The promotion race finale - what Mansfield Town need to do and who plays who?

Mansfield Town know a home win over in-form Stevenage on Saturday could all but seal promotion to League One if rivals MK Dons come unstuck at play-off chasing Colchester United.

By John Lomas
Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 11:06 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 11:14 am
Action from Stags' 3-2 defeat at Oldham on Monday.
Action from Stags' 3-2 defeat at Oldham on Monday.

Stags would then head for Stadium MK on the final day of the season for what could be a thrilling winner-takes-all showdown when Dons may need to win by a large margin to claw back a goal difference deficit.

With Lincoln City crowned champions, just two automatic promotion places remain with Stags, Bury, MK, Forest Green Rovers and Tranmere Rovers all still in contention.

So Saturday will be another day of fans of all those clubs nervously watching their own games while constantly checking their phones to see what it happening elsewhere.

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Bury are second on 77 points with Stags third on 76 ahead of fourth-placed MK only on goal difference.

On form, it seems likely those two remaining places will be settled between those three teams, but Forest Green, three points adrift, and Tranmere, four points adrift, will be ready to pick up the pieces if anyone blows up above them.

It could all come down to goal difference which currently favours the Stags.

They are +30, four better than Bury and seven better than MK Dons.

But before they can think about MK, Stags still have to dispose of in-form Stevenage, who arrive on Saturday with three wins and a draw in their last four games to sit just two points outside the play-offs.

Stevenage are unbeaten in six away games, including superb draws as Lincoln, MK Dons and Oldham Athletic and a 4-1 victory at Port Vale on Good Friday.

While Stags are trying to end that run, MK Dons, who were surprisingly held 1-1 at home by strugglers Port Vale on Monday, will be away at a Colchester side sat just two points outside the play-offs but who had lost three at home in a row before beating Grimsby on Friday.

Meanwhile, Bury face a tough trip to rivals Tranmere Rovers.

The final day of the season then sees Bury at home to Port Vale, a very winnable three points in theory, while Dons and Stags slug it out at Stadium MK.