Fans from several clubs in League 2 had their eye on Burton Albion at home to Stevenage on Monday night. All hoping for outcomes that suited their teams current situation in the league standings. It turns out that the 1-1 draw did little to alter the situation prior to kick off for the play-off hunting pack.
With 4 spaces being pursued by realistically 7 hopefuls, the League 2 play-off hunt looks to be an interesting battle that could go down to the final game of the season.
This is a look at the contenders for the 4 places in the League 2 play-offs.
David Flicroft’s side sit in the first play-off spot going into the Easter weekend fixtures with games against Cambridge and Morecambe. Many Bury fans will still be looking at automatic promotion with only 7 points separating them and Wycombe, and the Shakers having a game in hand. That game in hand is against play-off rivals Southend after only 6 minutes were played before the referee abandoned the game due to the pitch becoming waterlogged. They are the current most in form team of the play-off contenders which puts them in a strong place to cement a play-off place. This is reflected in the odds with the bookmakers and Bury fans will be looking for their team to pick up 6 points from their next two games. Out of their remaining fixtures they have to play 2 fellow play-off contenders and one of the current top 3. They finish their campaign away at Tranmere
Phil Brown’s men are in a current run of what can only be described as average form but they are still one of the strongest contenders to get a play-off place. They have two games over the Easter period where they will be expecting to take maximum points against Mansfield and Hartlepool despite their recent run of form. Phil Brown has a solid squad at his disposal and will fully expect them to push on. In their remaining games Phil Brown’s men have to face play-off rivals Bury, Newport and Luton. The outcome of these games are likely to have a big say on which of these teams is involved in the play-off shake up at the end of the season. They finish their campaign away at Morcambe.
Jimmy Dack’s Newport team are experiencing an average run of form like a few of their play-off rivals. In their remaining fixtures they have to play Bury and Southend who they are competing with to secure a play-off space. They finish their league campaign at home to Oxford United. Over the Easter period they have fixtures against Hartlepool and Exeter City which will be tough fixtures but games County fans will be looking for at least 4 points to keep their play-off hopes alive.
The Pilgrim’s continue their play-off push over the Easter weekend with a fixture on Good Friday against league leaders Burton Albion at Home Park. With Argyle’s home record and defensive stability they will be looking to push to take all 3 points from what is set to be a very tough game. Their second fixture over the Easter period is an away trip to face Portsmouth in the ‘Dockyard Derby’. The remainder of their run in looks to be favourable but they end their campaign away to Shrewsbury who could well be pushing to win the title. On paper, Argyle have a strong squad but their fans will be hoping they transfer their ability into decent performances in their push for a play-off spot come the end of the season.
The Hatter’s have struggled recently and find themselves bottom of the league 2 form table and have now slipped out of the play-off spaces. Their fans will be hoping that this blip in their performances is temporary and they begin to pick up some good results starting at home to Exeter City followed by a trip to Tranmere Rovers. This would help get the Hatter’s play-off ambitions back on track. In the remaining games of the season they have to play current league leaders Burton Albion and also have to visit Southend United who are looking to cement their play-off berth. They finish their campaign at home to Stevenage who are also hoping to be in the play-off mix come the final game of the season.
Stevenage have the second best form over the last 6 games of the play-off contenders which will give their fans hope of pushing into the play-off positions. Over the course of their remaining games they have to play Northampton and finish away to fellow play-off hopefuls Luton Town. Their two Easter weekend games are against relegation threatened Tranmere and Cheltenham who have recently appointed Gary Johnson as a manager. They are games that Stevenage will be hoping to pick up maximum points from.
The Cobbler’s have games against current league leaders Burton Albion and play-off hopefuls Stevenage in their remaining fixtures. They face fixtures against AFC Wimbledon and Cambridge over the Easter Weekend and will be looking to gain maximum points over the weekend. They finish their campaign against Wycombe which on paper will be a tough game but depends on the promotion situation of Wycombe come the end of the season.
The play-off battle in League 2 is shaping up to have plenty of twists and turns and there is still a possibility that one of the play-off contenders could push for an automatic promotion spot. The key at this stage of the season is putting a run of results together and where possible beating the teams around you in the league. This is a high pressure time of the season for teams but whoever copes with it best will have the chance to fight for a place in the League 2 play-off final at Wembley.
Let battle commence …