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Midweek League 2 round-up

23 October 2013

Action from across Sky Bet League 2

Two away games in the space of four days have seen Paul Tisdale’s men come away with four points from a possible six, and given that Exeter City have maintained their position in the Sky Bet League 2 top three, it’s been a fantastic reaction to last week’s defeat to Hartlepool. 

Tuesday night’s crucial away point against fellow high-fliers Oxford United looks a great result, especially given some of the unpredictable results that have come all across the division in recent weeks.  Dave Kitson’s dismissal came too late to make any considerable effect on the game, but a point at the Kassam will have sent the 362 travelling fans home happy. 

The Grecians now turn their attentions to Saturday’s visit of Burton Albion to St James Park.  The Brewers scored two second-half goals to see off Torquay United on Tuesday night, with Jimmy Phillips and Adam McGurk, fresh from his double at Chesterfield at the weekend, the scorers in a 2-0.  Albion are on the edge of the play-off positions, so it looks like being another competitive encounter at SJP this weekend.

James Beattie oversaw his first Accrington win of 2013/14

It was a big night for Accrington Stanley, who finally got their first win in the league this season, at the 13th attempt, against Bristol Rovers.  James Beattie’s Stanley didn’t get off to a great start – Manchester City loanee Alex Henshall put Rovers in front on five minutes, but James Gray and Kal Naismith turned it around to get Stanley a much-needed three points with a 2-1 win.

It ended 1-0 as Rhys Murphy scored to give Dagenham & Redbridge a big away win at Southend United, who lost Mark Phillips to a red card.  And despite Patrick Agyemang scoring late in the first-half to equalise for Portsmouth against Wycombe Wanderers, the Fratton Park encounter was abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch at half-time.  Billy Knott had scored for the Chairboys after half-an-hour, with the match having a 1-1 scoreline before referee Lee Collins called time on proceedings.

There were periods during the evening where results elsewhere meant the Grecians topped the pile.  However, a dramatic late comeback for Rochdale ensured Keith Hill’s side held that distinction as the final whistles sounded.  It looked like a nailed-on three points for visitors Northampton Town even up to the last five minutes, as two Brentford loanees in Luke Norris and Stuart Dallas scored for the Cobblers, with Ian Henderson getting one for Dale in-between those two strikes.  Michael Rose looked to have salvaged a point, scoring after 88 minutes, but George Donnelly had something to say about that.  It was his winner that sealed the 3-2, three points, and top spot for Rochdale.

Jay O'Shea scored Chesterfield's second as they salvaged a point

Chesterfield also looked in trouble at one point of the evening, as Luke O’Neill and Ryan Jarvis sent York City into a two-goal away lead.  Armand Gnanduillet pulled one back almost immediately after the Minstermen’s second, and Jay O’Shea grabbed his first goal since the opening day to secure a 2-2 draw.  The Spireites drop to second.

After a fourth consecutive win, Hartlepool United are now the form team in the division – a 3-1 win over AFC Wimbledon was their latest success.  Penalties for each side were converted by Simon Walton (Pools) and Harry Pell (Dons) made it 1-1, before Luke James (scoring for the third game in a row) and Matthew Dolan put the result in the home side’s favour.  

Cheltenham's Terry Gornell netted betwen strikes by Matt Richards and Byron Harrison

There was also a big home win for Cheltenham Town, 3-0 winners against Morecambe.  Matt Richards opened the scoring with the last kick of the first half, and Terry Gornell and Byron Harrison repeated the feat in the second.  Sam Winnall was the matchwinner as Scunthorpe United rebounded from their heavy defeat to Exeter at the weekend with a 1-0 win at Fleetwood Town. The Cod Army missed out on the chance to keep the pressure up on the top sides, as at the start of play they had a chance of topping the division when all was said and done.  Despite John Dempster’s dismissal, Mansfield Town were able to hold on for a 0-0 draw at Bury.  There was also a goalless draw at Home Park, as Plymouth Argyle and Newport County AFC contested a 0-0 stalemate.

Round-up by Oliver Roderick –@olrodlegacy

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