Date: 19th June 2008 at 9:50am
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April started off with the three toughest games of the season, with another toughie chucked in the middle to make it even harder! Peterborough, Darlington and MK Dons was the combination, and then Mansfield at home was re-arranged to go in between the Darlington and Peterborough games. With Mansfield at the bottom of the league and fighting for survival, that could arguably be the toughest!

The first though was Darlington at home, just under 6500 people were there for the promotion clash. County won the game 1-0 to gain revenge for the 4-0 defeat earlier in the season, Liam Dickinson scored the winner.

Mansfield at home followed, and when Mansfield took the lead it looked as though County`s automatic promotion hopes would be over. A bizarre own goal gave Mansfield the lead in front of the Cheadle End, it came off Gary Dicker in the end and nobody seemed to know what had happened. However a goal was awarded. County got a goal back before half-time, with an own goal of their own. Carl Muggleton dropping the bal into this own net. Tommy Rowe then danced through the Mansfield defence and won a penalty with 15 minutes to go, Liam Dickinson stepped up and hammered home to give County all three points.

Peterborough away next, over 10,000 there. A win for County would take us level to points. A win for Posh would gain them automatic promotion. County well and truly spoiled the promotion party as a Tommy Rowe winner gave County a 1-0 win and drew us level with Hereford in third place.

But the great run come to an end in a thrilling game at Edgeley Park against league leaders MK Dons. County took the lead through Liam Dickinson, but MK Dons hit back literally straight from kick off through Mark Wright. In the second half Adam Proudlock scored a beautiful goal to make it 2-1 to County, before MK Dons hit back again straight from kick off to make it 2-2. Alan Navarro this time made it 2-2. Then a mix up between Jamie Smith and Gareth Owen gave Keith Andrews the freedom of Edgeley Park, he ran and chipped over John Ruddy to get MK Dons the three points and secure promotion.

With Hereford dropping points it was crucical that County picked points up to move ahead of them, but Hereford stayed one point ahead. Rochdale entered the fray as they moved above County, but both County and Hereford had a game in hand over them.

A defeat at Barnet away the following weekend ended County`s automatic promotion hopes. County played well but couldn`t get a result at one of their bogey grounds. Jason Puncheon (good player) gave Barnet the lead, Tommy Rowe equalised but Cliff Akurang got a winner late on for Barnet to mean County would face the play-offs.

It meant County had two games left in May of the normal season to decide who they would play in the play-offs. The re-arrangement from the farce at Chester earlier in the season would be played infront of an empty County end it seemed, as County fans were handed free tickets but nothing was being played for. However County fans travelled in numbers, and the game ended in a bore 0-0 draw – which kept Chester up to spark the most bizarre celebrations ever. The Chester fans celebrated, then got out of the ground quicker than the County fans! When we stayed up we were in the ground for hours!

Finally Brentford at home last game of the real season. County played a weakened line up, and it was one of those reserve players, Gianluca Havern, who got a goal on his debut. Not bad for a defender and he gave County the 1-0 win to set up a tie with Wycombe in the play-offs!

What happens next will follow?.

 

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