Why Portsmouth must win at Sunderland – or pray for a miracle – The News

Why Portsmouth must win at Sunderland – or pray for a miracle - The News

Peterborough United 1-1 Sunderland

Barnsley are the team to catch, presently occupying second spot and possessing a two-point advantage.

On Saturday, Daniel Stendels men host a Blackpool side clutching three wins in their last 14 fixtures.

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Their season ends with a trip to Bristol Rovers, the club with the second-worst home record in League One.

It would be reasonable to expect the Tykes to claim a maximum return from those remaining matches, earning a final tally of 94 points.

The club captured the League Two title on goal difference – two years later they have the opportunity of seizing a Championship place by a single point.

However, a Stadium of Light draw on Saturday, effectively two points dropped, would ensure a maximum haul of 93.

Such an outcome would prevent both Pompey and Sunderland from overhauling Barnsley. Providing, of course, the South Yorkshire club beat both Blackpool and Bristol Rovers.

Analysing Barnsleys forthcoming opposition does not make encouraging reading for the Fratton faithful.

Stendels men boast the second-best home form in League One and have won three-straight matches, following a stutter of one victory in five.

On Saturday they welcome ninth-placed Blackpool, who now cannot make the play-offs and have little motivation remaining.

A late Matt Godden equaliser gave Peterborough a dramatic draw to dent Sunderlands promotion hopes and keep Poshs play-off ambitions alive.

Godden turned and fired in a low shot from 20 yards to rescue a point for Posh in the first minute of added time, just four minutes after Max Power looked to have sealed the points for Sunderland with a fierce 25-yard drive.

The result means a place in the top two is no longer in the Black Cats hands with just three matches left, while Posh close the gap on sixth-placed Doncaster to three points as they chase the play-offs.

The visitors had created good chances in the first half, but Charlie Wyke hit the side netting when through on goal while James Dunnes header was superbly stopped by Posh keeper Aaron Chapman.

The second half failed to spark into life until the two late goals, with Godden then blazing over a great chance to win it in the seventh minute of added time.

Sunderland will now need to rely on Barnsley and Portsmouth to slip up to have any chance of automatic promotion.

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