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League Two round-up: 02.03.13

Monday 4th March 2013
Lucy Waldon rounds up the weekend's action in League Two.

There was a full programme of fixtures in the Football League's basement division this Saturday. None of the top five could claim maximum points so instead the round-up begins at the wrong end of the table.

Plymouth climbed off bottom spot following their win against fellow strugglers Barnet. A bumper crowd of 8,210 turned out at Home Park for what was an obvious six-pointer. The visitors went ahead in this one – Jake Hyde with his 11th goal of the season, tucking home from close range. The sides went in at the break on level terms; Conor Hourihane's 25-yard curler was also Argyle's first goal at home in over six hours of football! The game turned in the hosts' favour in the second period and the winner came early on. Ronan Murray, on loan from Ipswich, netted to complete the turnaround and give the Pilgrims three vital points.

AFC Wimbledon replace Argyle at the bottom of the table after they lost to promotion pushers Cheltenham. Steve Elliott put the Rubies in front at Whaddon Road and his header from Billy Jones' free kick separated the sides at the interval. Darren Carter doubled their advantage before the hour mark and although Brennan Dickenson pulled one back for the Dons – with what was his first touch, after coming off the bench – they were unable to secure an equaliser with half an hour remaining.

There were big wins this weekend for Bristol Rovers, Exeter and Morecambe. All three sides dominated on home soil, each managing to score three without reply. Rovers were without a win in three but were victorious against promotion hopefuls Burton Albion, who remain third despite their heavy defeat. Ryan Brunt opened the scoring for the hosts after five minutes. Two goals in the second half for the Gas killed any chance of a comeback for Burton. John-Joe O'Toole extended the home side's lead with his close-range effort then, eight minutes later, Eliot Richards completed the scoring. The win for Rovers sees them move up to 17th, six points from danger.

It was sixth versus fourth at St James Park where Exeter entertained Northampton. By the end of this one, the Grecians leap-frogged their visitors but both teams still have their eyes on promotion to League One. Exeter took the lead through a gifted goal from Cobblers' keeper Lee Nicholls who fumbled the ball over the line. Veteran striker Jamie Cureton notched up his 20th of the campaign, his glancing header doubling their lead. And the rout was complete late on when Jake Gosling's effort also eluded the visiting keeper.

Morecambe began March with a win, while it's back-to-back defeats for Keith Hill's Rochdale. Chris McCready gave the Shrimps the lead with less than 10 minutes on the clock and they took that slender advantage in at the half time whistle. Kevin Ellison celebrated his recent one-year contract extension with a stunning 35-yard volley to double Morecambe's lead on the hour mark. Three minutes later and the points were secured when Andy Fleming slotted home.

Bradford were back to winning ways after their cup heroics, while defeat for last year's Conference play-off winners York saw their manager Gary Mills sacked post-match. Two late goals for the Bantams helped them win their first league game in three. With 13 minutes left to play, James Hanson's header was followed by Garry Thompson's finish to earn maximum points. York, meanwhile, continue to slide down the table and haven't won in 11.

A dramatic late winner at Adams Park continued Wycombe's recent good fortunes, also providing the Chairboys with back-to-back wins. On the other hand, Fleetwood's winless streak now extends to four matches, a run that has seen them move further from the play-offs. Anthony Stewart scored the game's only goal – after his initial effort was cleared off the line, he netted from the subsequent corner.

Chesterfield won their first away game of the calendar year, beating Dagenham & Redbridge. Wayne Burnett's tenure as Daggers' boss started disappointingly, with an Abu Ogogo own goal separating the sides. The two teams sit next to each other in the table, with Chesterfield five points clear in 14th.

The top two remain the same, with Gillingham leading the way. While the Gills could only manage a point against struggling Aldershot, there was a surprise defeat for Vale, who lost at the hands of Oxford. Alfie Potter put the Us ahead early on at the Kassam, but the visitors quickly levelled through Doug Loft's 25-yard drive. The winner came with 14 minutes left to play: after Vale were unable to clear a corner, Deane Smalley was allowed to find the net. Defeat for Micky Adams' side was their first on the road since October. Meanwhile, Gillingham had to come from behind to salvage a point against Aldershot. The Shots took the lead after the break when Craig Reid's half-volley powered into the roof of the net. Leon Legge's header from Chris Whelpdale's corner gave the league leaders a share of the spoils, 15 minutes from time. The Shots find themselves unbeaten in five and are now three points clear of the bottom two.

Rotherham and Southend had to settle for a point apiece and while the Millers occupy the final play-off spot, Southend now sit six points behind them in eighth. The Shrimpers went ahead at Roots Hall, but Kevan Hurst's long-range strike was cancelled out by Rotherham captain, Johnny Mullins. His late goal – just two minutes from the end - ensured it finished honours even.

Torquay registered their first point since January but they still find themselves without a win in eight. They faced Accrington, another side currently enduring a worryingly poor run of form. The game at the Crown Ground finished goalless, with a solitary point not really enough for either team. The Gulls now sit in 20th on 38 points, while Stanley lie in 22nd, a point behind their Saturday opposition.

There are more midweek fixtures again this week, with teams playing catch-up.

Tuesday 5th March

Cheltenham v Chesterfield

Oxford v Rotherham

Port Vale v Bradford

Wednesday 6th March

Bristol Rovers v Exeter

 
Lucy Waldon
Lucy is a Barnet fan, who for better or worse, got hooked to ‘Fortress’ Underhill after a couple of matches when aged four, despite living in Essex. Her favourite players include former Bees Giuliano Grazioli and Jason Puncheon, as well as Fernando Torres and Kaka. Away from football, she graduated in English Language and Journalism and now works in Marketing. In her spare time, she has a love for baking sweet treats and being a cocktail connoisseur. Follow Lucy on Twitter @Luuuce_x

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