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14 March 2014

Round-up from the last week

It was a decisive week in the Final Third Development League as Hull City claimed the East Division title in convincing style.

The Tigers won 4-0 away at Rotherham United on Monday afternoon thanks to goals from Paul McElroy, Matthew Fletcher, Danny Chambers and Calaum Jahraldo-Martin, with that result giving them an unassailable seven-point lead over Mansfield Town.

The Stags are guaranteed second, leaving Rotherham United, Hartlepool United, Doncaster Rovers and Scunthorpe United to battle it out for third.

With no matches taking place in the West Division, it was also a pivotal week of action in the Cup where the group stages drew to a dramatic close.

In Group B, Mansfield had already secured their place in the Semi-Finals as group winners which left a clinical clash between Sheffield Wednesday and Hartlepool United. The Owls needed to secure victory by a six-goal margin to advance into the last four, but anything less than that would see Hartlepool progress.

Boosted by Gary Madine’s return to action, Wednesday raced into a 5-0 lead by half-time; Madine himself finding the net alongside efforts from Rhys McCabe, Rafael Floro and a Mani Dieseruvwe brace as Pools saw a penalty saved.

Needing just one more goal in the second 45, Jack Stobbs had initially fired the South Yorkshire side through, but James Poole’s strike for the visitors was more than just a consolation, sending Hartlepool through to the semis as the best runners-up from either Group B or C despite that 6-1 defeat.

The final match, also on Wednesday afternoon, was contested by Morecambe and Wigan Athletic, sitting fifth and fourth in Group C respectively. However, despite being in the bottom two, both teams still had a chance to make the final four.

Morecambe needed a four-goal win but a strong Latics side, including Shaun Maloney and Gary Caldwell, picked a 1-0 victory thanks to a late Guillermo Andres winner, and they resultantly topped Group C on nine points.

Leicester City, Mansfield, Hartlepool and Wigan are the four teams who will compete in the Semi-Finals, and the draw is below:

Leicester City v Mansfield Town Wigan Athletic v Hartlepool United.

A date for those ties is yet to be arranged.

To keep updated with the latest news from the Development League, follow @FinalThirdDevLg on Twitter or visit finalthird.developmentleague.co.uk.


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