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Loan stars enter final stages after topsy-turvy Easter

Read about our loanees fighting it out in the EFL and National League

23 April 2019

Macclesfield Town stayed out of the fourth tier's bottom two over Easter, only thanks to Colchester United's Tom Eastman. He scored a late equaliser for The U's, who had gone down to 10 men but drew 1-1 with Yeovil. The goalless draw against Newport County was then enough to maintain the two point gap on 23rd.

Reece Cole got 15 minutes at the end of the game, following on from his half an hour against Northampton on Good Friday. The Silkmen lost 3-1 to The Cobblers but Yeovil's 2-0 defeat to Crewe evened things out.

There are just two games to go and Sol Campbell's side have their future in their own hands. They'll play Port Vale first, before a trip to Cambridge United, and two wins will see them safe whatever happens. Both Vale in 20th and United in 21st are safe, but won't be pushovers.

Elsewhere in the division, Canice Carroll missed both of Swindon's Easter games through injury. The first was a goalless draw with Cambridge but the second was a 2-1 defeat to Crewe. 

The result effectively ended Swindon's play-off push. Seven teams are now above them in line for seventh, including current holders Exeter City. Games against Cheltenham and Notts County are still to come, with Swindon still capable of matching last season's ninth-place finish.

In League One, Josh Clarke's Burton Albion are now officially out of the promotion race this season. Nine points short of the target and only six available, the highest they can finish is eighth. Easter wasn't kind to them, losing both of their games to Southend United and Portsmouth. The victory for United helped to lift them out of the four-team relegation zone, while Pompey's win kept them in pursuit of an automatic promotion spot behind Barnsley.

Clarke was an unused substitute for the first match, then got the final 10 minutes in the second. His side now have two more games to end the 18/19 campaign; Luton Town and Peterborough. Town are chasing down the division title and The Posh have two matches to make up the three-point gap to the play-off places. 

Meanwhile in BS7, Jack Bonham and Bristol Rovers are hovering over the relegation spots thanks to a defeat and a draw over Easter. The goalkeeper was involved in both, conceding once in each game to AFC Wimbledon (1-1) and then Rochdale (0-1).

A win against either Fleetwood or Barnsley at home on the final day will keep them in the division ahead of 19/20. That will be easier said than done, with the latter fighting off challengers in second place. 

In the National League, Boreham Wood had their safety confirmed before the Easter fixtures. That didn't stop Justin Shaibu getting on the scoresheet against Chesterfield. The Wood lost the game 3-2 with 10 men, with Shaibu netting a penalty after 59 minutes. 

They also lost 3-2 to Salford City on Good Friday. Shaibu getting 75 minutes. He now has just one game to go this season on Saturday 27 April, hosting Eastleigh at Meadow Park. The visitors have qualified for the play-off Quarter-Finals already, making this game their final warm-up before it's all or nothing in search of league football.


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