Weekend League 2 round-up

Every goal from every game in Sky Bet League 2

Exeter City finally got back to winning ways at St James Park as a Jon Parkin own goal was followed by an Eliot Richards double, to hand the Grecians a 3-0 win over Fleetwood Town. 

The result was a huge boost for Paul Tisdale’s men who, though not putting themselves out of reach of the Sky Bet League 2 relegation battle just yet, put a little daylight between themselves and the bottom two.  That gap is now five points, with the win propelling the Grecians up to 17th. Cod Army manager Graham Alexander was obviously disappointed to see his side go down in defeat, as he told BBC Radio Lancashire: “It wasn’t good enough.  All three goals were from set-pieces, which is a massive disappointment.  I didn’t think we competed at the level we are expected to.  We didn’t compete.  It looked like it was more important for Exeter to get the points than us.”

With two games on Friday night, Oxford United were the big winners before Saturday’s fixtures got under way.  The U’s secured a 1-0 home win over Hartlepool United thanks to David Connolly’s header, earning points which helped them keep their place in the play-off positions safe for at least another week.  On Saturday Oxford named Gary Waddock as their new manager, eight weeks after the departure of Chris Wilder to Northampton, with Mickey Lewis taking charge in the interim.  “I am grateful to Oxford United for having given me this great opportunity, and cannot wait to get started,” Waddock said on his appointment.  “The club is in a good position, and the immediate priority is to turn that position into promotion at the end of the season.”  Friday’s other match was a 0-0 draw between Bristol Rovers and Southend United, a result which prevented Phil Brown’s Shrimpers from reaching the top seven this weekend. 

Jack Midson scored the late winner for AFC Wimbledon in a seven-goal thriller with Cheltenham Town

Saturday’s game of the day happened at Kingsmeadow, as AFC Wimbledon came out on top in a seven-goal thriller with Cheltenham Town.  The Robins had taken an early lead through Troy Brown’s header after five minutes, before they doubled their advantage five minutes into the second half, Jermaine McGlashan getting their second.  A miraculous three goals in as many minutes swung things in the home side’s favour, Danny Hylton scoring twice either side of Jake Nicholson’s equaliser.  The Dons were only in front for three minutes though as Jason Taylor quickly levelled, but Jack Midson made it 4-3 to win it right at the end.  

The two opposing managers quite predictably had different views on what they saw; AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley told BBC Radio London 94.9, “When we went 2-0 down, you start to fear the worse.  The players, they need me.  I’m going to try and stay positive for them. I’m a nightmare, I never switch off.  I don’t stop thinking about my job – we’ve got a tough week but it’s been a good start to it.”  Meanwhile Cheltenham boss Mark Yates said, “That was probably our best performance of the season, bar the three goals in three minutes.  I’m fuming, but it probably sums up our season.  At 3-3 you’d take a point, but to concede again, just sums us up.  All their goals were self-inflicted and I’m a bit stuck for words.”

Mansfield's Anthony Howell battles with Chesterfield's Sam Hird in a goalless local derby

League leaders Rochdale clocked up their third straight win as they triumphed 2-0 at Wycombe Wanderers.  Jamie Allen converted Peter Vincenti’s knockdown for the first before Vincenti helped himself to the second.  Dale are still two points clear having hit the 70-point mark this weekend, while the Chairboys have just three points separating them from the bottom two.  Keeping up the chase on Rochdale are Scunthorpe United, who won 1-0 at home against Burton Albion thanks to Paddy Madden’s goal on the hour, while Chesterfield relinquished second spot after a 0-0 draw with Mansfield Town at the One Call Stadium.

Tom Aldred equalised for Accrington against Plymouth at the Crown Ground

Exeter City will make the short trip to Home Park to meet Plymouth Argyle in midweek, before hosting Accrington Stanley next weekend.  Those two sides met this weekend, playing out a 1-1 draw.  Reuben Reid followed up his midweek double in the win over Chesterfield with the opener at the Crown Ground.  It wasn’t to be another win for the Pilgrims though – Tom Aldred got a late equaliser to rescue Stanley a point, but Argyle remain in the top seven.

Things aren’t looking too good for bottom club Torquay United at the moments – after a mini-revival saw them take two wins from three, their momentum was halted by a 1-0 Plainmoor defeat to Newport County AFC.  Chris Zebroski scored the winner against his former side, who had Shamir Goodwin dismissed for violent conduct, to leave them six points adrift of safety with eight games to go. The situation looks almost as bleak at Portsmouth, who also lost 1-0 at home as York City took all three points at Fratton Park.  Michael Coulson got the decider after just five minutes, even before Ben Chorley was dismissed for a high challenge. 

Northampton Town were the only one of the bottom three to score points, and they took the lead through an Andy Wright own goal just after half-time in their visit to Morecambe.  Padraig Amond equalised, the gap to safety now three points for the Cobblers.  Finally, there was a 1-1 draw between Bury and Dagenham & Redbridge, as Luke Norris cancelled out Chris Hussey’s Bury opener at Gigg Lane.