Things are not slowing down for many League Two teams as we hit the business end of the season, with six midweek fixtures giving teams a chance to pile pressure on their nearest rivals.
League leaders Chesterfield will aim to go clear at the top of the division on Tuesday evening, but they face an extremely tough test away at Plymouth Argyle. With Scunthorpe not in action, a second consecutive win for Paul Cook’s side could see them go four points ahead of the Iron, although they will have to overcome a Plymouth side who are battling for a play-off place, on the back of four wins in their last six matches. A win for John Sheridan’s side would send them into the top seven.
Rochdale could be sitting top of the pile this evening if Chesterfield lose, but they need to win away at Northampton Town to give themselves this opportunity. The visitors got a last-gasp win over another struggling side in Accrington on Saturday, and come up against another team languishing at the wrong end of the table. However, despite lying in the bottom two, there have been some very positive signs coming out of Sixfields in recent weeks. Chris Wilder’s men are unbeaten in six games, winning three, which has lifted them to within a win of safety, and they will certainly provide a stern test for Keith Hill’s promotion-chasing outfit.
The other team in the drop zone are Torquay United, and you sense that they must beat David Flitcroft’s Bury to stand any chance of avoiding the drop. The hosts are eight points off safety, no doubt in part down to their shocking home form where they’ve won just three times all season, and with just ten games to go, time is running out for Chris Hargreaves’ side. They have appealed the ban given to Joss Labadie for biting an opponent back in February, meaning he is available for this game and, having scored a crucial winner against Rochdale not so long ago, that will be a welcome relief to home fans. Bury themselves are far from safe, but victory tonight would see them head in the right direction.
One of those sides lying just three points above the relegation zone is Wycombe Wanderers, who face a tough trip to play-off chasing Cheltenham Town. The home side’s win over Torquay last time out stretched their unbeaten run to four games, leaving Mark Yates’ team just five points adrift of the play-off places. This is no doubt a game they simply have to win to give themselves a good chance of breaking into the top seven. It goes without saying that Wycombe need points, but Gareth Ainsworth will draw upon their excellent six game unbeaten run preceding the last two defeats for inspiration that his side will pick up the points required to stay up.
Accrington Stanley host Morecambe at the Store First Stadium in a crucial game in their bid to stay clear of relegation. The home side are just three points and a place above the bottom two and, with Northampton’s recent upturn in form, James Beattie will know that his side have to keep up the pressure by winning their home games. The visitors still have a chance to make the play-offs, five points adrift of Southend in seventh, and a win here will put them right in the mix. Both teams will be realistically targeting points from this important encounter.
Wednesday night sees a winless-in-eight Newport County entertain Dagenham and Redbridge, with both sides looking likely to be playing League Two football next season. Newport’s recent form will be a cause for concern though; picking up just three points from a possible 21 has seen them slip to 14th, seven points off both the play-offs and safety. The Daggers are a point and a place better off, and come into this match having tasted defeat just once in their last seven League matches.
Despite only half the division being in action, the League Two table could look remarkably different come 10pm tomorrow evening, and the sides in action know the importance of applying pressure on those around them.