Monday, January 23, 2017

League One Review: Barnsley seal play-off spot by stunning Wigan, Burton go up and Blackpool go down

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 8 May 2016

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Barnsley rubber-stamped their place in the League One play-offs with a hugely impressive 4-1 victory at champions Wigan Athletic to cap a remarkable turnaround in their season.

Paul Heckingbottom’s side – who sat at the foot of the table in December under Lee Johnson – travelled to the DW Stadium knowing the pressure was on to hold on to sixth place and final play-off berth, as they were level on points with seventh-placed Scunthorpe United, who visited mid-table Sheffield United.

And they responded in style to an early setback, with a first-half double from Sam Winnall putting them ahead after Will Grigg edged Wigan – whose title triumph was practically assured by virtue of their vastly superior goal difference over Burton Albion –in front after 10 minutes.

Conor Hourihane added a third early in the second half, before the rampant Tykes added a fourth late on courtesy of a stunning free-kick from Josh Brownhill. 

Barnsley’s win rendered Scunthorpe’s 2-0 success at Bramall Lane nothing more than a scant consolation as they finished seventh on goal difference.

Burton clung on to second spot with a nervy 0-0 draw at Doncaster Rovers, who needed a win to stand any chance of staying up.

Walsall’s convincing 5-0 victory at Port Vale meant Nigel Clough’s team would have slipped to third on goal difference had they lost at the Keepmoat Stadium, but instead they are able to celebrate back-to-back promotions.

Fleetwood Town made sure of their League One status by beating bottom-placed Crewe Alexandra 2-0, while Blackpool – who lost 5-1 at Peterborough United – go down to League Two.

Millwall and Bradford City will meet in the play-offs after finishing fourth and fifth respectively. The Lions scored a 98th-minute penalty to beat Gillingham 2-1, while the Bantams ended the regular season with a 2-0 victory over Chesterfield.

Elsewhere, Bury beat Southend United 3-2 at Gigg Lane, Coventry City won 2-0 at Oldham Athletic, already relegated Colchester United lost 2-1 at home to Rochdale and Swindon Town defeated Shrewsbury Town 3-0.

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