How the drama unfolded in Sky Bet League Two

MK Dons celebrated automatic promotion to Sky Bet League One on an action-packed final round of fixtures in the fourth tier of English football.

Newport sealed their spot in the play-offs as Notts County’s relegation was confirmed and Macclesfield survived the drop.

Here, Football Paradise takes a look at how the League Two afternoon unfolded.

Full-time – MK Dons beat Mansfield 1-0 thanks to David Wheeler’s early opener at Stadium MK to leapfrog the Stags and claim the third and final automatic promotion place.

Colchester, Exeter and Stevenage just missed out on the play-offs – all just a point adrift of Newport.

At the bottom, Notts County lost their second-half lead to suffer a 3-1 defeat away to Swindon and dropped out of the Football League, sealing Macclesfield’s safety after a 1-1 draw with Cambridge.

16:59 – MK Dons had their promotion to League One confirmed at the final whistle after defeating rivals Mansfield by a narrow 1-0 result.

16:56 – Macclesfield celebrated winning their relegation battle thanks to a 1-1 draw at home to Cambridge.

16:51 – Theo Robinson netted a late third Swindon goal to compound Notts County’s misery as the founding members of the Football League suffered a 3-1 defeat to drop into the National League.

16:44 – Jamille Matt scored a late equaliser to move Newport into the play-offs by a point with the score 1-1 at Morecambe and three minutes of normal time remaining.

16:33 – Robinson doubled Swindon’s score and it looked like it was all over for Notts County, now trailing 2-1 at the County Ground, three points from safety with one foot in the National League.

16:27 – Notts County’s afternoon went from bad to worse as Kaiyne Woolery equalised for Swindon, leaving Neal Ardley’s men two points behind Macclesfield and safety.

16:22 – Macclesfield moved back to safety on goal difference – and put Notts County back in danger – thanks to Elliott Durrell’s 66th-minute equaliser in front of his home fans against Cambridge.

16:18 – Jordan Gibson doubled the lead for Stevenage just before the hour mark as the floodgates opened at the Lamex Stadium – they remain ninth.

16:16 – Play-off outsiders Stevenage took the lead at home to Cheltenham through Joe Martin to move up to ninth and level on points with Colchester and Exeter but with a lesser goal difference.

16:11 – Notts County moved out of the relegation zone thanks to Kane Hemmings’ penalty in the top-right corner of the Swindon goal.

Kane Hemmings
Kane Hemmings netted from the spot to make Notts County safe (Julian Herbert/PA)

The three points moved County up to 22nd as Macclesfield slipped into the drop zone, a point worse off.

Half-time – As it stands, MK Dons will be automatically promoted as they lead rivals Mansfield 1-0, while Colchester will qualify for the play-offs after leading Lincoln 3-0.

Notts County will be relegated as they are currently goalless away to Swindon.

15:45 – Jordan Rossiter equalised with his first goal for Bury – at home to Port Vale – which put the Shakers back into the runners-up spot as it stands.

15:44 – Sammie Szmodics put Colchester 3-0 up as they strengthened their hold on seventh away to Lincoln.

Sammie Szmodics
Sammie Szmodics scored a brace for Colchester (Richard Sellers/PA)

15:44 – Cambridge took the lead through Paul Lewis which meant the pressure was on third-bottom Macclesfield, who are now just a point ahead of the second relegation spot occupied by Notts County.

15:27 – Szmodics headed Colchester further in front against the Imps to send his side into the play-offs level on goal difference with Exeter but with three more goals scored.

15:24 – Tom Pope headed Port Vale in front at already-promoted Bury which meant MK Dons moved into second, a point better off than the Shakers.

15:22 – Colchester took the lead against champions Lincoln thanks to Brennan Dickenson’s 22nd-minute strike putting the U’s hot on Exeter’s heels in eighth.

15:20 – The pressure was on play-off hopefuls Newport, who fell behind at Morecambe to an opener from former County youth striker Aaron Collins, who did not celebrate.

Exeter’s still goalless draw meant Newport dropped out of the top seven on goal difference.

15:02 – MK Dons moved into the automatic promotion places with an early header from Wheeler, his third goal in four games.

David Wheeler
David Wheeler handed MK Dons the early initiative (Nigel French/PA)

14:59 – Lincoln and Bury are already promoted, while MK Dons and Mansfield are battling for the final automatic spot. A draw would benefit the Stags due to their superior goal difference.

The unsuccessful team will join Forest Green and Tranmere in the play-offs, with Newport occupying the final spot and Exeter a point further behind. Colchester, Carlisle and Stevenage retain an outside chance should both slip up.

Yeovil are relegated and Notts County will join them unless they beat Swindon and Macclesfield lose to Cambridge – a draw for Sol Campbell’s men would leave County needing at least an eight-goal win.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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