Although it’s been International weekend, there was still a full programme in League Two and it was it sure to excite given the news that Chesterfield signed Luis Boa Morte in the week and Barnet gained the expertise of former AC Milan and Barcelona midfielder Edgar Davids as joint head coach. It is at Underhill where this week’s round-up begins and it wasn’t a great start for the Dutch man of the moment.
The Bees are still looking for their first win of the campaign and went a goal down in the opening minutes against Plymouth – Mark Byrne supposedly fouling Luke Young and Rhys Griffiths netting the awarded penalty. Argyle doubled their lead just after 10 minutes through another set-piece – Maxime Blanchard heading home from a corner with the Bees defence at sixes and sevens. It went from bad to worse for Barnet when Collins John on his debut went off injured with not even 15 minutes played; but the home side got a goal back through David Stephens. Plymouth scored their third halfway through the second half (Paris Cowan-Hall) and although the points were easily secured prior to that goal, Argyle piled on the misery and scored a fourth in the final minutes – yet another set-piece through Young’s free-kick. Plymouth move up to 18th whilst the Bees stay bottom, five points behind Aldershot in 23rd and seven points from safety.
With Port Vale not playing until Monday when their match against Oxford is televised, Gillingham extended their lead at the top to six points following victory against Aldershot – who haven’t won in four games now. Charlie Allen opened his own personal account and scored the Gills first, before they doubled their lead from the penalty spot. Aldershot’s Sonny Bradley was adjudged to have handled and Danny Kedwell stepped up and calmly slot home. The home side were three goals to the good at half time when Kedwell turned provider, allowing Myles Weston onto the score sheet and Chris Whelpdale wrapped up proceedings when his strike went in off the post, midway through the second half.
There were also big wins for Northampton beating Exeter 3-0 and there was a similar score-line when Southend travelled to Rotherham. At Sixfields, ‘beast’ Adebayo Akinfenwa opened the scoring on 25 minutes with his volley and Kelvin Langmead added to their tally with five minutes of the first half remaining. Victory for the Cobblers was assured in the closing minutes – Alex Nicholls headed in from Chris Hackett’s free-kick. Win for Northampton sees them creep into the top half of the table, whilst the Grecians have lost two on the spin. Meanwhile at the New York Stadium, three second half goals from Southend were enough to kill off the Millers in their last match without Steve Evans, who had been disciplined with a stadium ban. A brace from Britt Assombalonga – first, a header on the 51st minute, before a top-corner strike 15 minutes later – could have easily been a hat-trick. With 20 minutes left to play, the Zairian’s shot was parried onto the crossbar; luckily David Martin was on-hand to tap-in, making the final score Rotherham 0-3 Southend and sending the Shrimpers fans home delighted.
Torquay were also back to winning ways when they entertained an Accrington side unable to win a game in October so far. Rene Howe netted his ninth of the season from the penalty spot in the fifth minute, after Stanley’s Michael Liddle handled. Padraig Amond levelled for the visitors in the second half but Torquay hit back immediately, restoring their lead when Billy Bodin headed in from Nathan Craig’s cross. The points were wrapped up for the hosts with 10 minutes left on the clock – captain, Lee Mansell concluding the score.
Cheltenham, Dagenham and Morecambe all secured narrow victories away from home. Neal Ardley’s tenure as AFC Wimbledon manager started with a defeat against Cheltenham. Marlon Pack scored for the Rubies on 25 minutes and their advantage was doubled half an hour later through Kaid Mohamed. Byron Harrison got no more than a consolation for the Dons in the dying stages, leaving Wimbledon just above the drop-zone. Elsewhere, Luis Boa Morte played 90 minutes on his debut for Chesterfield, but failed to inspire as his new team slumped to defeat. Three goals in 15 minutes either side of the half time whistle made for an exciting game, but Dagenham went away with all three points courtesy of Sam Williams. He opened the scoring towards the end of the first 45, before Jack Lester pegged Daggers back at the start of the second half. Two minutes later, Williams was on the score sheet again when he got his – and Dagenham’s – second and wrapped up all three points. Meanwhile, Rochdale’s poor home form continues and they’re without a win in five at Spotland. Morecambe went away with the victory yesterday, thanks to a double from former Dale striker, Jack Redshaw. One in each half from him was enough for Morecambe, and despite the signs of a late comeback from Dale when George Donnelly pulled one back for them, the score-line remained 1-2 and Rochdale stay in sixth.
Elsewhere in Lancashire, Wycombe move further from the relegation zone after their narrow win at Fleetwood. The solitary goal came from debutant Bruno Andrade, on-loan from QPR and was enough to give the Chairboys all three points – and also their first clean-sheet for 23 games.
It had been 16 years since a Yorkshire derby between Bradford and York took place and it was a point-a-piece at Valley Parade as the match finished 1-1. York netted first when Ashley Chambers was quick to pounce on a blocked shot, but the Bantams levelled 15 minutes later, through Zavon Hines. Burton Albion and Bristol Rovers also had a share of the spoils, when their match at the Pirelli also finished 1-1. Burton are now unbeaten in eight, but went behind on the half hour mark to a strike from David Clarkson. Billy Kee managed to get their equaliser and it could have easily been all three points for the home side when Cleveland Taylor was through on goal – he blazed his shot well over the bar.
Next weekend sees two in-form sides meet as Gillingham take on Burton and it’s the return of Gareth Ainsworth to Vale Park when his Wycombe side are hosted by Port Vale. Cheltenham have a tough visit to Bradford, whose home form is keeping them near the top of the table and in Friday night’s game, Barnet, desperate for that first win, host Northampton.