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League Two Review: 19 December

The final weekend of action in League Two before Christmas, and as usual it failed to disappoint. We have a new leader after two of the top three suffered disappointing losses, whilst there were vital points picked up at the lower end of the table. Here is your League Two Review:


Hartlepool United 1-2 Plymouth Argyle 

Plymouth have regained top spot in League Two after a late victory at Hartlepool. After a goalless first half, Pilgrims midfielder Carl McHugh gave the visitors the lead from 18 yards, but after Pools striker Scott Fenwick was fouled in the box by Kelvin Mellor, the forward then successfully converted his spot kick to level. However, Mellor redeemed himself after the Plymouth man secured a last minute winner with a low strike.


Northampton Town 1-2 Portsmouth 

Northampton relinquished their brief spell at the top of the league after Portsmouth left Sixfields with all three points. That said, the hosts took the lead when defender Ryan Cresswell headed home from a corner, but Gareth Evans leveled after he headed in Mark McNulty’s cross. The winner for Pompey came late on when Conor Chaplin struck home to send the visitors one point outside an automatic promotion position.


Wycombe Wanderers 2-1 Oxford United 

Wycombe ended Oxford United’s eleven game unbeaten run with victory at Adams Park. After a goalless first half in which the U’s dominated, the Chairboys took the lead when Garry Thompson headed in Joe Jacobson’s corner, but Liam Sercombe leveled soon after to send the travelling 1,800 U’s fans into raptures. But Wycombe, who’ve steadily improved in recent weeks, found a winner when defender Jason McCarthy finished Joe Jacobson’s free kick.


Stevenage 1-1 Accrington Stanley 

Accrington rescued a late point at the Lamex, denying Stevenage a fourth successive win. The Boro took the lead inside the opening minute when Armand Gnanduillet fumbled home, but after Chris Whelpdale handled in the box with five minutes remaining, Billy Kee successfully converted the resulting spot kick to earn Stanley a point.


Carlisle United 3-0 Notts County 

Carlisle comfortably won their ‘home’ game against Notts County. After devastating floods in Cumbria, the match was played at Preston North End’s Deepdale, and the hosts took an early lead as Danny Grainger slotted home his sixth minute penalty. Jabo Ibehre doubled the Cumbrians lead before the break after Magpies forward Jon Stead had hit the woodwork, before adding his second and Carlisle’s third after the break.


Dagenham and Redbridge 0-3 Bristol Rovers

This latest Daggers defeat saw Wayne Burnett’s side drop to the bottom of the table, whilst the win for Bristol Rovers saw them move into the playoffs. The Gas took the lead after Lee Brown saw his powerful shot sail in, before Rory Gaffney’s finish after a nice counter attack doubled the visitors advantage. Billy Bodin added a third late into stoppage time to give the Gas another win after a recent run of form.


Cambridge United 1-1 Mansfield Town 

Mansfield ended Cambridge United’s winning run after the sides drew at the Abbey Stadium. Adam Chapman’s free kick sailed past U’s keeper Sam Beasant for the Stags, but Ryan Donaldson saw his effort deflect in for the equaliser.


Leyton Orient 1-1 Yeovil Town 

Leyton Orient needed a special strike to save them from defeat against strugglers Yeovil. The Glovers took the lead in first half stoppage time after Francois Zoko capitalised on some poor O’s defending, but second half substitute Jobi McAnuff’s 30 yard effort earnt the hosts a point.


Exeter City 2-3 Luton Town 

In a week where Luton manager John Still was relived of his position following four successive defeats, the Hatters recorded a win at Exeter. The visitors took the lead after Cameron McGheehan slotted home a first half penalty, before Danny Green doubled the Hatters advantage before the break. But Exeter pulled one back with twenty minutes remaining with a stunning free kick from Tom Nichols, before Alex Nicholls completed the comeback shortly after with a header. But the winner came in controversial circumstances ten minutes into stoppage time when striker Paul Benson appeared to knock the ball out of Grecians keeper Bobby Olejnik’s hands before slotting home.


Newport County 2-2 AFC Wimbledon 

Like in their last League Two match at Notts County, Newport blew a two goal advantage as AFC Wimbledon came from behind to earn a point. The Exiles lead at the break through an Alex Rodman stunner and Paul Robinson own goal, but just 25 seconds after the restart, Lyle Taylor reduced the deficit, before Taylor completed the comeback with ten minutes remaining. Despite the fight back, the Dons have failed to win in six games.


Barnet 4-2 Crawley Town 

Barnet recorded their first win in six after the knocked four past Crawley. Barnet took the lead in first half stoppage time when Bira Dembele headed home a Luke Gambin cross, before Dembele added a second from a Gambin free kick early in the second half. But Crawley came back and scored through Mitch Hancox’s overhit cross, before Jimmy Smith leveled for the Red Devils. But after John Akinde regained the lead from the spot and Lewis Young’s unfortunate own goal, the Bees secured all three points.


York City 2-1 Morecambe

York recorded their first win after nine successive defeats with victory over Morecambe. Dave Winfield headed in James Berrett’s cross for the opener, before Berrett himself doubled the Minstermen’s advantage. Jamie Devitt reduced the deficit but Jackie McNamara’s side held on for a vital win.

Accrington Stanley Dagenham and Redbridge Exeter City

About Dale Ventham

Dale Ventham is an editor at The Sports Lowdown. He writes on the lower leagues of English football and Speedway in particular.

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