Date: 23rd April 2017 at 11:37am
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With the 3-0 win over AFC Wimbledon thank to goals from McMahon (pen 29, 85) and Marshall (45), that is the play offs guaranteed for this season at McCall’s first attempt, the win irrespective how other results went has confirmed City will finish no lower than 5th place, the position we finished last season on 80 points, we currently sit on 78 with a game left to play. This is how it stands now.

97 Sheffield United
83 Bolton

81 Fleetwood Town
79 Scunthorpe United
78 Bradford City
70 Millwall

Then Southend on 69 and Rochdale on 68.

So let’s take a look at 5 things what this result means.

1. With our last home game out of the way we have gone an entire regular season in the league, but what is striking, Sheffield United have the best home record in the league claiming 51 points, but joint second with 45 points won at home this season are Bradford City, Rochdale, Scunthorpe, Bristol Rovers and Millwall, and just trailing behind on 43 points are Bolton and Fleetwood. Of these teams only Bradford City and Millwall have played all their home games. Due to the amount of home draws at Valley Parade, it isn’t surprising that City has less home wins compared to the rest of the aforementioned.

2. The double over AFC Wimbledon is our 5th this season and adds to the list of league doubles over Coventry City, Peterborough United, Chesterfield, and Northampton Town. With only 1 game to go, away to Rochdale who have the 2nd best home record this season due to goal difference, with a 4-0 win at Valley Parade earlier this season, can we make it a 6th double? In the last 5 visits to Spotland, City have claimed 4 wins and a draw.

3. Not to detract from the solid City defence, the 3-0 home win has condemned AFC Wimbledon to 5 games without scoring, their last game where they found the net was a 3-1 home win against a 10 man Rochdale back on 28th March.

4. 31 year old Tony McMahon’s brace now takes his career league goals to 18, 10 of which he has scored for City. With Mark Marshall getting onto the score sheet, it means both McMahon and Marshall have scored 6 goals apiece this season, all in the league.

5. In the English game throughout the league’s only Tottenham Hotspurs is the only club other than Bradford City to be unbeaten at home in the league in the regular season, but they have 2 final home games against Arsenal and Man United.

Around the ground with the exes.

1. Michael Flynn has managed Newport County to yet another win and with 2 games to go have hauled The Exiles out of the bottom 2 relegation places, they are now 2 points ahead of Hartlepool. Can Flynn be yet another ex Bantam in recent time to add his name to a list of impressive young managers such as Mark Bower and Paul Heckingbottom?

2. Simon Francis helped Bournemouth to a clean sheet and more importantly a comprehensive 4-0 win over Middlesbrough. This puts Bournemouth on 38 points, 7 points above the relegation spots with 4 games left. Realistically, that should be Premiership football for the Cherries for next season.

3. Reece Burke has had a very contrasting season this season with Wigan as he did at City last season. Burke helped the Latics to a 0-0 draw at home to Cardiff today which leaves them on the cusp of relegation. For Wigan to survive Birmingham City MUST lose their final 3 fixtures and Wigan to win their final 2, also Blackburn not to get a sole win in their last 2 fixtures. Anything less than this and it is 3rd division football next season. What is interesting, 4 of the bottom 5 teams in the Championship are Ex-Prem, bottom placed Rotherham the exception. That’s 7 separate games in total that need to go in Wigan’s favour.

4. Jamie Proctor scored in a topsy turvy game for Carlisle United which saw 6 goals in total banged in. From 2-0 down, Proctor scored the very important leveller with Carlisle going on to lead 2-3 away to Crawley Town. The game ended 3-3 and means Carlisle United have dropped down to 10th in the league with 2 games to go. Although nearing mid table, the Cumbrians are only a single point off the play offs and only 3 points behind 5th. The game also saw ex Bantam Gary Liddle playing for Carlisle United. Proctor has scored 4 this season in 44 games with both Bolton and Carlisle United. I have mentioned a couple of times about Proctor’s lack of goals, it wouldn’t be fair if I don’t highlight when he does get onto the score sheet.

5. Billy Knott, what can I say other than well done. Knott came off the bench on 64 minutes for Lincoln at home to Macclesfield Town. The score at this stage was 1-1. Lincoln went on to win 2-1 and have at full time crowned Conference Champions. Lincoln sit 5 points above Tranmere who have 1 game left to play. Lincoln are on 97 points with 2 games left, a sole win and they will hit the century. Fingers crossed and hopefully than can hit that landmark. Lincoln will join the football league after a 6 year absence, they were relegated back in 2010/11.

To get onto the score sheet.
Tom Adeyemi (Rotherham)

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