League Two round-up
Hereford clinched promotion, MK Dons wrapped up the title and Mansfield look destined for relegation.
Last Updated: 26/04/08 5:11pm
Hereford United clinched promotion to League One, Milton Keynes Dons wrapped up the title and Mansfield Town look destined for relegation.
MK Dons secured promotion a week ago and have now added the title to their Johnstone's Paint Trophy win following a 2-1 victory at Bradford City.
Second-placed Peterborough United also won away from home and Hereford claimed the third automatic promotion spot after a convincing victory at Brentford.
Stockport County will have to settle for the play-offs after losing at Barnet, while a clutch of teams secured survival at the bottom end of the table.
Macclesfield Town, Notts County and Dagenham & Redbridge all secured important wins to guarantee League football next season.
But the situation looks bleak for Mansfield, who lost at home to Rotherham, and now need a miracle to stay up.
Mansfield have to beat Dagenham next week and hope that Chester - the only team they can catch - lose at home to Stockport and Macclesfield.
Stockport's dreams of automatic promotion were dashed after a narrow defeat at Underhill. Highly-rated midfielder Jason Puncheon put Barnet in front just two minutes after half-time with his first goal of 2008 and his 11th of the season. But the lead lasted just four minutes as teenager Tommy Rowe levelled for promotion-chasing Stockport, only for Cliff Akurang to grab a winner for the Bees on 81 minutes.
Paul Ince's side followed up sealing promotion last week by wrapping up the League Two title this week. MK Dons enjoyed a dream start at Valley Parade by scoring twice in the opening 20 minutes, firstly through Jude Stirling (13) and then courtesy of Lloyd Dyer's 11th goal of the campaign. Bradford's chances of a comeback appeared to be ruined by Joe Colbeck's dismissal on 39 minutes, but Omar Daley pulled a goal back in first-half injury-time.
Hereford clinched promotion to League One with an emphatic victory over Brentford, whose manager Andy Scott had signed a new contract earlier in the day. Gary Hooper has cut an impressive figure during his loan spell from Southend and he scored his 11th goal in 19 games by giving Hereford the lead on 18 minutes. Theo Robinson is also on loan at the Bulls and he doubled the visitors' lead with his 15th goal of the season on 36 minutes. Simon Johnson put the seal on the club's promotion with a third goal for Hereford in the final minute.
An entertaining, and feisty, North West derby finished all square as both teams ended the match with 10 men. Kick-off at Gigg Lane had been delayed due to crowd congestion, but 30 minutes into the match, Rochdale were reduced to 10 men when Nathan Stanton was sent off for the second time this season. Nicky Adams, who scored the decisive goal at Spotland earlier in the season, put Bury ahead on 56 minutes before the Shakers had Ben Futcher sent off on 78 minutes for a second yellow card. In the final minute, Dale snatched a point through Adam Le Fondre's penalty.
Dagenham produced a stunning comeback at Darlington to secure their Football League status for another season. Darlington appeared to be cruising towards the points on home soil after Ricky Ravenhill scored on 20 minutes and Dagenham's Mark Arber put through his own net early in the second half. Sam Sloma's first goal since August gave the Daggers a lifeline on 63 minutes and, three minutes later, the League Two strugglers were level when David Rainford scored from the penalty spot after Darlington's on-loan full-back Ben Parker was sent off. And the comeback was complete on 74 minutes when Clark Keltie put through his own net to give Dagenham a priceless win.
Peterborough are finishing the season with a flourish following a stylish win at Blundell Park. The division's top scorer Aaron McLean again showed his worth by giving Peterborough a 2-0 lead with a goal in each half. McLean, who scored a decisive penalty against Grimsby earlier in the season, struck on 33 and 49 minutes for Posh before the hosts pulled a goal back on 63 minutes through Martin Butler. But Posh responded to score a third goal on 73 minutes through Craig Mackail-Smith and Scott Rendell added a fourth on 82 minutes.
Macclesfield secured League football for another year after a slender success at home to Chesterfield. Gary Evans' goal on 42 minutes gave Macclesfield an important win against a Chesterfield team with nothing left to play for this season.
Mansfield look doomed to relegation after Jamie Yates' first goal of 2008 on 71 minutes secured the win for Rotherham. The Stags must now beat Dagenham on the final day of the season, and hope Chester lose at home to Stockport and Macclesfield in order to survive.
Lincoln moved to within a point of Morecambe in the table after a hard-fought win at Christie Park. Ben Wright put the Imps ahead three minutes before half-time and Paul Green's first goal of the campaign extended the visitors' lead on 70 minutes. Matthew Blinkhorn scored a last-minute consolation for Morecambe, who have enjoyed a fine first season in the league.
Richard Butcher scored the goal which keeps Notts County in the League for another season. Butcher, who scored in a 3-1 defeat at Wycombe earlier in the season, netted after 66 minutes at Meadow Lane. Wycombe finished the game with 10 men after Sam Stockley was sent off late on for a second bookable offence.
Chester edged closer to confirming their League Two survival with a battling 0-0 draw at Shrewsbury Town in a game of little incident. The Blues now just need a point at home to either Stockport or Macclesfield to stay up.
Wrexham marked their final home match in the Football League with a disappointing defeat at the Racecourse Ground. Accrington were gifted an early lead when Shaun Pejic scored an own goal on seven minutes and Peter Cavanagh's first league goal of the season on 28 minutes made it 2-0 to Stanley. Shaun Walley notched a third for Stanley on 72 minutes before Neil Roberts tucked away a last minute penalty for Wrexham.