere... - grabbing two (one of which a penalty) which left the Gills manager admitting that the travelling fans deserved better for their long journey to support the team.
Final Score: 5-0
Bradford vs Blackpool
There are - at this moment in time - only 12 points separating Blackpool in 6th place and Scunthorpe in pole position in Coca Cola League One. 'Pool's game in hand comes at Rotherham United on tuesday night. Shaun Barker's former club are rock bottom of the division thanks to a points deduction at the start of the season due to a financial crisis at the end of the last campaign.
Should we win that game, we could be well on track for 4th position come the end of the Easter period - which has to be a realistic target for Grayson and his men this season.
Next weekend's fixtures have the possibility of making Easter a very happy time for the Seasiders.
Tranmere v Carlisle (Friday, 19:45)
Blackpool v Crewe (15:00)
Bristol City v Nottm Forest (15:00)
Oldham v Yeovil, 15:00
Millwall v Swansea (15:00)
Scunthorpe v Bradford (15:00)
If we get maximum points against Crewe at Bloomfield Road and other results play into our favour, we can sit more comfortably in the playoffs going into April and the final month of League One action, unless we make the playoffs...
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