Thursday, 25 October 2012

League Two round-up: 23/10/12

Tuesday night saw another round of fixtures played in League Two, and whilst there was no change to the top, nor bottom of the table, there were certainly a few surprises.
At the top, Gillingham suffered their first away defeat of the season, despite going ahead at Plainmoor. Deon Burton put the Gills in front early in the second half but his volley was soon cancelled out by Torquay’s Nathan Craig. His free kick came a mere three minutes later and put the hosts in the ascendancy. The winner came six minutes from time and the Gulls were awarded all three points through Kevin Nicholson’s 25-yard strike. Despite losing, Gillingham remain top and two points clear of Port Vale who failed to win at Burton. Win for Vale could have seen them overtake the Gills, but a quick-fire two minutes gave both teams a share of the spoils. Jordan Chapell on-loan from Sheffield United put the Brewers ahead on 73 minutes before substitute Ben Williamson replied almost instantly. Despite failing to capitalise on Gillingham’s slip-up, Port Vale are unbeaten in their last seven games on the road.
Elsewhere at the top, Fleetwood won away at Chesterfield – largely thanks to a late own-goal from Spireites’ Chris Atkinson. The Cod Army took the lead as early as the sixth minute when Steven Gillespie opened the scoring. The home side equalised before half time when Tendayi Darikwa’s volley took a deflection on its way in. It looked like it was going to remain all-square before Atkinson’s error gave Fleetwood all three points.
There were also wins for all four teams currently occupying the play-offs: Cheltenham, Bradford, Rochdale and Rotherham. Cheltenham came from behind to run out 2-1 winners against Plymouth. Arygle took the lead on the half hour mark through Conor Hourihane, but the home side levelled seven minutes later – Billy Jones’ free kick headed in by Steve Elliott. Plymouth had a penalty shout ruled out and Cheltenham got the winner when Kaid Mohamed scored his third of the season. Meanwhile at Sixfields, a solitary goal separated Northampton and Bradford. Nahki Wells broke the deadlock early in the second half for the Bantams, also consigning Town to their second straight defeat. Oxford came back to earth with a bang following their 5-0 demolition of Accrington Stanley on Saturday. Two second half goals were enough to push Rochdale into the top seven. George Donnelly netted first, fresh from the bench, before he set up Bobby Grant with three minutes remaining. Two goals in two minutes from Rotherham’s Daniel Nardiello gave them victory against Morecambe, even though the visitors were in front. Former Miller, Kevin Ellison put the Shrimps ahead, when he slotted in Jack Redshaw’s pass. The Rotherham turn-around came midway through the second half when Nardiello scored his fourth and fifth goals of the season – first scoring from close-range before being in the right place and the right time.
Torquay and York also kept the pressure on the teams above them and sit just outside of the play-offs following their wins. A single York goal was enough for victory against Accrington Stanley, who are on a run of four games without a win. An 83rd minute goal from Jason Walker sealed all three points.
Towards the bottom of the table there were surprise wins for AFC Wimbledon (their first under Neal Ardley) and Aldershot, who still remain in the bottom two. At Kingsmeadow, the Dons grabbed three goals in 13 first half minutes to kill the game off early on. Rovers’ Garry Kenneth scored an unfortunate own goal before Rashid Yussuf doubled the home side’s lead. Will Antwi made it three goals without reply just after the half hour mark. It took the 70th minute for the visitors to score what was no more than a consolation and their evening went from bad to worse when Tom Parkes was shown a second yellow late on. Aldershot, meanwhile, won their first game in seven after scoring at the death to register three points at Southend. Danny Hylton broke the deadlock within 20 seconds of kick off and it took as long as the 68th minute for the Shrimpers to reply – Mark Phillips with their goal. The home side had a chance to take the lead when Britt Assombalonga was fouled in the penalty area, but cult hero Freddy Eastwood missed the consequent spot kick. A Sonny Bradley header a couple of minutes from time gave Aldershot the lead and gave them their first three points since September 18th.
Also in League Two, the points were shared between Wycombe and Barnet who played out a rather dull goalless draw and Jamie Cureton’s equaliser for Exeter gave them a share of the spoils against Dagenham + Redbridge.
Saturday sees a two o’clock kick-off as Northampton host Port Vale; Wimbledon look to spring another defeat on Gillingham whilst sixth meets third when Fleetwood travel to Rochdale.

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