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Weekend League 2 round-up

10 February 2014

Every goal from every game in League 2

Liam Sercombe left it late to save a point for Exeter City in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Portsmouth at St James Park.  Jake Jervis had put Pompey in front to the delight of a noisy away following, but Sercombe equalised via a deflection in the fourth minute of second-half injury time to secure the Grecians’ third draw in a row. 

Portsmouth boss Richie Barker was obviously disappointed to concede to late on, and he told Pompey’s official website: “We were 40 seconds away from an extra two points, which would obviously be massive for us.  But I thought the attitude of the players was fantastic and it’s just a shame we couldn’t quite see the game out; I’m gutted because they did everything that we asked of them. It was another poacher’s goal from Jake and Ben [Chorley] did well at the far post to head the ball back to him.  We probably had slightly more – and better – chances in the second half, which was good going up against that wind.  So the result is tough to take, but that’s four away games without defeat and that’s a positive – we’re becoming more difficult to beat on the road.”

Scott Hogan was the hat-trick hero for Rochdale against AFC Wimbledon

Away from SJP there weren’t many goals in Sky Bet League 2 this week.  With Torquay United’s match with Bury postponed and 0-0 draws in the games that posed Wycombe Wanderers against Accrington Stanley and York City versus Cheltenham Town, AFC Wimbledon’s 3-0 home defeat against Rochdale was the result which stood out the most.  Scott Hogan produced a hat-trick for Dale in the last half-hour to leave a sour taste in Dons manager Neal Ardley’s mouth.  “I apologise for the performance,” Ardley told BBC Radio London.  “I felt sick watching it as the game wore on.  I felt very let down by the lack of tempo when we went 1-0 down, and the lack of desire from the team to get back in the game.  It was a severe lack of character throughout the team.”  Rochdale go fourth as a result.

After a 1-1 draw at Bury in midweek, where Josh Ruffles equalised two minutes after Craig Jones’ opener to keep their promotion push on track, Oxford United drew by the same scoreline again at the Memorial Stadium against Bristol Rovers.  James Constable put the U’s in front on ten minutes, but John-Joe O’Toole’s equaliser five minutes from time meant managerless Oxford were prevented from climbing up to second.  

Scunthorpe's protests fall on deaf ears before Eoin Doyle nets from the spot for Chesterfield

Indeed Oxford remain in third, four points off the top spot, which is still occupied by Chesterfield – the Spireites came back for a 1-1 draw in the top-of-the-table clash with second-placed Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park.  League 2’s leading goalscorer Sam Winnall netted after a quarter of an hour by capitalising on a spill from Chesterfield ‘keeper Tommy Lee, but Eoin Doyle converted a penalty right before half-time.  Speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield, Chesterfield manager Paul Cook said, “We’ve been on a good run and it would have been nice to win again, but unfortunately we haven’t.  I think you must respect the opposition as well – Scunthorpe are a very good side, they’ve got good players throughout the team and they pose threats up front”.  Opposite number Russ Wilcox was also pleased with the point: “I think we showed what we’re about – resolute and strong,” he told Radio Humberside.  “We were maybe not as creative as we’d like to be but I thought the front two today caused Chesterfield problems.  We got down the side of them of them fairly well, used that pace and the game could have gone either way at the end.”

At Sixfields, Northampton Town fell further adrift at the bottom as they were beaten 2-0 by Plymouth Argyle.  It was the usual suspects who were on the scoresheet for the Pilgrims, as Reuben Reid scored after five minutes, his 14th of the campaign, and Lewis Alessandra was the benefactor of the elements as his cross took some wind on its way into the net on 40 minutes.  Luke Williams finally got his name back onto the scoresheet as he netted for Hartlepool United in their 2-0 win at Dagenham & Redbridge.  The man on loan from Middlesbrough got his first goal in 17 months via a deflection, and Andy Monkhouse got the second to hand the Daggers a first defeat in three games. Now in 11th, Pools have certainly turned their season around having looked like relegation candidates in the early stages of the season. 

James Jennings netted the all-important second for Mansfield again Southend

Ryan Leonard scored in injury time for Southend United but it counted for nothing as they went down 2-1 at the One Call Stadium to Mansfield Town.  Sam Clucas and James Jennings sent the Stags on their way to victory even before Shrimpers substitute Conor Clifford was sent off for a foul on Matt Rhead, Southend tasting defeat for the first time in eight matches.  Finally, a 72nd-minute Zeli Ismail goal was enough to see Burton Albion to a 1-0 win over Morecambe at the Globe Arena.  The Brewers are flying high in fifth despite this being their first win in four.

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