As usual, 2015 has been an epic year in the life of League Two. At the end of last season, Burton Albion secured their first ever promotion to England’s third tier, followed closely by Shrewsbury Town and Bury, with Southend United winning promotion through the playoffs. It was also disappointment for Yeovil Town, Crawley Town, Notts County and Leyton Orient, all of which suffered relegation to League Two.
But half way through the 2015/16 season and at the start of a new calendar year, The Sports Lowdown looks at League Two and what’s happened so far in 2015:
Promotion to League One: 2014/15
Burton Albion, guided by former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, won their first ever promotion to League One. Consistent across the campaign, the Brewers fully deserved their recognition, and 2015 has continued in as dramatic fashion with the side leading the table by Christmas.
Following Burton were Shrewsbury and Bury. The Shrews lead most of the campaign, but still secured promotion under Scot Micky Mellon. Bury, who had also been in around the playoffs for much of the campaign, pipped Wycombe and Southend to the final automatic promotion place on the final day of the season.
Southend and Wycombe met in the Wembley final, with the Chairboys having progressed with victory over Plymouth, whilst the Shrimpers knocked out Stevenage. With regards to Plymouth and Stevenage, the two sides have had mixed seasons already, with the Pilgrims currently leading League Two, whilst Teddy Sheringham’s Boro are struggling at the wrong end of the table. Anyway, after a fantastic match which ended in stalemate, Southend keeper Daniel Bentley performed heroics when the sides met in the penalty shootout, sending Southend back to League One.
Relegation from League One: 2014/15
Obviously as four teams gain promotion to League One, four teams must suffer the consequences of relegation. Notts County, Crawley Town, Yeovil Town and Leyton Orient suffered relegation to League Two.
For Yeovil, and manager Paul Sturrock, it was back to back relegations, and they end 2015 manager-less and bottom of League Two. Crawley Town return to League Two after a few seasons in England’s third tier, whilst Leyton Orient and Notts County made a return after a brief absence.
Plymouth Argyle, Northampton Town and Oxford United are the league’s top three sides at the end of the year. Plymouth and Oxford have lead for the majority of the season, whilst Northampton and Portsmouth have also been in and amongst the playoffs. Accrington Stanley and Mansfield Town have been two of the pre-season surprises, with both sides currently in a play-off place.
Luton Town, Stevenage, Exeter City and the four relegated sides will also be disappointed with the start they’ve made this season. Luton and Exeter occupy mid-table positions, whilst last season’s play-off semi-finalists Stevenage are down at the wrong end of the table. Leyton Orient have been the best of the relegated sides and have been in and around the playoffs, but whilst Notts County and Crawley Town are in mid-table to bottom half, it’s Yeovil that sit bottom of League Two as they look to avoid back to back to back relegations.