Shrewsbury relegated to conference
Shrewsbury Town were relegated from the Football League on Tuesday less than four months after creating one of the great FA Cup shocks by beating Premier League club Everton.
Tuesday's 3-2 home defeat by Carlisle United means the third division's bottom club cannot avoid relegation from the lowest tier of English soccer's professional pyramid for the first time since they were elected to the league in 1950.
The club, managed by former Everton captain Kevin Ratcliffe, shocked the soccer world on January 4 when striker Nigel Jemson's two goals, including a last-minute winner, gave them a 2-1 FA Cup third round win over Everton at Gay Meadow.
Shrewsbury lost 4-0 at home to Chelsea in the fourth round and have since slid to the foot of the third division, having won only nine of their 45 games this season.
Tuesday's win, courtesy of a hat-trick from Brian Wake after Jemson had given Shrewsbury the lead, lifted Carlisle up one place on 49 points and means they are safe from relegation.
In a strange coincidence Shrewsbury's final league game on Saturday will be against Scunthorpe United - the club they faced in their first ever match in the Football League 53 years ago.
The second relegation place will be decided between Exeter City, who are currently second from bottom, and Swansea City who are one point above them.
Yeovil Town have already been promoted to the third division from the minor league Conference and will be joined by one of Morecambe, Doncaster Rovers, Chester City and Dagenham and Redbridge who will play off for the second promotion spot.
It is the first time the two up, two down system has been employed.
Carlisle manager Roddy Collins could not find words of comfort for Ratcliffe.
'What do you say to Kevin, what to you say that is not partonising,' Collins told Radio 5 Live.
'Obviously I'm smiling but it's not a gloating smile, it's relief.'
Collins had kept faith that his team would be relegated.
'I never thought we would go down but football's a funny game,' added Collins.
'It's just a sense of relief to be totally honest. Any time I've asked them (Carlisle's players) to come up trumps they have.'
Elsewhere in Division Three Andrew Morrell's 25th-minute penalty was the only goal as Wrexham won at Leyton Orient - who had Justin Miller sent off in the 23rd-minute - while Rochdale hung on to win 2-1 at home to Hull, who could not find an equaliser to follow Ben Burgess' 65th-minute goal.
Lee McEvilly (6) and Darren Hockenhull (18) had put Dale ahead in the first half.
In Division Two, Tranmere's re-arranged game from Saturday saw them prevail 3-1 against relegated Mansfield, although they left it late.
Gary Jones (15) had given the home side the lead but Liam Lawrence equalised from the penalty spot nine minutes after the interval.
However, Simon Haworth (81) and substitute Jason Price (90) sealed maximum points for Rovers.