Huge Week For Doncaster And Carlisle

Monday, 31 March 2008, 7:45
2 mins read

Victory for the Swans at Hartelpool on Saturday gave the Swans a 7 point advantage over Carlisle at the top of the league whilst restoring their 10 point advantage over Doncaster that they held prior to the latter beating Forest on Friday night.

With Rovers having just 6 games left in the season, the Swans know that three victories will seal a return to second tier football for the first time since 1984.  However, Doncaster face Leeds at home on Tuesday night and Huddersfield away on Saturday in their bid to close that gap and defeat in both games – coupled with a Swansea victory on Saturday could seal the Swans fate.   Rovers will be confident though that they can make the Swans fight for the promotion rather than handing it to them early but you can never under estimate the toughness of a local derby.  Leeds look to be fading out of the promotion places with form that can best be described as erratic but they will be aware of the importance of a victory at the Keepmoat even if it is just for local pride whilst the same could easily be said for Huddersfield.

Carlisle's task appears a little easier – especially on the back of an incredible 14 straight home victories.  They play Nottingham Forest home on Tuesday before entertaining Yeovil again at home on Saturday.   Two victories could see the Swans lead cut to as little as one point before a potential title decider there on Tuesday night.  Defeats though in all three games coupled with two Swansea victories could even see the title won on Tuesday for the Swans although you would have to say this outcome is a little unlikely based on their superb home record that has seen them grab 49 points from the 54 available to date.  Their run of games doesn't get easier when we leave though – their two fixtures immediately after are Leeds away and Southend at home.

Carlisle boss John Ward insists that he has us in his sights still despite dropping two points in the race on Saturday ''I'm trying to chase Swansea and that's what I'm saying to the lads,'' he said. ''We have dug in and put on a show which shows that we are determined to stay in the race.

''It is really down to three clubs for those two places now and we're trying to get hold of Swansea if we can.

''It was very up and at them from Gillingham and there were high balls coming into our box, but we defended very strongly.

''In the last five minutes their manager was telling them to calm down and slow down – he was taking the point and we are more than happy to take a point back to Cumbria.''

And in the Doncaster camp, assistant manager Ricard O'Kelly adds "You never say never in football.

"The odds are against us I suppose because of the points difference and the games Carlisle have got in hand.

"But I think the race for both first and second spot could go right down to the last game. Carlisle could catch Swansea.

"If we can win enough games and the top two drop enough points, who knows?"

And from our point of view – the pressure is on them.  Just the way we like it.

This week's fixtures of the top three

Tuesday – Carlisle v Nottingham Forest

Doncaster v Leeds United

Saturday – Carlisle v Yeovil

Huddersfield v Doncaster

Swansea v Bournemouth

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