With so few League 2 sides involved in the cup, there were plenty of fixtures to look forward to. However with the cold snap already here, many of those games were called off.
Of the games that did take place, Wycombe continued their march, beating Bury 2-1. Matt Harrold scored again, hitting home a low cross from Lewis Spence. Angelo Balanta doubled the lead, poking home after Harrolds shot was spilled by the keeper. The Shakers grabbed a consolation in the last minute, when Mike Williamson – subject of a bid from Colchester United, put through his own net.
Elsewhere, Shrewsbury combated their horrific away form by grinding out a 0-0 draw at promotion rivals Bradford. The Shrews were on the backfoot for most of the first-half, with Barry Conlon going close with a tremendous long-range volley that hit the inside of the post. The second-half was a much more even affair, with Grant Holt spurning the Shrews best opportunity.
Dag & Red’s hot form was interupted at the Don Valley stadium by a late equaliser from Rotherham United. The Daggers, who have been on fire recently, went 1-0 up through a Matt Richie header. But a late equaliser – five minutes into injury time, from captain Ian Sharp, salvaged a point for the Millers.
Sat Jan 3 Results:
Bradford 0-0 Shrewsbury
Darlington 2-1 Bournemouth
Rochdale 3-1 Accrington Stanley
Rotherham 1-1 Dag & Red
Wycombe 2-1 Bury
Posted in Mixed
Tagged Angelo Balanta, Barry Conlon, Bradford City, Bury, Colchester United, Dag & Red, Grant Holt, Ian Sharp, Lewis Spence, Matt Harrold, Matt Richie, Mike Williamson, Rotherham United, Shrewsbury Town, Wycombe Wanderers
In a tight game at St James Park, two promotion hopefuls went head-to-head. It was the Bees of Brentford who came out on top, condemning surprise package Exeter to a home defeat.
It came courtesy of a controversial penalty – after a tackle from Exeter’s Rob Edwards, when it appeared that he had won the ball. It was dispatched with ease by Charlie MacDonald 14 minutes from time, and Sam Wood added another four minutes later.
It moves Brentford up to 2nd, after an impressive Christmas period, while Exeter remain in the play-off places.
Elsewhere, leaders Wycombe were held at Gillingham, thanks to a late equaliser from Curtis Weston. And Shrewsbury ended a poor-run of three successive defeats with a battling victory over high-flying Bury. Grant Holt – linked with a move away from the club in the January transfer window, nodded in expertly after Bury defender Efe Sodje had been sent off for an elbow earlier in the game.
And Dag & Red secured a massive win away to play-off chasing Aldershot. The win was slightly fortuitous – a late winner from Jon Nurse after Aldershot had missed chances themselves to win the game.
Sunday Dec 28 Results:
Accrington Stanley 3-1 Grimsby
Aldershot 1-2 Dag & Red
Bournemouth 0-2 Barnet
Bradford 4-0 Morecambe
Darlington 0-0 Chesterfield
Exeter 0-2 Brentford
Gillingham 1-1 Wycombe
Luton 3-2 Lincoln City
Macclesfield 3-1 Chester
Notts County 0-3 Rotherham
Port Vale 2-1 Rochdale
Shrewsbury 1-0 Bury
Posted in Mixed
Tagged Aldershot, Brentford, Bury, Charlie MacDonald, Curtis Weston, Dag & Red, Efe Sodje, Exeter City, Gillingham, Grant Holt, John Nurse, Rob Edwards, Sam Wood, Shrewsbury Town, Wycombe Wanderers
Harrold grabbed the winner for Wycombe
Saturday saw league leaders Wycombe travel to home-specialists Shrewsbury who lay in third position. A win was vital for Town, who needed to close the six-point gap between the two sides.
Wycombe started the game well, with right-back Lewis Hunt raiding forward and crashing a shot against the bar. And the Shrews looked nervous, with goalkeeper Luke Daniels putting on a particularly bad display. Daniels had several poor kicks, leading to Wycombe attacks – one arriving at the feet of Matt Harrold who shot from 40 yards only to see Kelvin Langmead clear off the line.
However the goal didn’t come, and Shrewsbury ended the half the stronger, with Graeme Coughlan glancing a header wide from six yards.
Wanderers came out in the second half with Peter Taylor’s words still ringing in their ears. They grabbed the lead soon after, Gary Holt swinging in the corner straight to Luke Daniels, who was engulfed by three Wycombe players, Matt Harrold getting his head on the ball. It furthered the goalkeepers poor game – it really did look like a simple ball to claim.
Shrewsbury then set about a comeback. However Wycombe looked solid, and could have put the game beyond doubt when Harrold went clear only to fire wide. But a draw could have been salvaged late on, as a barrage of pressure rained down on the Wycombe defence. Coughlan and Dave Hibbert both had chances from six-yards, Coughlan mis-controlling to Hibbert, who then missed his kick. And Grant Holt headed over from close-range late-on.
All-in-all, Shrewsbury have themselves to blame, a particularly poor display in a game they really needed to win. Wycombe showed the sign of champions here – mark my words.
Saturday Dec 20 Results:
Accrington Stanley 1-3 Rotherham
Aldershot 2-2 Grimsby
Bournemouth 2-0 Bury
Bradford 0-0 Chester
Darlington 2-2 Barnet
Exeter 4-1 Rochdale
Gillingham 1-1 Brentford
Luton 1-1 Morecambe
Macclesfield 0-4 Dag & Red
Notts County 0-1 Lincoln City
Port Vale 0-1 Chesterfield
Shrewsbury 0-1 Wycombe
Posted in Shrewsbury Town, Wycombe Wanderers
Tagged Dave Hibbert, Gary Holt, Graeme Coughlan, Grant Holt, Kelvin Langmead, Lewis Hunt, Luke Daniels, Matt Harrold, Peter Taylor, Shrewsbury, Wycombe Wanderers
In a late flurry of action at Griffin Park, Brentford overcame Bradford. Marcus Bean put Brentford ahead in the 88th minute, before Michael Boulding equalised a minute later. But Nathan Elder snatched victory in stoppage time, which allows the Bees to leapfrog their opponents in the table.
Bury moved up to second with an impressive 3-0 victory over Port Vale. Ben Futcher made it 1-0, before two goals from Glynn Hurst set-up victory. They move above Shrewsbury, who surprisingly lost to Grimsby Town. The Mariners earned their first home victory since March thanks to an Adam Proudlock volley.
Elsewhere, Wycombe were held 0-0 at home to Luton, and Darlington fell to a 1-0 defeat at Christie Park against Morecambe.
On Friday night Chesterfield suffered another dissapointing loss, this time at home to Macclesfield. Martin Gritton struck twice for the visitors, whilst Jamie Ward battled alone for the Spireites, grabbing two goals himself. Lee Richardson must surely be close to the sack now. Lincoln also played on Friday night, comfortably beating Accrington 5-1 at Sincil Bank.
Saturday Dec 13 Results:
Barnet 2-2 Gillingham
Brentford 2-1 Bradford
Bury 3-0 Port Vale
Chester 2-0 Notts County
Grimsby 1-0 Shrewsbury
Morecambe 1-0 Darlington
Rochdale 1-1 Bournemouth
Wycombe 0-0 Luton
Friday Dec 12 Results:
Chesterfield 2-4 Macclesfield
Lincoln 5-1 Accrington
Posted in Mixed
Tagged Adam Proudlock, Ben Futcher, Bradford City, Brentford, Bury, Darlington, Glynn Hurst, Grimsby Town, Luton Town, Marcus Bean, Michael Boulding, Morecambe, Nathan Elder, Port Vale, Shrewsbury Town, Wycombe Wanderers
Aldershot Town stunned Peter Taylor’s Wycombe by finally ending their unbeaten start to the season. Kirk Hudson put the Hampshire side 2-0 up, with two strikes in the first half. Angelo Balanta pulled one back with a powerful header before Daniel Hylton restored Aldershots two-goal advantage. Matty Phillips ensured a nail-biting finish with a thunderous effort, but the Shots fully deserved their three points.
Peter Taylor told the clubs website: “Nobody would have dreamt we would go 18 games unbeaten.
“I don’t think anyone is going to go 18 games unbeaten again, we’re certainly not, but we need to make sure we go on some good runs between now and the end of the season.”
Elsewhere on a day of headlines, Darren Anderton scored Bournemouth’s winner against Chester. It was a fairytale finish to the 36-year old’s career, and gave the south-coast side a 1-0 win.
Shrewsbury moved up to 2nd with a hard-fought win against 9-man Rotherham. The Millers went into the game on the back of a dreadful run, but played well until Drewe Broughton was sent-off for a second bookable offence. Then keeper David Stockdale was given a straight red for bringing down Kevin McIntyre, and Grant Holt slotted the penalty in.
The games at Darlington and Accrington were both called off due to the weather.
Saturday Dec 6 Results:
Aldershot 3-2 Wycombe
Bournemouth 1-0 Chester
Bradford 1-1 Dag & Red
Exeter 2-1 Lincoln City
Gillingham 2-1 Chesterfield
Luton 3-1 Barnet
Macclesfield 1-1 Bury
Notts County 1-Morecambe
Port Vale 2-1 Grimsby
Shrewsbury 1-0 Rotherham
Posted in Mixed
Tagged Accrington Stanley, Aldershot Town, Angelo Balanta, Bournemouth, Chester City, Daniel Hylton, Darlington, Darren Anderton, David Stockdale, Drewe Broughton, Grant Holt, Hampshire, Kevin McIntyre, Kirk Hudson, Matty Phillips, Peter Taylor, Rotherham United, Shrewsbury Town, Wycombe Wanderers
Wycombe’s Peter Taylor has won the League 2 Manager of the Month for November.
The Chairboys boss steered his side to four wins and a draw, and kept intact their unbeaten status.
Despite this, they did lose to Unibond Premier league side Eastwood Town, in the second round of the F.A. cup.
More misery for League 2 this weekend. In fact, the only League 2 club to make it through, were playing against a team from the same division!
Macclesfield beat Port Vale 3-1, with 2 goals from Francis Green handing them a home-tie against Premier League Everton in the Third Round draw.
Notts County face a replay, after being held by Kettering, as do Bournemouth, who were frustrated by Blyth Spartans. Bradford lost at home to League 1 Leyton Orient 2-1, and Dag & Red put up a good fight away to high-flying Leicester City, going down 3-2 in the end.
But the big story was our very own ‘invincibles’. Can’t lose in League 1, but put them on a sloped pitch against a team three divisions below them and they lose! Eastwood Town humbled the mighty Wycombe 2-0, and sent themselves through to the Third Round.
Forest Green beat Rochdale 2-0, to send another League 2 club on form out of the competition. And Brentford who comfortably sit in the top-half of League 2 were beaten by Conference strugglers Barrow.
F.A. Cup Second Round Results:
Friday Nov 28:
Barrow 2-1 Brentford
Port Vale 1-3 Macclesfield
Saturday Nov 29:
Bournemouth 0-0 Blyth Spartans
Bradford 1-2 Leyton Orient
Eastwood Town 2-0 Wycombe
Fleetwood Town 2-3 Hartlepool
Forest Green 2-0 Rochdale
Gillingham 0-0 Stockport
Grays Athletic 0-2 Carlisle
Kidderminster 2-0 Curzon Ashton
Leicester 3-2 Dag & Red
Millwall 3-0 Aldershot
Peterborough 0-0 Tranmere
Scunthorpe 4-0 Alfreton Town
Southend 3-1 Luton
Torquay 2-0 Oxford Utd
Sunday Nov 30:
Histon 1-0 Leeds
Notts County 1-1 Kettering
Posted in Mixed
Tagged Barrow, Blyth Spartans, Bournemouth, Bradford City, Brentford, Dag & Red, Eastwood Town, Everton, Forest Green, Francis Green, Kettering, Leicester City, Leyton Orient, Macclesfield Town, Notts County, Port Vale, Premier League, Rochdale, Wycombe Wanderers