THE crazy relegation battle in League One took another turn last Saturday which saw Bristol Rovers shoot up to 13th in the table despite being held to a goalless draw by promotion-chasing Charlton Athletic at the Memorial Stadium, writes Stephen Knowlson.

I can’t remember another season where we’ve been comfortably mid-table in the second half of March yet only two points off the relegation places. A mere three points cover the teams between 12th and 21st positions so it very much looks like any team outside of the top 11 is locked into a battle to avoid the drop between now and the first weekend in May – just nine games away.

Saturday’s game was played in difficult conditions with a swirling gusty wind so the teams deserve credit for producing a fairly entertaining stalemate.

Rovers’ in-form striker Jonson Clarke-Harris thought he’d put us ahead in the first half but Charlton keeper Phillips pulled off a breath-taking save to claw away the big Gas striker’s excellent free kick on 37 minutes, after he had been felled 20 yards out.

At the other end Jack Bonham had to be alert to keep out a Vetokele shot three minutes before the break.

Both teams had the ball in the back of the net – Cullen for the Addicks just before half time and Alex Jakubiak for Rovers in the second half - with both efforts correctly ruled out for off side.

In the end a point apiece was a fair result with neither team doing enough to take the spoils. It was a fourth consecutive clean sheet for Rovers and we are becoming one of the more difficult teams to beat in League One.

If our fight against the drop is successful then it will have been built on the solid defensive foundations put in place by Graham Coughlan and his predecessor Darrell Clarke. We still need to improve higher up the pitch with a lack of width apparent - Liam Sercombe is wasted out on the wing and I would prefer to see Tareiq Holmes-Dennis pushed up into that position with Sercombe playing in the hole behind the front two where he can be most dangerous.

The next two games are crucial if Rovers are to put daylight between us and the drop zone, starting with a trip to relegation rivals Plymouth Argyle this Saturday.