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League Two Review: 5 March

Once again, there was another cracking weekend of football in League Two, and it was a good day for the away sides with only two home wins across the division. Oxford travelled to Plymouth as two of the top three met, whilst the bottom two faced up against each other at Victoria Road. Here is your League Two Review:

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Carlisle United 1-4 Northampton Town 

Northampton kept their advantage at the top of League Two with a comfortable victory at Brunton Park against promotion chasing Carlisle. John Marquis headed the Cobblers into an early lead, before midfielder John-Joe O’Toole saw his deflected effort double the leaders advantage. Hallam Hope gave the Cumbrians hope after he reduced the deficit from Jabo Ibehre’s cross, but O’Toole slid home to regain the Cobblers two goal advantage. James Collins added a fourth late on to secure the points for Chris Wilder’s side, who are now unbeaten in thirteen games and are 21 points ahead of 4th placed Accrington.


Plymouth Argyle 2-2 Oxford United 

Plymouth came from behind twice to share the spoils with Oxford, as the other two sides in the automatic promotion places met at Home Park. The U’s went ahead through a Peter Hartley own goal following a corner, but Curtis Nelson leveled for the Pilgrims three minutes later, heading home a Jake Jervis corner. But the U’s regained their advantage after top scorer Kemar Roofe struck home from 20 yards, but substitute Craig Tanner’s header saw the hosts level the game again. Both sides created plenty of opportunities; Plymouth came close after Reuben Reid hit the woodwork, whilst Danny Hylton squandered numerous opportunities to beat Luke McCormack. A draw was probably a fair result, and this game was a great advert for League Two.


AFC Wimbledon 0-0 Accrington Stanley 

Accrington controversially had a goal ruled out on the stroke of half time as they drew at AFC Wimbledon. Billy Kee struck home on the brink of half time, but as he shot, the referee blew his whistle for the break! The Dons created chances through Lyle Taylor and Connor Smith, with the former forcing Ross Etheridge into the save. Etheridge was later sent off for Stanley after the goalkeeper handled outside the box, but neither side was able to find a winner as these two promotion chasing sides played out the day’s only goalless draw.

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Stevenage 0-2 Portsmouth

Portsmouthkept their play-off ambitions alive with a comfortable win at manager-less Stevenage. Marc McNulty latched on to Gary Roberts through ball to fire the visitors ahead, whilst Tom Conlon came closest for the hosts, with his effort hitting the bar. And Boro were made to pay as late on, Kai Naismith added a second to seal the win for Paul Cook’s side.


Notts County 0-2 Bristol Rovers 

Bristol Rovers also kept their promotion bid in tact as they won at Notts County. Christian Montano came closest for the Gas, but his effort was saved by Scott Loach, but the goalkeeper was unable to stop Montano from opening his account on the stroke of half time after the forward sailed through and into the box before slotting home. The Magpies however did create chances in the first half, but Izale McLeod and Wes Atkinson couldn’t find a goal. Lee Brown added a second just after the break, before McLeod missed a late header to reduce the deficit. Another good win for Darrell Clarke’s side who remain 6th, whilst Notts have suffered five games without a win and drop to 17th.


Leyton Orient 0-1 Luton Town 

Luton made it four wins in succession as they beat promotion chasing Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road. The games only goal came from a long clearance from debutant goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell, who’s ball eluded defender Shaun Brisley before Jack Marriott lobbed Alex Cisak in the O’s goal. Both sides created chances, but the Hatters close the gap on the playoffs, whilst the defeat for Kevin Nolan’s side sees them drop to 8th.


Newport County 1-0 Wycombe Wanderers 

Wycombe suffered a second successive defeat as they lost at Newport County. Scott Boden tapped in his 14th goal of the season midway through the first half, before Rowan Liburd hit the bar for the Chairboys. For the Exiles, this was their third successive home win, and it moves them eleven points clear of the drop, whilst Wycombe remain 9th.


Mansfield Town 0-1 Yeovil Town 

Yeovil boosted their relegation worries with a win over Mansfield, who in turn saw their promotion bid take a few knocks. With the game looking like it was heading for a goalless draw with time running out, Ryan Dickson saw his low drive from Brandon Goodfellow’s cross to earn the Glovers a massive three points, whilst the Stags remain out of the top seven.


Cambridge United 0-1 Exeter City 

Cambridge saw their promotion bid dented as they lost at home to Exeter. Jayden Stockley came closest for the visitors, whilst the U’s best chance came to Ben Williamson. James Dunne was then denied by Grecians keeper Bobby Olejnik, but Ollie Watkins popped up with the winner, a deflected effort, fifteen minutes from time.

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Barnet 1-3 Hartlepool United 

Hartlepool boosted their survival hopes with a win at a resurgent Barnet side. But the Bees, who’ve won ten home games this season, took the lead through Fumyana Shomotun’s 20 yard effort, however the Pools leveled soon after when Lewis Hawkins struck home from the best part of 35 yards. Hawkins added his and the Pools second before the break, curling in from the edge of the box, before Nathan Thomas curled the visitors into a two goal lead. The win was the first for Hartlepool in five, but they remain in 22nd.


Crawley Town 1-1 Morecambe 

Morecambe ended a five game losing streak but were held on the road at Crawley. Red Devils defender Jon Ashton cleared an early Shrimps effort off the line, but Matt Harold gave the hosts the lead just after the break. But Shaun Miller, who returned from suspension, equalised late on to earn Jim Bentley’s side a point.


Dagenham and Redbridge 1-0 York City

Bottom club Dagenham won their first home game of the season as they won in a six pointer against fellow strugglers York. Ashley Hemmings forced Scott Flinders into an early save as the Daggers pressed for the opener, before the Minstermen lost skipper Russell Penn after he handled the ball on the line, but Joss Labadie saw his resulting penalty saved. But Josh Passley turned in Hemmings’ cross late on to earn a vital three points for John Still’s side who, despite the win, stay seven points from safety.

Accrington Stanley Dagenham and Redbridge Hartlepool United

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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