Lucy Waldon rounds up the weekend’s action in League Two.
It was goals galore this weekend in League Two: eight teams managed to net three or more goals and only three teams failed to score. The round-up begins at Underhill where Barnet hosted Northampton in the only Friday night encounter.
The Bees won their first game of the season after putting four second half goals past Northampton, in a shock victory. Edgar Davids made his debut since arriving as player/joint manager and made himself captain – also playing the entire match! Defender Krystian Pearce opened the scoring for the home side on 56 minutes, before a second came 10 minutes later – young Andy Yiadom’s shot taking a massive deflection on its way in. A quick last minute double made the victory complete: first John Oster drove in a shot from 20 yards out before Edgar (Anthony, not Davids) got on the score sheet with his effort. Barnet remain bottom, but only two points behind Aldershot following their defeat.
Oxford round out triumphant winners when they played hosts to Accrington Stanley on Saturday afternoon. Tom Craddock scored four as Oxford recorded their biggest Football League win since 2001 and his individual feat was the first for 20 years. The home side were three goals to the good at half time and Craddock recorded his hat trick within 36 minutes. Opening the scoring in the 12th, his second came in the 23rd minute (a near post effort) before completing the hat trick when James Constable’s shot was parried into his path. Oxford – and Craddock’s – fourth didn’t come until 20 minutes from time, thanks to a tee-up from Constable. The rout was complete six minutes later when Alfie Potter netted.
Gillingham and Port Vale both won their respective games 4-1 to increase their pressure on the teams around them at the top of the table. At Priestfield, the Gills ended Burton’s eight-game unbeaten run in style. Tom Flanagan opened the scoring before fellow defender Matt Fish doubled their advantage. The deficit was halved when Burton’s Zander Diamond’s close range shot hit the back of the net but the Gills restored their two-goal margin through Myles Weston, five minutes later. The scoring was complete midway through the second half when Joe Martin’s long-range volley handed Gillingham a 4-1 victory. Elsewhere at Vale Park, Port Vale beat Wycombe to keep them in second place and three points behind Gillingham. However, it was the visitors that went ahead when Bruno Andrade was fouled by John McCombe – Joel Grant netting the consequent penalty. Wycombe went down to 10 men before the end of the first period when Jo Kuffour was shown a second yellow card. Vale equalised early in the second half through Ben Williamson and a double for League Two’s current top scorer, Tom Pope soon followed. His 14th and 15th goals of the season made it 3-1 and Ashley Vincent completed the scoring late on to extend Vale’s unbeaten run to six games.
There were also two five-goal thrillers at the weekend – York won their first game in four and Bristol Rovers defeated 10-man Torquay. At Bootham Crescent, the home side took the lead on 19 minutes when Ashley Chambers opened the scoring. A close-range header from Daggers’ Luke Wilkinson soon levelled the scoring but Chambers scored his – and York’s – second before the first half was out. York’s lead was extended halfway through the second half when Matty Blair slotted home and Dagenham got no more than a consolation when Wilkinson netted his brace. Meanwhile, Bristol Rovers’ Tom Eaves scored twice since joining on-loan from Bolton. He opened the scoring for the hosts with a beautiful chip before Matt Lund doubled their lead, two minutes later. Things went from bad to worse to Torquay when they had Joe Oastler dismissed for a second bookable offence. However, the Gulls fought back and equalised in six second half minutes: first Rene Howe’s curling drive and then Aaron Downes’ header. Eaves rounded up the scoring 15 minutes from the end, earning the Gas all three points.
Elsewhere in League Two, there were massive home wins for Bradford, who entertained Cheltenham and Plymouth, who hosted Rochdale. At Valley Parade, Cheltenham took the lead through Marlon Pack’s spot-kick; the Bantams equalised on half time – another penalty, converted by Nahki Wells. Wells’ second gave Bradford the lead in the second half and James Meredith smashed in a third, seven minutes from time. At Home Park, Plymouth took the lead as early as the fourth minute – Guy Madjo netted from the spot after Dale’s Ryan Edwards handled. Three minutes later, Argyle doubled their lead through Andres Gurreiri. Rochdale reduced the deficit in the 76th minute through Dele Adebola and they had a previous opportunity, but Jake Cole in Argyle’s goal saved Bobby Grant’s penalty. A second penalty scored by Plymouth’s Madjo (on-loan from Aldershot) made sure of all three points.
Rotherham ran out 3-0 winners in Steve Evans’ first game back, following his stadium ban, also inflicting a seventh straight defeat on Aldershot, who remain in the drop-zone. Lee Frecklington scored on his debut since joining on-loan from Peterborough) on 34 minutes. Bob Harris’ free kick doubled their advantage early in the second half and Alex Revell sealed the win with his late tap-in.
Elsewhere Morecambe and Chesterfield recorded narrow victories. It was the Shrimps versus the Shrimpers at the Globe Arena, where a late goal from Jack Redshaw gave Morecambe all three points. Exeter suffered their fourth home defeat when Chesterfield’s solitary goal from Chris Atkinson was enough for the win.
AFC Wimbledon gained their first point under new manager, Neal Ardley when they drew the only game in League Two at the weekend – 1-1 against Fleetwood. The Dons fell behind to a 10th minute goal from Steven Gillespie but grabbed an equaliser through Byron Harrison.
It’s another round of Tuesday night matches tonight. At the top of the table, it’s sixth versus second as Burton take on Port Vale. At the bottom of the league Wycombe take on Barnet and AFC Wimbledon host Bristol Rovers.