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League Two Preview: Three-way title race hots up

23 March 2014 13:59

Scunthorpe United boss Russ Wilcox knows results are all that matter as his side prepare to step up their League Two title bid on Tuesday.

Saturday's 1-0 win at home to Burton Albion extended their streak to 22 league matches without defeat, keeping them within two points of leaders Rochdale and in the automatic promotion spots.

Paddy Madden scored the only goal of the game in the 60th minute at the weekend, and although the performance was far from eye-catching, Wilcox knows that will matter little if his side continue to put points on the board.

Next up is a trip to Cheltenham Town in midweek, and Wilcox is focused on keeping their challenge on track.

"We are still fully focussed on how we are doing (rather than others)," he said following the Burton win.

"You are always hoping you get a few favours along the way and it is all about the results at this stage of the season."

Rochdale, meanwhile, will know they can ill afford to falter, but they will be expected to retain their lead when Portsmouth make the trip north.

The struggling south-coast club are in real danger at the foot of the table, and are now just one place above the relegation zone after a 1-0 loss to York City on Saturday.

Nigel Worthington's side won that match courtesy of Michael Coulson's early goal, and they head into a midweek home meeting with rock-bottom Torquay United as the form side in the division, having moved into the play-off places off the back of five wins in a row.

However, former Northern Ireland boss Worthington is refusing to think too far ahead.

"It's great to win games, make no mistake about that, but there's nothing to get carried away about," he said after the weekend win. "We've just got to keep our solidity, resilience and tremendous team spirit and all those things will make you a strong and successful team."

Burton's promotion bid has taken a hit of late after three matches without a win, but they remain well-placed in fifth and they welcome struggling Wycombe Wanderers next.

Meanwhile, following a weekend defeat to Exeter City, Fleetwood Town will be looking to bounce back when they entertain Bristol Rovers, while Oxford United and Southend United will meet on Monday.

Northampton Town could move level on points with Portsmouth in the race to avoid the drop should they beat AFC Wimbledon and Bury could open up a seven-point gap between themselves and the relegation zone when they travel to Newport County.

A win for Chesterfield at home to Morecambe would be enough to send them to the top should Rochdale lose and Scunthorpe fail to win, while Plymouth Argyle will aim to keep the pressure on the play-off places when they host local rivals Exeter City.

In other games, Dagenham and Redbridge and Hartlepool can keep alive their slim play-off hopes when they welcome Accrington Stanley and Mansfield Town respectively.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 4 +9 12
2 4 +3 10
3 4 +3 9
4 4 +5 7
5 4 +3 7
6 4 +2 7
7 4 +1 6
8 4 +1 6
9 4 +3 5
10 4 +0 5
11 4 -1 5
12 4 -1 5
13 4 -1 4
14 4 -1 4
15 4 -1 3
16 4 -8 3
17 4 -3 2
18 4 -3 2
19 4 -5 2
20 4 -6 2

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