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Crunch time for Brentford loanees as 18/19 campaign nears close

Cole, Bonham and Shaibu in action at the weekend

15 April 2019

Macclesfield Town lost 2-0 to Forest Green Rovers this weekend but stayed out of the bottom two thanks to Yeovil Town's 1-0 defeat to Crawley. Reece Cole played 76 minutes of the game until he was brought off for Scott Wilson. 

Sol Campbell's men have four games remaining to secure their status in the EFL. Their Easter fixtures put them up against Northampton and then Newport County, both mid-table clubs. Then comes a trip to Port Vale before a final-day showdown against Cambridge United, currently just one place above them in 21st.

Also in League Two on Saturday, Canice Carroll's Swindon Town drew 2-2 with Oldham Athletic. Canice missed the match due to an injury he sustained against Newport in midweek. The result puts Swindon back down to five points from the play-off places with four games to go. 

The first of these is an Easter double against Cambridge United and Crewe, those are then followed by Cheltenham Town and then Notts County on the final day. All four sides are below Town in the league.

In League One, Josh Clarke was an unused substitute as Burton Albion won 3-0 at Scunthopre United. Albion's play-off chase is already effectively over despite the fact they can still mathematically qualify for the final spot. Luton Town, Barnsley, Sunderland, Portsmouth and Charlton have all secured at least a play-off place. Doncaster Rovers are currently nine points above Burton in the final top six position.

The run in for Burton includes an away trip to Southend United, struggling to save themselves from one of the four relegation spots. It then pits them against three sides chasing promotion in Luton, Portsmouth and Peterborough United.

Elsewhere in the third tier, Jack Bonham's Bristol Rovers left it late to beat Bradford City 3-2 in the South West. Jonson Clarke-Harris netted in the 93rd minute of time to send Rovers into 14th in the table and put City on the brink of relegation. Bonham once again continued his run as first choice stopper for The Gas.

Rovers are currently five points clear of the bottom four with Easter trips to AFC Wimbledon and Rochdale on the cards. The Wombles are 21st with The Dale one place and one point above them. Defeats there could set up a risky couple of games against Fleetwood and promotion-hunting Barnsley.

In the National League, Boreham Wood are safe for another year after beating Harrogate Town 1-0 on Saturday. Justin Shaibu got 71 minutes in their 12th win of the campaign. The division has now confirmed its four teams relegated to the leagues below as Havant & Waterlooville, Aldershot, Braintree and Maidstone United. 

Shaibu's team have just three games to go this term, two of them against promotion contenders. On Friday, they play Salford City, who are just two points behind Leyton Orient in top spot. Monday then brings them a fixture with Chesterfield, before a huge final-day stand off with Eastleigh. The Spitfires are currently in the final play-off place but could come to Meadow Park needing a win to secure it.

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