All To Play For…..

Sunday, 24 April 2005, 0:00
3 mins read

Yesterday’s defeat may yet prove to be the one that derailed the Swansea train but for now it can only count as a delay. What it has done is take the gloss of the game against Shrewsbury next week as it cannot be the party we really wanted – the end of an era tying in with promotion.

Worse than that it is feasibly be possible that by this time next week we could be mathematically confined to the play-offs but it will take three results to go against us for that to happen.

It now means that we are faced with the situation next Saturday – FAW Final apart – that we could be saying goodbye only to return ten days later for a play off situation. It will also mean that the club are forced to ensure that the place is not ripped apart so that it proves worthy of being able to host that if the situation arises.

If I was perfectly honest, I would have only expected to get a point at best out of the game at Bristol Rovers. The fact that we lost was no real surprise I hate to say. What was a surprise was that the sides above us all failed to win. I didn’t really expect Scunthorpe to – not away in a local derby – but to see Yeovil and Southend drop points was a real ‘brucie bonus’ from the day.

And with the latter two of those sides playing each other next week, there is every chance that we could travel to Bury in a fortnight sitting inside the top three sides in the division. We are the cat of this division as we have had so many lives and yet we remain in there seemingly no matter what happens.

I do firmly believe that we are now faced with the possibility of having to win both our games to get promotion automatically. It’s possible that less than that could do it but extremely unlikely. Potentially it’s not a bad position to be in. But of course it could be better.

Had we won yesterday by the same scoreline we could be second now but that is very much an Aunty had balls type statement I do appreciate. But it does highlight the closeness in this division between success and failure. Every other division has it’s promotion and title places just about sorted out. In the Premiership, Chelsea will be champions by this time next week in all likelihood, Sunderland are already up in the Championship and Luton and Hull are celebrating in League One. In this division we could easily be faced with the possibility of all three automatic slots up for grabs on the last day of the season. Even more so when you consider that six teams could still be in with a shout of contesting them by that point.

Taking a look at the fixtures for those six clubs we have

Yeovil – Southend (A), Lincoln (H)

Southend – Yeovil (H), Grimsby (A)

Scunthorpe – Bristol R (H), Shrewsbury (A)

Swansea – Shrewsbury (H), Bury (A)

Macclesfield – Cheltenham (A), Rushden (H)

Lincoln – Darlington (H), Yeovil (A)

There will certainly be some nailbiting between now and the end of the season looking at those ten games. For the bottom two in that list, anything less than a win next Saturday and their dreams are over and the play-offs beckon. Much could be said for the Swans, although a point could be enough no matter how unlikely it seems.

Yeovil can probably assume that a win at Southend will take them up, Southend will feel much the same if they beat Yeovil. Scunthorpe have to fancy their chances although you would suspect that Shrewsbury will want to send their fans home happy on the last day of the season meaning that an easy-ish looking fixture on paper becomes less so – especially with the stakes so high for the visitors.

Let’s look at next Saturday’s fixtures though at the moment and imagine this set of results

SOUTHEND v YEOVIL – HW

SCUNTHORPE v BRISTOL R – HW

SWANS v SHREWSBURY – HW

CHELTS v MACC – AW

LINCOLN v DARLINGTON – HW

The crunch two of those outside our own game is the fact that Yeovil lose and Lincoln win. It means that Lincoln go there on the last day of the season knowing they can move above them with a win. The last thing we want is for that to be a nothing game for Lincoln who may choose to rest players in anticipation for the play offs.

What those results overall would mean is that Southend will need one point for guaranteed promotion, Scunny a win with us, Yeovil, Macc and Lincoln battling out for the other spot that we crave. And to be honest I don’t see that any of those results are massively unlikely?

We can still do this and if we do then we shall worry from May 8th onwards about what we need to do for next season. For now we can just sit back, let the build up do what the build up does and hope that we pull of the results that we need.

I still have a gut feeling that we are going up in 3rd place and that Yeovil may miss out but only time will tell – let’s just do our bit and get the two wins that we know we need.

Grow your nails – you may need to bite them!

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Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.
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