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Weekend League 2 round-up

20 October 2013

All the goals across the country from City's division

Who would have thought it?  After the disappointment of last week’s home defeat to Hartlepool United, Exeter City now sit joint-top of the Sky Bet League table, with only goal difference now separating the league’s top three. 

The ladder now makes for some great reading for Grecians fans, and it looks the way it does thanks to Saturday’s superb 4-0 demolition of Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park.  On the scoresheet were the names of Arron Davies, sub Sam Parkin and a Liam Sercombe brace as the Iron were dealt their first defeat in seven games, and United manager Brian Laws spoke to The Iron Player following the match.  

“It is difficult to take – any defeat is difficult to take,” he said.  “You do not plan for that in the build-up to the game and I never thought that we would be breached four times.  We have had 20 shots today and we did not score one, on the other hand Exeter had five shots and they scored four goals.  They just took their chances.  It’s so easy for everybody to jump on it and say that we have been hammered four-nil but you just needed to have been here at the ground to see that we weren’t outplayed.”

Another result that contributed to City’s rise to the top of the pile was another home defeat for league leaders Chesterfield, who have hit a sticky patch over the last month having looked like running away with the league earlier in the season.  This was the second home defeat in a row for the Spireites, who are without a win in their last four in the league.  


Adam McGurk wheels away after his second against league-leaders Chesterfield

It was an Adam McGurk double, his fourth and fifth goals of the season, which secured a 2-0 win for Burton Albion at the Proact Stadium, leaving Brewers manager Gary Rowett to tell BBC Radio Derby:   “In truth, we could probably have won it by three or four.  I know that might flatter us slightly, but we had some terrific chances and the game plan worked fantastically well.  To come here and to do that, I thought was absolutely magnificent.”

Rochdale seem to have come out of nowhere to secure second spot.  In fact, it was a late comeback for them in a 2-1 win at Cheltenham Town that rocketed them into second.  Troy Brown had put the Robins ahead, but Dale won it in the dying seconds as Ian Henderson, who had got the equaliser on 84 minutes, chipped the winner right at the end.  “How we’ve conceded two goals, I don’t know,” Town boss Mark Yates said to ctfc.com after the match.  “They were poor goals and the timing of it was poor.  We knew they were a decent side but we nullified them, we kept them quiet but we made the odd mistake, we switched off twice and we got beat.  It’s tough for the boys, but it shouldn’t have happened.”  

Keith Hill, the Rochdale manager, was obviously much more pleased. “The form is good, but I’m looking at performances and I’m more than happy,” he told BBC Radio Manchester.  “If we perform similar to the way we have done today, we’ll get results.  I was really pleased that our result has reflected the performance.”

Such is the tightness in League 2 at the moment, just one point separates the top six.  In fourth place are Oxford United, whose 0-0 draw at Accrington Stanley saw them drop out of the top three.  Though still without a win, James Beattie’s Stanley will be pleased to get a result against one of the division’s high-fliers.


Former Grecian Barry Corr was at the double for Southend against Fleetwood

Fleetwood Town have dropped to fifth after Friday evening’s 2-0 defeat at Southend United, as Barry Corr notched twice, the second an 81st-minute penalty as Will Atkinson was brought down by Stewart Murdoch.  Morecambe complete the top six, and this weekend they produced a 1-1 home draw with AFC Wimbledon, whose quick start also seems to have slowed down.  Kevin Ellison got the early opener for the Shrimps, but Michael Smith ensured Jim Bentley’s side would not be heading to the league’s summit.

There was some embarrassment at Plainmoor as Mansfield Town were forced to wear Torquay United’s away strip having left their own back in Nottinghamshire.  Thankfully for the Stags, they weren’t left red-faced on the pitch, as they held out for a 0-0 draw which leaves them right on the edge of the play-off positions.  Krystian Pearce was sent off for the Gulls.


Teenage hotshot Luke James netted the winner for ten-man Hartlepool

Luke James was on target again as Hartlepool United completed another win over Devonian opposition, beating Plymouth Argyle 1-0 at Victoria Park.  Pools, who lost Jack Compton – their star performer at St James Park last week – to a red card, still managed to take the lead, which they maintained despite the efforts of Reuben Reid and Romy Boco.

Justin Edinburgh’s Newport County AFC found their winning touch again as the comfortably saw off York City 3-0 at Rodney Parade.  Chris Zebroski got the first, and Lee Minshull doubled the advantage before half-time.  Danny Crow finished the scoring with a minute to go.  The combination of Norris and Morris were on hand for Northampton Town as they contested an exciting 2-2 draw with Dagenham & Redbridge.  Luke Norris opened the scoring before the Daggers got two in three minutes, Zavon Hines and a Rhys Murphy header turning things around.  But Cobblers captain Ian Morris tied things up just after the hour to hand struggling Northampton an important point. 

Max Kretzschmar struck late on for Wycombe Wanderers to lay claim to seventh spot with victory at Bristol Rovers.  The Gas played two-thirds of the game with ten men after David Clarkson left an arm in on Josh Scowen.  Finally, Bondz N’Gala’s fourth-minute goal was enough for Portsmouth to hold off Bury at Fratton Park.

Click here to see the full Sky Bet League 2 table.

Round-up by Oliver Roderick –@olrodlegacy

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