League Two Preview: Iron look to seal promotion

League Two leaders Scunthorpe United can all but seal promotion on Friday should they extend their remarkable unbeaten run.

Russ Wilcox's side have assumed control of the division heading into the run-in and they travel to Morecambe knowing that a win could virtually book their place in the third tier for next season.

They climbed to the summit with a 2-2 draw against Bury last weekend - in the process earning new manager Wilcox another significant European milestone as he oversaw a 26th game unbeaten since taking over in late November.

Having already passed the Football League landmark for a new coach, he has now gone one better than former Tottenham boss Andre-Villas Boas, who strung together a 25-game sequence when taking over at Porto in 2010.

Wilcox's side have won 13 times in that spell, and another victory on Friday could be enough to seal their ascent - although they may have to wait for that to be confirmed with fourth-placed Fleetwood Town travelling to Cheltenham Town on the same day, while the only other side who can catch them - Burton Albion in fifth - are at home to struggling Hartlepool United 24 hours later.

After a shock 3-0 defeat at Mansfield Town last time out, second-placed Rochdale - just a point adrift of the leaders - will be hoping to reassert their own promotion claims when they take on Southend United.

And Chesterfield - two points off the summit in third - will also still have one eye on the title, with a home clash against relegation-threatened Exeter City starting their Easter double-header.

In the race for the play-offs, York City in eighth travel to Oxford United directly above them in a game that will go a long way to deciding who makes the top seven.

Behind them, anything less than victory for Plymouth Argyle at Bury could spell an end to their hopes, while Mansfield - at Accrington Stanley - and Newport County, who travel to AFC Wimbledon, are too far adrift to mount a serious push.

Twelfth-placed Dagenham and Redbridge are more likely to influence matters at the bottom end of the table than the top, with their clash at Torquay United a key game in the battle to stay in the Football League.

Torquay have been cut adrift at the foot of the table for several weeks and remain seven points from safety.

A 2-1 away win at Bristol Rovers on Saturday kept alive their faint hopes of avoiding relegation, but they could finally be consigned to that fate should they suffer defeat and other results go against them.

Northampton Town, in 23rd, have a more realistic chance of beating the drop and their visit to 22nd-placed Wycombe Wanderers looks to be the epitome of a 'relegation six-pointer'.

With only goal difference separating them, the result at Adams Park could be crucial in determining who survives.

Exeter and Bristol Rovers are also far from safe, with both only one poor result away from dropping into the bottom two.

While Exeter have that trip to Chesterfield to negotiate, Rovers take on Portsmouth at Fratton Park on Saturday.


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