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Match Previews

Sky Bet League 2: Easter weekend preview

24 March 2016

The first promotion of The Football League season could be sealed over a hectic Easter schedule in Sky Bet League 2.

Northampton Town's 15-game unbeaten run has seen them storm clear of the chasing pack and, although they need a lot of results to go their way, the Cobblers could seal their place in Sky Bet League 1 by Monday evening.

There's also a new manager in the dugout this weekend, with Mark Cooper taking the reins at Notts County earlier this week.

Here are all the Easter fixtures in Sky Bet League 2 – 3pm kick-off unless stated:

Friday 25th March

Accrington Stanley v Leyton Orient
Bristol Rovers v Cambridge United
Exeter City v Barnet
Hartlepool United v AFC Wimbledon
Morecambe v Plymouth Argyle
Northampton Town v Newport County
Oxford United v Stevenage
Portsmouth v Notts County
Wycombe Wanderers v Mansfield Town
Yeovil Town v Carlisle United
York City v Crawley Town

Monday 28th March

AFC Wimbledon v Portsmouth (12:45pm – live on Sky Sports)
Barnet v Luton Town
Cambridge United v Oxford United
Carlisle United v Bristol Rovers
Crawley Town v Exeter City
Leyton Orient v Hartlepool United
Mansfield Town v Northampton Town
Newport County v Accrington Stanley
Notts County v Wycombe Wanderers
Plymouth Argyle v York City

Northampton will need maximum points from their Easter schedule – a home fixture with Newport and a trip to Mansfield – to give themselves a chance of securing promotion this weekend.

If they do manage that, they need two of Bristol Rovers, Plymouth (both 65 points) and Accrington (64) to not have a very happy Easter at all. If any two of those clubs reach 67 points from their two outings, then Chris Wilder and his charges will have to wait a little bit longer before the celebrations can begin.

In among those teams are second-placed Oxford, who face Stevenage (H) and Cambridge (A) in what will be their last league matches before turning their attentions to Wembley, and a Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final date with Barnsley.

Promotion-chasing Portsmouth is the first destination for Notts County's new boss Mark Cooper, before making his Meadow Lane bow against Wycombe Wanderers three days later. The 47-year-old has been set a points target by the Magpies' board, but he just wants his players to enjoy playing football again.

Read more: Let me entertain you - Mark Cooper aiming to bring smiles to Notts County

At the opposite end of the division, bottom club Dagenham & Redbridge will have to watch on with both their fixtures postponed due to international call-ups. York, who occupy the other relegation place, host Crawley before travelling south to Plymouth on Easter Monday.

Stevenage are seven points clear of safety and face just one match this weekend, the aforementioned Good Friday clash at Oxford. Hartlepool, in 21st, go to Leyton Orient prior to welcoming Mansfield to Victoria Park, while Yeovil, who had kept five consecutive clean sheets before losing to Cambridge last week, host Carlisle as the Glovers continue their bid for Football League survival.

The battle for a Play-Off place rages on too with a number of clubs encountering each other, one of which is an intriguing lunchtime clash between Wimbledon and Portsmouth – a match which will be screened live on Sky Sports on Easter Monday.

On Good Friday, it's fifth versus seventh when Accrington face off against Leyton Orient, while Cambridge United – five points adrift of the top seven – face two of the top three in Bristol Rovers (A) and Oxford (H).

Match official appointments

The match official appointments for the Easter schedule were announced earlier this week.

Click here to see the officials on Sky Bet League 2 duty this weekend

Don't miss it!

We'll have all the action from the weekend's fixtures covered on social media. Make sure you keep up to date by following our matchday Twitter feed - @SkyBetLeague2.

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