BLADES’ BUB­BLY RE­MAINS ON ICE

The Football League Paper - - MIDWEEK ROUND-UP - Dons.

SH­EFFIELD United had to keep the cham­pagne on ice af­ter eas­ing to vic­tory against Coven­try at Bra­mall Lane last Wed­nes­day. Chris Wilder’s Blades took the spoils thanks to goals from for­mer Sky Blues Leon Clarke, 70 mins, and John Fleck, 75 mins. Vic­tory would have clinched pro­mo­tion had third-placed Fleet­wood lost at Ox­ford United on the same night. How­ever, the Cod Army proved party-poop­ers as they tri­umphed 3-1 against the U’s, still reel­ing from their Check­a­trade Tro­phy fi­nal de­feat by Coven­try. Bobby Grant gave Fleet­wood a sixth-minute lead from the penalty spot, but the U’s drew level two min­utes later through Curtis Nel­son. Uwe Rosler’s men en­sured max­i­mum points – and kept Sh­effield United wait­ing – as goals from Ash­ley Eastham (76 ) and David Ball (87) proved de­ci­sive. The pre­vi­ous night there were four fix­tures, with Southend v Bolton a big one in the pro­mo­tion fight. Both sides came into the game in good form, but it was Bolton who took the points in dra­matic fash­ion as Mark Beev­ers struck in stop­page time. Amaz­ingly, it was the fifth away game in a row in which cen­tre-back Beev­ers had scored. The vic­tory strength­ened Bolton’s grip on the sec­ond au­to­matic pro­mo­tion spot, but it was all too much for Southend boss Phil Brown. He was sent to the stands ten min­utes from time by ref­eree Charles Break­s­pear for his com­plaints that the Shrimpers should have had a penalty for a foul on Nile Ranger. Sev­enth-placed Mill­wall moved level on points with Southend with a vi­tal 2-1 win at rel­e­ga­tion-threat­ened Shrewsbury. Byron Web­ster and Shaun Hutchin­son scored for the Lions. Rochdale cruised to a 3-0 win against Port Vale, who had last man Danny Pugh sent off for bring­ing down Matty Lund in the 21st minute, while Charl­ton boss Karl Robin­son saw his side go down 2-0 at home against his for­mer club, MK

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