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League Two Review: 12 March

With the season beginning to draw to a close, there have been many twists and turns all over the table in League Two. There were shock defeats for two of the top three sides, whilst some of the lower picked up valuable points. Here is your League Two Review:

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Northampton Town 1-1 Cambridge United 

Northampton kept their promotion on track despite conceding a late goal at home to Cambridge. Cobblers keeper Adam Smith made early saves from Zeli Ismail and Ryan Ledson’s efforts, before Will Norris saved Lee Martin’s low drive. Norris then saved a James Collins header, but was helpless when John Marquis headed home the hosts opener shortly after. But as stoppage time started, James Spencer saw his effort sail into the top corner to earn the U’s a decent point as they chase the playoffs.


Oxford United 0-1 Leyton Orient 

Oxford United suffered their third home defeat in four as Leyton Orient took the points at the Kassam Stadium. O’s midfielder Shaun Clohessey’s effort was somehow turned off the line by left back Joe Skarz, bit Jobi McAnuff’s low drive fifteen minutes from time was enough to earn Kevin Nolan’s side the points. The visitors did lose a man in stoppage time after Mathieu Baudry was dismissed for a foul on Kemar Roofe, but the visitors held on to claim the win.


Accrington Stanley 2-1 Plymouth Argyle 

Accrington scored twice in the final five minutes as they came from behind to win at home against Plymouth. Jake Jervis nodded in a Graham Carey cross midway through the first half to give the visitors the lead, but after Kevin Mellor pushed Billy Kee in the box with five minutes left, the red card was issued and the penalty awarded. Kee kept his composure to level the game, before Shay McCartan headed Matty Pearson’s cross three minutes into added time. An important win for Stanley who have dropped off in recent weeks, but certainly a setback for the Pilgrims after this result.

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Bristol Rovers 1-0 Mansfield Town 

Bristol Rovers moved from play-off hopefuls to becoming automatic promotion chasers after a fourth successive victory saw the Gas move back up to 4th. The games only goal came in the second half; Christian Montano crossed and Matty Taylor was on hand to strike home his fifth goal in four games. Mansfield, who themselves have seen their promotion bid take a hit in recent weeks, nearly rescued a point but Lee Collins saw his effort well saved by Gas goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall.


Portsmouth 0-3 Newport County 

Portsmouth suffered a shock home defeat as they were beaten by Newport County. And the Exiles had the lead ten minutes before the break after Darren Jones beat goalkeeper Ryan Fulton to the cross, in which Fulton claimed he had been impeded. It got worse for Pompey in the second half after Gary Roberts was dismissed for a second yellow, before goals from Scott Boden, his seventh in seven games, and Dean Morgan completed the rout and secured a vital three points in their bid to avoid the drop. Incidentally, this was actually the Exiles’s third successive victory at Fratton Park in three seasons, and they move up to 18th whilst Portsmouth drop to 6th.


Wycombe Wanderers 1-0 Stevenage 

Wycombe kept their promotion bid alive with a narrow win over Stevenage. Boro goalkeeper Jamie Jones had to be on hand to deny Ryan Laird and Garry Thompson early on, before Tom Conlon saw his effort sail just over the bar for the visitors. Chairboys midfielder Jason McCarthy the shot wide, before his effort rebounded to Luke O’Nien, who tapped in the games only goal. Dean Parrett could have rescued a point for Stevenage, but his effort from ten yards was poor.


Morecambe 2-1 AFC Wimbledon 

Morecambe secured their first win in eleven games as they beat promotion chasing Wimbledon at the Globe Arena. After a goalless first half, Andy Fleming lashed home after Shaun Miller’s effort was saved, before Ryan Sweeney was dismissed for the visitors after he fouled Tom Barkhuizen in the box. A man up and a goal up, the Shrimps made it two from the spot when Jamie Devitt successfully converted from twelve yards, but nerves set in late on but George Francombe’s goal was no more than a consolation.

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Exeter City 2-2 Carlisle United 

Exeter and Carlisle met at St James Park as these two play-off hopefuls ended in a stalemate. Jayden Stockley gave the Grecians an early lead, but Charlie Wyke soon leveled for the Cumbrians. David Wheeler then restored the hosts advantage ten minutes from time, but Keith Curle’s side leveled again through Luke Joyce.


Luton Town 0-1 Crawley Town 

Luton saw their play-off hopes dented as they lost at home to Crawley. But the Hatters started brighter and hit the post through Jonathan Smith’s 20 yard effort, but Matt Harrold’s instinctive finish after ten minutes was enough. Luton went close for a leveller, but Stephen O’Donnell saw his effort saved before Paul Benson struck over the bar.


York City 1-1 Barnet 

York remain in the bottom two despite picking up what could be a vital point at home against Barnet. The Minstermen took an early lead; Jake Hyde’s effort struck the post before debutant Lewis Alessandra tucked home the opener. But James Pearson’s cross fell to John Akinde to slot home the equaliser before the break. York pressed for a winner, but they remain seven points from safety after Luke Summerfield and Danny Galbraith failed to find a winner.


Yeovil Town 1-0 Notts County 

Yeovil kept their good form going with a fourth successive 1-0 victory at home against Notts County. Mark Laird and Kevin Dawson both came close for the hosts, before Francois Zoko headed the games only goal against his former club early in the second half. Yeovil pressed for a second but Magpies keeper Scott Loach denied Harry Cornick and Dawson, before saving a late Leroy Lita penalty to keep the deficit to just one goal.


Hartlepool United 3-1 Dagenham and Redbridge

Hartlepool also kept their relegation worries at bay with a comfortable win over bottom club Dagenham. Billy Paynter gave the Pools an early lead from the spot, before Jake Carroll headed home to double the hosts advantage within the opening fifteen minutes. Matthew Cash reduced the deficit in the first half, smashing home from 30 yards, but Jake Gray restored the Pools two goal advantage with a fine effort from 20 yards. Hartlepool remain in 22nd, but their first back to back wins since August see’s them seven points clear of danger.


Accrington Stanley Dagenham and Redbridge

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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