The League Two Review
Welcome to the review of this weeks League Two action. After a fantastic opening weekend featuring 25 goals and plenty of action it was a more sombre second weekend in League Two featuring only 15 goals. The fixtures this weekend seemed to be matching teams of very similar ambitions and calibers and it showed, especially in the five 0-0’s which will be covered in more detail later.
As for now lets look at a few stories to be learnt in league two this week.
The idea behind this blog is to allow football fans to have one place to go to find a report on all of League Two’s fixtures and a place where League issues can be discussed by fans!
It was Carling Cup time midweek and League Two clubs had many successes, eight teams all beat higher opposition with a special mention to Shrewbury town who were 3-0 down against Charlton only to come back and win 4-3.
We have also had the Johnston Paint Trophy draw made and it is as follows
Northern section (west): Macclesfield v Morecambe, Oldham v Shrewsbury, Port Vale v Rochdale, Tranmere v Accrington.
Northern section (east): Hartlepool v Northampton, Rotherham v Lincoln, Sheffield Wednesday v Notts County, Walsall v Chesterfield.
Byes in northern section: Bradford, Burton, Bury, Carlisle, Crewe, Huddersfield, Peterborough, Stockport.
Southern section (west): Aldershot v Oxford, Bournemouth v Torquay, Southampton v Swindon, Yeovil v Exeter.
Southern section (east): Brighton v Leyton Orient, Charlton v Dagenham & Redbridge, Southend v Gillingham, Stevenage v Brentford.
Byes in southern section: Barnet, Bristol Rovers, Cheltenham, Colchester, Hereford, Milton Keynes Dons, Plymouth, Wycombe.
This competition is a chance for a great day out and Wembley and I wish your club every success!
Right now to this weeks action and we start with the game of the week on paper between 2 of my promotion favorites
Port Vale and Chesterfield
Port Vale 1-1 Chesterfield – Port Vale learnt the lesson of not taking their chances as Chesterfield snatched a point with a 79th minute close range finish from Dwayne Mattis. It could of been even worse for Vale as Stuart Tomlinson had to be at his supreme best to deny Drew Talbot 5 minutes later.
This was all in stark contrast to the opening seventy minute with Vale running riot, McCombe had already seen a shot cleared off the line before the 12th minute opener from Marc Richards and Vale then proceeded to miss a host of good chances with both Marc Richards and name sake Justin both hitting the woodwork further times.
Next fixture – Port Vale: Southend United(a); Chesterfield: Hereford(h)
Aldershot 1-0 Southend United
An even contest was eventually decided by a mistake from keeper Glenn Morris which allowed Marvin Morgan to score an 81st minute winner. Southend didn’t have a shot on target for the whole 90 minutes but this was more down to wasteful finishing than lack of chances.
Louis Soares was one of the guilty party missing from close range in the second half but to mull over missed chances would be doing Aldershot an injustice as they worked hard for this victory and got the result they wanted.
Next fixture – Aldershot: Shrewsbury(a); Southend United: Port Vale(h)
Barnet 0-0 Burton Albion
An awful game saw Barnet earn their first point of the 2010/2011 season. The game had two highlights, the first being a great turn and shot from Ricky Holmes forcing Ledzdins, in the Burton goal, into an excellent save. The other being a disallowed goal from Burton’s Darren Moore for a, rightly given, foul on the keeper. This was certainly a fixture better missed.
Next fixtures – Barnet: Crewe(a); Burton’0-0′Albion: Morecambe(h)
Bradford 1-0 Stevenage
A 32 minute penalty from Gareth Evans was enough to subject Stevenage to their first ever league defeat. This however was a grave injustice on the visitors who not only deserved not to lose but deserved to win at a canter but as it was Stevenage paid for Yemi Odubade, John Mousinho, Scott Laird and substitute Peter Winn to name just a few for spurning chances.
A sign of Stevenages dominance was their 17 total shots to the home sides 3.
Next Fixture – Bradford: Torquay(a); Stevenage: Stockport(h)
Cheltenham 3-2 Crewe
Cheltenham overcame the setback of conceding early to win a thoroughly entertaining fixture. Patrick Ada’s fantastic early volley was cancelled out by an alert Wesley Thomas who was first to react from a save and then the same player reacted quickest again to give Cheltenham a deserved half time lead.
Within 5 minutes of the second half Calvin Zola had rocketed in an equalizer but Jeff Goulding from a sharp turn let loose a low drive which proved to be a winner for Cheltenham. Crewe pushed and pushed late on but a fine point-blank save by Scott Brown from a Miller header and an attempted cross from Westwood hitting the post denied them the equalizer they chased for and gave Cheltenham a deserved win.
Next Fixture – Cheltenham: Rotherham(a); Crewe: Barnet(h)
Hereford 0-0 Gillingham
An entertaining fixture where both teams will feel they could of won but at the same time will admit a draw was a fair result. The most notable chances were Chris Palmers’ two long range shots for the visitors, with one being tipped over and the other rattling the woodwork.
The home teams best chance fell to their captain, Jason Kovacs, who will think he should of done better when receiving a flick on from Bulls striker Sean Canham.
Next fixture – Hereford: Chesterfireld(a); Gillingham: Lincoln City(h)
Lincoln 0-2 Torquay
871 minutes have now passed since Torquay United last conceded a league goal and in truth had very little scares of that ever being at threat in this match. Torquay started the better and were rewarded with Elliot Benyon heading in a goal from a free kick by Kevin Nicholson.
Lincoln had a goal disallowed for offside but it was just a matter of time before Torquay scored again and it was no surprise to see Elliot Benyon score his second, converting a Chris Zebrowski cross. Delroy Facey made Scott Brown earn his clean sheet bonus late on but this was a comfortable win for the early table toppers.
Next fixture – Lincoln: Gillingham(a); Torquay: Bradford(h)
Macclesfield 0-1 Shrewbury
Matt Harolds third minute goal was all that was needed to beat a spirited but lacking Macclesfield Town. After the goal Shrewsbury sat back and soaked up all the pressure Macclesfield threw at them. Macclesfield lacked the creation of an experienced professional to undo the defense right until the death where Hamza Bencherif had a shot cleared off the line.
Macclesfields youngsters will gain from this experience and to the crowds credit they never once went against there team. All that said Shrewsbury were impressive and after there amazing cup performance during the week Graham Turner will be very happy.
Next fixtures – Macclesfield Town: Accrington Stanley(a); Shrewbury: Aldershot(h)
Morecambe 0-0 Rotherham
An engaging match was played out in front of 3,258 fans who right till the very end weren’t sure if their team would win lose or draw. Morcambe had good first half chances wasted by Phil Jevons and Adam Rundle and also hit the woodwork through Chris McCready, Rotherham had 9 shots in target and out of those 9 the closest they came to winning was late on when Barry Roche became Morecambes hero keeping out a superb Kevin Ellison effort!
Next Fixture – Morcambe: Burton Albion(a); Rotherham: Cheltenham(h)
Northampton 0-0 Accrington Stanley
Accrington’s plan of playing for a point frustrated Northampton Town, who couldn’t reproduce the form which saw them beat Brighton during mid-week. Accrington didn’t have any effort at goal of any note and for the most denied Northampton of any.
Northampton did break the Accrington defense down on one occasion where Bill McKay was sent through one on one with the goalkeeper but he wasted the opportunity. A game quickly forgotten by everyone who watched and I think everyone in attendance was glad for the final whistle to go.
Next fixture – Northampton: Bury(a); Accrington Stanley: Macclesfield(h)
Oxford United 1-2 Bury
Last seasons top scorer Rob Lowe was the hero for Bury as the Shakers gained their first win of the season. After United’s 6-1 victory midweek expectation was very high but both teams failed to gain a foothold early on and it wasn’t till Bury took the lead through Tom Lees did the game spark into any life.
Within two minutes Oxford were level through Jack Midson. Half chances then began to ebb and flow for either side with the feeling that Oxford were slightly on top but when it seemed both teams were just starting to settle for the draw Lowes 79th minute winner was scored.
Next fixture – Oxford United: Wycombe(a); Bury: Northampton(h)
Stockport County 0-0 Wycombe Wanderers
The fifth 0-0 of in the division out of this weeks fixtures was one sided and should of resulted in a Stockport victory but unfortunately what seems a common theme this week it didn’t materialize. Stockport wasted a a host of glorious chances and a goal was the only thing that lacked from a strong home performance.
George Donnelly had the home sides best chance being sent clean through but failed to put the finishing touch to a good move. Wycombe rarely threatened but John Paul-Pittman had a half chance with a header which would of been strongly against the run of play.
As it was 0-0 it finished.
Next fixture – Stockport: Stevenage(a), Wycombe Wanderers: Oxford United(h)
So there we have all that has happened over this weekend in League Two. My personal pick for next weekends action is Southend at home to Port Vale. I look forward to seeing a goal in a Burton League game this season. I also look forward to Accrington attacking next week.
For the betting people out there next weeks certainties are Gillingham, Lincoln are real relegation candidates on this form and will struggle to improve enough to win away from home at Priestfield stadium.
For the people who like outside bets, I would stick a small amount on draws in the games involving Southend, Shrewsbury, Bury and Burton.