SOUTHAMPTON manager Alan Pardew says his side will continue to put pressure on Town and Colchester in a bid to make the League I play-offs.
While Bristol Rovers’ hopes of a top-six finish were ended when they were held goalless at home to Brentford, Saints sealed a 1-0 win at Yeovil courtesy of Lee Barnard’s last-gasp goal.
Now they can leapfrog seventh-placed Colchester, who lost 3-1 at Hartlepool, and move within five points of Town by winning their game in hand at home to Oldham tomorrow.
“We will keep the pressure on and we can’t do more than win our games,” said Pardew. “We can get to 78 points, and if it takes 79 to make the play-offs, I should think it will be the most of any year.”
Sixth-placed Town are on 74 points, three behind Charlton, whose 1-0 home defeat by Norwich meant the Canaries are promoted and need only one more point to clinch the title.
Defender Michael Nelson headed the winner at the same ground where the Canaries were relegated last year.
Second-placed Leeds, lifted by Town’s win over Millwall on Friday, remained just a point above the Lions after losing 3-2 at relegation-threatened Gillingham.
Adam Miller and Mark Bentley put the Gills 2-0 up and Richard Naylor’s own goal made it three before Luciano Becchio cut the deficit on the stroke of half-time.
Jermaine Beckford’s 87th-minute penalty set up an exciting finale but the West Yorkshire side were unable to find a late equaliser.
Swindon were unable to take full advantage, though they closed to within two points of Leeds and one of Millwall with a 1-1 draw against Walsall.
Ex-Town loan man Steve Jones’ fierce low cross-shot put the Saddlers ahead a minute before half-time but the prolific Charlie Austin equalised 10 minutes into the second period.
Colchester remain six points adrift of Town after their defeat at Hartlepool in a game watched by Galpharm boss Lee Clark.
Ian Henderson put the Us in front early on but James Brown quickly headed Pools level and Roy O’Donovan put them ahead inside the first 20 minutes, before rounding off the win with an 85th-minute penalty.
Tranmere also gave their safety hopes a huge boost with a 3-1 home win over fellow strugglers Exeter, who had James Dunne sent off for two quickfire first-half bookings.
Craig Curran’s header set Rovers on their way and Joss Labadie fizzed in a long-range second.
Stuart Fleetwood halved Exeter’s arrears but Gareth Edds’ 20-yard left-foot drive made the game safe.
Kevin Betsy’s last-minute goal gave 22nd-placed Wycombe a potentially crucial 3-2 win at MK Dons.
The hosts’ Aaron Wilbraham had twice cancelled out Alex Revell’s goals.
Southend remain seven points adrift of safety after losing 1-0 to Brighton.