Date: 30th April 2007 at 1:04pm
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Bristol City boss Gary Johnson insisted his players would not squander their promotion hopes after a Paul Robinson strike gave Millwall a 1-0 win and blew the race wide open.

The Robins must now beat Rotherham at home this weekend to seal second place after Forest and Blackpool both turned up the heat with resounding victories.

But Johnson, whose side conceded the only goal of the game with 12 minutes to play, remained defiant.

He said: ‘We’ve waited a long time to get to the Championship and we don’t want to blow it in the last game.

‘There is a big week ahead of us and we’ve got to pick the lads up, but sometimes you need to get knocked down to stand up stronger.

‘We knew we had two bites at the cherry and now we need the second.

‘It will be one of the biggest games in the club’s history. We must not forget that for 45 games we have played well but it’s where you are after 46 that counts. It’s in our hands and we are pleased to be at home.’

Millwall top scorer Darren Byfield wasted the best chance of the first half after going clean through, Adriano Basso palmed his tame shot to safety.

The deadlock was broken in the 78th minute as Robinson volleyed home at the back post after a cross from ex-Forest striker Neil Harris.

Bristol City poured forward in search of the equaliser but David Noble and substitute Phil Jevons were denied by Lenny Pidgeley.

And after clinching victory against one of the division’s top sides, Millwall boss Willie Donachie admitted he had high hopes for next season.

‘I’m not going to look back and think, if only,’ he said. ‘The only thing that disappoints me is that nine games ago I said we had a chance and I don’t think the players believed me.

‘I’m confident we can hang on to this group of players, get three or four in and come back stronger next year.

‘Last year we had 19 new players and nobody knew each other but we’ve done a lot of hard work behind the scenes to get that togetherness.’

Ten-man Blackpool beat champions Scunthorpe 3-1 and kept alive their automatic promotion hopes after Bristol City’s slip up.

To do that they would need to win at play-off chasing Swansea this weekend and hope that Bristol and Forest both lose. Blackpool boss Simon Grayson believes that could happen.

Goals from Claus Jorgensen, Keigan Parker and Shaun Barker wrapped up victory for the Seasiders, despite midfielder Chris Brandon being sent off for violent conduct.

He will serve a three-game ban which would rule him out of both play-off games.

Billy Sharp briefly gave Scunthorpe hope before the break, but Pool never looked like losing.

Yeovil clinched their play-off place as Wayne Gray’s strike 18 minutes from time gave them a 1-0 win at home to Doncaster, much to the relief of manager Russell Slade.

‘Slade, who took Grimsby to the League Two play-off final last year, said: ‘We didn’t want to go to Gillingham this week knowing we needed something from the game.

‘I thought Wayne was terrific, especially in the first half, twisting and turning and putting in great crosses.’

Oldham and Swansea will fight out the final play-off spot as Oldham’s first win in six came in a 2-1 success at Brighton, thanks to first-half goals from fit-again leading scorer Chris Porter and Andy Liddell.

‘That was a massive game, probably our last chance for the play-offs, and I’m very pleased to come away with three points,’ said Latics boss John Sheridan.

‘We knew what we had to do and we’ve done it. I had a feeling Swansea would win but the good thing is Blackpool can still go up automatically so they’ll be desperate for a result there.’

Swansea are level on points with Oldham but their goal difference is two worse. The Swans ended Carlisle’s play-off hopes with a controversial 2-1 win at Brunton Park.

Darryl Duffy scored an injury-time winner that appeared to go in off his arm. Lee Trundle had earlier given the Swans the lead, before Johann Smith had equalised two minutes after the break.

Source: Nottingham Evening Post

 

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