Mansfield Town’s automatic promotion dream was massively boosted last night by two hugely significant results, even though the Stags had a night off.
Bury, who had looked to powering away to securing second place, lost at home for the second time four days as they were beaten 3-0 at Gigg Lane by struggling Cambridge United.
At the same time, in-form Tranmere Rovers’ fantastic run of wins was ended by a 2-0 defeat at Oldham Athletic.
Bury were expected to win this game in hand and sit second today, five points ahead of Mansfield. Instead they are only two points ahead in third and face a tricky game at Carlisle United on Saturday.
There have been reports over delayed payments and cash-flow problems at Bury which can’t be helping their situation.
In-form Tranmere, meanwhile, were on a roll of eight wins in nine unbeaten games and a victory in their game in hand at Boundary Park last night would have seen them leapfrog the Stags into fourth, a point ahead of David Flitcroft’s men with just six to play.
Rovers are away at Newport County on Saturday, never the easiest place to go.
At the same time second-placed MK Dons face the ultimate test with a home clash against league leaders Lincoln City.
Stags know that, if those other results go their way they could end Saturday in second place with five to go if they can beat Cambridge.
But Cambridge showed at Bury last night that they are nobody’s mugs as, after a season of poor away form, Colin Calderwood’s men have now taken seven of their last nine available away points.