Tuesday night’s games in League Two are rounded up by Lucy Waldon.
There were 22 teams in action last night in the Football League’s basement division. With half of the games ending in draws, fans witnessed shocks at both the top and the bottom end of the table.
Burton Albion moved up to second, switching places with Port Vale who have to settle for third and the final automatic promotion spot. The Brewers went behind to struggling Aldershot – Paul McCallum marking his debut with an early goal for the Shots. Going into the break, Burton were on level terms with Robbie Weir making it three goals in two games; Michael Symes on loan from League One’s Leyton Orient completed the turnaround after the hour mark, his volley ensuring Burton continue their strong chase for promotion.
Meanwhile, Port Vale’s winless run continues, extending to five games. Micky Adams’ side’s latest defeat came at the hands of Bristol Rovers. With another three points to their tally, the Gas find themselves 11 points from danger, sitting pretty in 15th. A first half double for Ryan Brunt guaranteed this one was over at the break – having already spurned a chance, Brunt’s first arrived in the seventh minute, before extending their lead six minutes from the referee’s half-time whistle, when Oliver Norburn’s corner met the unmarked striker, allowing him to volley home. Poor Vale find themselves six points behind league leaders Gillingham, who were held to a goalless draw by Exeter.
At the wrong end of the table there was a surprise win for AFC Wimbledon who also put a dent in Southend’s chance of a play-off finish. The Shrimpers were ahead at Roots Hall with Sean Clohessy netting a spot kick awarded for handball by Pim Balkestein. The defender soon made amends for his mistake, heading in from a corner minutes later to level the scores. After the break, substitute Jack Midson put the Dons in front before Luke Moore completed the scoring with just over 20 minutes remaining; fresh from the bench, his 20-yard strike was his first touch of the game. Southend are now six points off seventh position, while Wimbledon are on the up, rising to 18th.
Accrington prop up the division following their latest defeat to North-West rivals Fleetwood. Star of the show at the Crown Ground was The Beast, Jon Parkin, and the experienced striker left with the match ball. Having begun the scoring midway through the first half, a double in eight second-half minutes ensured maximum points for the Cod Army. Parkin’s first half volley was followed by a neat finish from a well-worked through-ball, before rounding off his hat-trick in style, flicking in Shaun Beeley’s corner. While it’s not too late for Fleetwood to make the playoffs, across Lancashire Accrington are two points from safety with 37 points from as many games.
Staying down in the basement, Barnet suffered defeat in the cruellest way possible against mid-table Oxford. With the match looking likely to remain goalless, six minutes into injury time Scott Davies’ free kick wasn’t cleared properly, allowing Michael Raynes to nod home and keep the Us in with a shout for a late play-off push.
Plymouth remain in the bottom two but earned a point against Bradford, with their game ending 0-0. There was a similar scoreline at Bootham Crescent where a fading York side hosted Rochdale.
Elsewhere, draws for Northampton and Rotherham kept them in the play-offs with the Cobblers coming from behind against Morecambe. Jack Redshaw put the hosts in front before the hour mark – his curling shot increasing his goal tally to 11. A last minute header by Kelvin Langmead kept Northampton’s promotion dream alive.
Rotherham were denied all three points in their push to secure League One football next season, after Wycombe equalised late on at Adams Park. The Chairboys went ahead early on through Joel Grant’s low drive. The game turned in the visitors’ favour with the Millers netting twice in 13 minutes after the break. It was a brace for Daniel Nardiello: first heading in from Liam Ridehalgh’s cross, before volleying in midway through the second period. A Gary Doherty header for the hosts with under 10 minutes left to play made both teams good value for a point apiece.
Four goals were also shared between Dagenham & Redbridge and Torquay. Alan Knill is yet to win a game as Gulls’ boss and they continue to struggle for league survival. His side had it all to do once Aaron Downes was dismissed after four minutes – Medy Elito putting the home side ahead from the spot. There was drama aplenty late on, too, at Victoria Road and with 20 minutes remaining, Torquay found a leveller with Joss Labadie heading in from a Lee Mansell corner. The home side found themselves back in front when Josh Scott’s close-range attempt found the back of the net but Torquay salvaged a point in the dying stages – Luke Wilkinson tripping Lloyd Mackin in the area and Rene Howe converting the resulting penalty. The Gulls remain in 22nd.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s games, there are some tasty ties at the wrong end of the table with Accrington hosting Barnet and Wimbledon’s trip to Aldershot whetting the appetite. Play-off hopefuls Fleetwood journey to lowly Plymouth, while Northampton are looking to continue their promotion push, entertaining Wycombe.