Promotion watch: Pompey’s rivals battle it out

Anothr thrilling weekend of action lies in wait on Saturday
Anothr thrilling weekend of action lies in wait on Saturday

THE PROMOTION battle continues this weekend with some intriguing fixtures at the top of the table.

Pompey sit in third place on 59 points after their midweek win at Crawley moved them above Carlisle in the table.

They travel to Colchester, who are on 51 points, with the ambition of cementing their place and closing the gap on Plymouth in second spot.

The U’s have been inconsistent of late, with two wins and seven points in their past six games.

But Paul Cook’s men will be wary having previously failed to follow up big away wins.

It was a year ago this week when the Blues picked up a huge 3-1 win at Accrington.

They lost the following home game 3-0 to Newport County.

Elsewhere in the play-off picture, the division’s two in-form sides go head to head, as Luton (57 points) host Stevenage (55) at Kenilworth Road.

The Hatters have three wins and three draws from their past six outings, but it is Stevenage who are really shining with just one defeat in their last nine.

Darren Sarll’s side have won eight and drawn one since going down 2-0 to Hartlepool on January 21.

Outside the automatic promotion places, Carlisle are fourth on 58 points. The Cumbrians will be looking to fight back when they host 12-placed Cambridge (47).

Keith Curle’s men have been struggling in recent months and have lost their past three matches against Pompey, Cheltenham and Plymouth.

Above the Blues, table-toppers Doncaster (69) host 18th-placed Cheltenham Town, on the back of just one win in their last seven.

In that time, Donny have drawn six and lost one. Darren Ferguson will be eager to see his side return to winning ways against a Robins side unbeaten in four.

Second-placed Plymouth (65) also played on Tuesday night, losing 3-0 at home to play-off hopefuls Blackpool (50).

It doesn’t get any easier for the Pilgrims with a trip to in-form Mansfield (52).

The Stags currently sit in eighth place, but a win could see them move into the top seven, depending on the result of Exeter’s (54) game at home to Accrington.

The Grecians’ good form has slipped in recent weeks, with just one win in six, but Paul Tisdale will hope his side will have too much for 20th-placed Stanley.

Moving down the table, there is a showdown between 10th-placed Blackpool and 11th-placed Wycombe, with both sides on 50 points.

– JACK WILLIAMS