Roberts' double in vain

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The Independent Football

Ashton Gate was jumping yesterday, but not for long. Christian Roberts scored twice in the 19th and 21st minutes to give Bristol City a 2-0 lead over Blackpool and a glimpse of automatic promotion to the First Division. Then news came through from Hillsborough that Queen's Park Rangers had taken control against Sheffield Wednesday and would head up instead. The Robins' 15 minutes of fame was over.

Ashton Gate was jumping yesterday, but not for long. Christian Roberts scored twice in the 19th and 21st minutes to give Bristol City a 2-0 lead over Blackpool and a glimpse of automatic promotion to the First Division. Then news came through from Hillsborough that Queen's Park Rangers had taken control against Sheffield Wednesday and would head up instead. The Robins' 15 minutes of fame was over.

Keith Southern's penalty for Blackpool 12 minutes from time made little difference. All that remained for the deflated delegation in the West Country was to await news of their play-off opponents. It looked like being Port Vale for whom the prolific Steve McPhee had set up victory at Rushden. But Adam Boyd turned home his 12th goal in 10 games to earn Hartlepool United a 1-1 draw at Swindon Town that kept both sides in the play-off places at Vale's expense.

So Bristol City will head to Hartlepool next Saturday while a day later Swindon will host Brighton, whose play-off place was assured before their 2-0 victory at Wrexham.

Rushden's defeat sent them down to the Third Division while Grimsby's 2-1 loss at Tranmere, after they had led for more than half an hour, meant they too would join Notts County and Wycombe at the bottom level.

Doncaster Rovers and Hull City were assured of promotion to the Second but Huddersfield Town missed out on joining them when they conceded Shane Duff's 75th-minute equaliser for 10-man Cheltenham in a 1-1 draw. Torquay United took advantage, claiming third place with a 2-1 win at Southend United.

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