League Two Promotion Race: Bury Capitalize on Dropped Points For MK Dons and Mansfield…
While Lincoln City were confirmed as the champions of League Two after their goalless draw against Tranmere Rovers, the race for the other two promotion spots behind them continued. On Good Friday, it appeared that Bury had blown their chance after they lost at Newport County while Mansfield Town and MK Dons won. However, Easter Monday saw the reverse as the Shakers came from behind to beat Northampton Town, MK Dons were held to a 1-1 draw by Port Vale and Mansfield were beaten 3-2 at Oldham Athletic.
Bury Capitalize on Dropped Points For MK Dons and Mansfield Town
Bury 3-1 Northampton Town
Ryan Lowe’s Bury moved back up to second in the table after they recovered from an early setback against mid-table Northampton, and continued to seem unfazed by the ongoing off-field issues surrounding the club.
The visiting Cobblers looked lively from the off and had already gone close through Shay Facey and David Buchanan when they took the lead. Sam Foley delivered a cross from the right and, completely unmarked, Andy Williams was able to head in with ease.
Bury responded sharply and, within 12 minutes, restored parity when Chris Stokes darted into the box and got to Nicky Adams‘ pass and he side-footed home to pull the hosts level.
The Shakers turned the game around on 65 minutes when Danny Mayor created space for himself on the edge of the box and curled home a superb effort into the bottom corner, and the game was wrapped up in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Nicky Maynard continued his excellent form by poking home a cross.
MK Dons 1-1 Port Vale
A win for MK Dons in this one would have finally seen them move above Mansfield what with the Stags losing. It should have simple too, given Vale’s league position and the fact that Kieran Agard was awarded a fortuitous first-half penalty when the referee deemed he had been hit by a high boot from a clearance.
Agard, who is the Dons’ top scorer this season, stepped up but saw his effort saved by Scott Brown, and Brown produced the heroics again straight after to keep out the rebound, despite Agard scuffing it into the ground.
Even with that golden opportunity missed, this should have been a routine game for the hosts. However, they were making hard work of it and suffered, as a result, three minutes into the second half when Tom Conlon cut in from the right, side-stepped past Conor McGrandles and fired into the top corner to give Vale a surprise lead.
Thankfully for the Dons, the setback lasted all of four minutes as Jake Hesketh‘s cross from the right was put on a plate for David Wheeler to net his second in as many games, but they continued to be frustrated, particularly by Chuks Aneke‘s poor miss when he was one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
They now drop down to fourth, only behind Mansfield on goal difference. All to play for on the final day when they meet each other, then.
This was always going to be a banana skin game for Mansfield and, true to form, they suffered a defeat courtesy of a wonderful performance from Gevaro Nepomuceno.
The Curaçaoan international opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark when he converted from Mohamed Maouche‘s ball into the area and, in the second half, Nepomuceno returned the favour for Maouche as the Frenchman rattled home a loose ball from the former’s blocked effort.
Tyler Walker halved the deficit straight away to give Mansfield a glimmer of hope, but Nepomuceno quickly restored the two-goal lead with a stunning effort from the edge of the area that flew into the top corner.
Neal Bishop once again brought Mansfield to within a goal of equalising and they thought they’d done just that when Danny Rose netted late on, but he was ruled out for offside.
The loss sees them drop to third, ahead of MK Dons by virtue on seven goals in their goal difference rankings.