The D3D4 Correspondents give you their match reports from this weekends action in League One and League Two..
MATCH REPORT: Oxford United 1-2 Northampton Town
In a match that those in the Claret contingent are more often than not referring to as a derby, Oxford United started in a manner that clearly defied this description. There was a lack of urgency from the U’s right from the off and it was clear to the impressive 1,100 away fans that their Cobblers had a chance in this one.
Northampton forward Chris Long had an early chance saved by Simon Eastwood before a corner 12 minutes in was the undoing of the Yellows. The ball was not cleared and fell to the big Claret defender, Ash Taylor, who squeezed the ball home.
Oxford have not had a good record against Northampton in recent seasons and it was a nightmare start against Hasselbaink’s side. The Cobblers have looked a lot harder to beet since the Dutchman took over and giving them the early goal at the Kas Stad was a big mistake.
Following the goal Oxford failed to make an impression and lacked the pace required to get in behind their opponents who looked comfortable. It was made worse just before half time as Curtis Nelson was taken off injured for the Yellows leaving only two fit centre backs left in the Oxford squad. Only a minute after the injury Oxford were level when Wes Thomas grab a goal from nothing. The forward ran through and finished well from the edge of the area to give Oxford a welcome leveller but as the clock ticked into time added on at the end of the first half Ledson had his pocket picked by Chris Long. The forward, on loan from Burnley, drilled the ball past a hapless Eastwood to leave United fans banging their heads against the wall.
If you thought that Oxford would come flying out of the blocks in the second half then you would have been badly mistaken. Northampton were the better team from the outset and pushed Oxford back without creating a huge amount. Ricardinho blocked a goal bound effort from Billy Waters with the goal at his mercy as Oxford huffed and puffed but never really looked like getting back into it.
It is now 6 games without a win for Oxford and you can see why. Oxford travel to a resurgent Argyle next and they need to find some form from somewhere quickly or this season will be over before 2018 even begins.
words James Richards, D3D4 Football
MATCH REPORT: Scunthorpe United 1-0 Bristol Rovers
This one certainly won’t go down as a classic. There really wasn’t much worth reporting on in the first half. Both sides failed to do the basics which lead to a rather dull start to the game for both sets of fans. Of the two sides, Rovers probably started quicker and of the few chances the closest was a free kick on the edge of the box for the away side, which was put over the bar.
A half time substitution for the Iron saw Duane Holmes come on for Josh Morris and with it brought some much needed life into the game. As Bristol Rovers have a habit of conceding away from home this season it is unsurprising that they set up defensively for much of the match in an effort to counteract this. As a result Scunthorpe were afforded the majority of the possession in the second half. But for all of their time on the ball, and time in the final third of the pitch, they were unable to turn possession into chances. It was just 4 shots on target for the Iron in the whole match. Scunthorpe lacked any kind of finishing quality against a reasonably organised back four for Rovers. The closest was when Novak rounded the keeper but found his shot blocked well by Lee Brown.
The game looked to be heading for a draw until deep into 5 minutes of stoppage time. A ball in from the right was met by Neal Bishop who, despite Adam Smith getting a hand to the ball, was able to head home in the 94th minute.
You would have to say that this was a deserved win for the Iron based on the second half performance, although that won’t stop Bristol Rovers from being disappointed by losing in this fashion. Rovers were far from the best side that we have seen so far this season and you have to think that any more performances like this one and they will find themselves in some real trouble. A more clinical side would have scored 4 or 5 against them based on today’s performance. As for the Iron, the last minute winner doesn’t mask the problems that were on show today. Basic passes and crosses going astray and, despite large amounts of the possession, there was very little attacking threat. Goals, especially at Glanford Park, seem hard to come by at the minute – something which I feel will need to be addressed in the January transfer market.
Full Time: 1-0
words Bradley Mell, D3D4 Scunthorpe United Correspondent
MATCH REPORT: Carlisle United 4-0 Yeovil Town
Thus far in the campaign, Carlisle United have no doubt struggled at Brunton Park. However, a win in the FA Cup 1st round at home against Oldham Athletic has boosted confidence returning to the cut & thrust of League Two despite crashing out of the Checkatrade Trophy in midweek. The visitors in this one were Yeovil Town, who have struggled so far. They themselves had beaten a team in League One in Southend United on home turf which will spur them on to repeat good performances in the league. The winter weather has also kicked in and darkness now surrounds the end of matches.
Keith Curle made a number of changes including Nicky Adams with a 4-4-2 formation returning after a few weeks of alternation. Darren Way also had to made changes with injures and suspensions plaguing his team. Referee Ben Toner was controversially moved up to officiate the match too. Curle’s side have struggled to make Brunton Park a fortress this season but Way’s side had struggled away from home.
With it being Armistice Day, a minute silence was impeccably observed by both clubs as they remembered the fallen.
It was shaky start for the Cumbrians as the Glovers were able to come out and gain opportunities. There was an early chance for the away side when Rhys Browne danced past blue shirts to play in to Sam Surridge, who forced goalkeeper Jack Bonham into a vital save.
That seemed to shock Carlisle and they began to hammer Yeovil from then on. Despite coming under scrutiny in recent weeks, Danny Grainger opted against crossing the ball in soon after and hit an audacious & venomous strike that beat Artur Krysiak at his near post to fly into the top corner as the crowd witnessed one of the goals of the season for sure.
That sent Brunton Park into delirium as a goal of that quality was exactly what was needed. Confidence was injected into the home side leading to domination. However, Nicky Adams collided with Bevis Mugabi on the left as the winger went down in visibly excruciating pain and panic shot around the stadium. Following some treatment, the playmaker managed to leave the field on his feet with assistance from the medical staff but was substituted for Shaun Miller as Hallam Hope moved out onto the left. Even if there was total control from United as James Brown, Reggie Lambe, and Richie Bennett were all playing well along with Hope and S. Miller, Town were holding out prior to the interval.
A spell of real pressure began and it felt like a goal was coming – it was. After Bonham played the ball out from the back go Gary Liddle, a plethora of passes that oozed quality up the pitch meant the ball fell to S. Miller. He was able to slip the ball back to Hope coming inside to enter penalty area and the versatile forward hit a controlled shot across Krysiak for the ball to nestle in the back of the net. It may be not be a goal that is fully complimented by the highlight, but it was certainly one to remember as it perfectly showed Curle’s contentious playing style culminating in such success. Then came the break to Yeovil’s relief and Carlisle’s resentment.
Usually this season, United have fallen apart in terms of performance so nerves were rife in the crowd as they aimed to smash their opponents. There was no real fight from Town thus far and made a couple of substitutions. Still with the game being played out in the same vain as it was earlier on, goals were still in it for either side. Hope had a chance at the back post and Bennett was also striving for another goal as he was in good form. The man who is only getting more popular with the fans, Clint Hill, was keeping solidity at the back.
Whenever corners were given at either end of the pitch, there was a good scuffle or two and a penalty was surely coming. When Carlisle were awarded one, Hope and Mugabi were in tangles like they had been previously in the match; with the latter being the culprit each time. The ball was cleared and Luke Joyce was taken out viciously on the slide by Jordan Green and a scrap ensued. The linesman was also flagging. When the typically level-headed and good-natured Joyce returned to his feet after a few moments of wincing, he was uncharacteristically seething with rage and Hill had to come to his aid in terms of calming down.
Whilst all this was happening, Hope was down in the box once again but this time in pain too. The referee consulted with his linesman and eventually post-debate, a red card was awarded to Mugabi, who had just been confronted by Hope, with no real complaints. Post-match, it was revealed that the dismissal was due to a punch. No one predicted that a penalty was then to be given and to most’s bemusement, it was. For his second brace of the season, Grainger stepped up when he was told he wasn’t going to be taking a free-kick. He dispatched with ease following a miss in midweek and the game seemed over. The crowd was buzzing and there was still time left. The long injured John O’Sullivan was given minutes along with Kelvin Etuhu and they were still integral to the match in spite of relaxed play from Carlisle. The crowd wanted more and to not sit back but had to be patient. There were flirts from Yeovil in terms of chances with captain and former blues man James Bailey attempting to get his side back in it but it was to no avail with quality not coming from him at all. Solidity with Hill at the back allowed Liddle to go forward and play some excellent football with O’Sullivan as Etuhu got on the end of a cross that was blocked inadvertently by Bennett but S. Miller was right there to literally smash home. The full-time whistle blew minutes later and the match concluded in a way that was really expected from the opening.
That capped the day off for Carlisle who showed sheer class at times in an emphatic win to send their fans home extremely pleased (especially with a clean sheet) and Yeovil could only hang their heads following a gutless performance with an opposite feeling journey home. It was a first 4-0 league victory for the Brunton Park men at their ground since 2011 which shows just how much this win means to the fans. Therefore, Keith Curle will have had a hugely contrasting day to Darren Weay as their sides drift apart in the league table. With time to reflect before the busy period of the seaosn gets into shape, these sides may just have different aims for the season now.
That leaves Carlisle United in 14th place with a fixture away to Grimsby Town next, and Yeovil Town in 17th place with a fixture at home to Swindon Town.
Carlisle United 4
Grainger 7’ 74’
- Miller 91’
Yeovil Town 0
Attendance: 4,189 (91 away)
Referee: Ben Toner
words Nathan Ridley, D3D4 Carlisle United Correspondent
MATCH REPORT: Coventry City 0-1 Mansfield Town
This was the first ever meeting between these two sides at the Ricoh Arena. A crowd of 8,410 made up of a noisy away support were treated to an entertaining match, with the Stags not parking the bus but playing an open game. Most teams like to defend in numbers at the Ricoh and get the Sky Blues on the break, but Mansfield were keen to pass it around which suits Coventry so us supporters were pleased at that as some games this season have been a bit tedious.
It was good to see a decent away support and as they sang a lot and got behind their team it did add some atmosphere, because it is a big stadium and as a 32,000 all seated one it can feel a bit empty these days with City fans staying away.
The Sky Blues like Mansfield passed it around on the deck and they did try hard to put it in the net, but the Stags keeper made a couple of decent saves. I said to my pal sat next to me one goal will settle this with half an hour to go, as there wasn’t much between both teams. But as the game looked like ending in a goalless draw the visitors banged in a winning goal. MacDonald decided to let one go from distance which swerved and dipped in the air and our keeper Burge was left beaten. It left me gutted as it was in the 84 minute and although we almost got a last minute equaliser we lost out as we definitely deserved at least a share of the points.
But fair play to Mansfield they look a decent side and play nice attractive football, and I can see them in and around the play offs at least this season. And hopefully Coventry City too of course.
words Kevin Halls, D3D4 Coventry City Correspondent
MATCH REPORT: Cambridge United 0-0 Accrington Stanley
The points were shared at the Abbey Stadium as neither side could add a finishing touch to an array of chances which saw Accrington miss out on the chance to rise to the top of the League Two table, and Cambridge extend their unbeaten run to five league matches.
A dull first half failed to live up to the standards set by an impeccably observed minutes silence on the ninety-ninth anniversary of Armistice Day, with the best chances falling to the home side. First, a delivery from Brad Halliday was chested down by Jabo Ibehre towards strike partner Uche Ikpeazu, whose shot on the turn was parried by Stanley stopper Aaron Chapman.
It was an almost identical chance that came next, as Ibehre was again provider, this time laying the ball to Ikpeazu after an Accrington defender failed to clear, and the U’s front man took a stride into the penalty area before launching a powerful strike on goal with the same result, as Chapman again palmed the ball to safety.
The second half was a much more entertaining affair, with Accrington signalling their intentions as a Sean McConville set-piece delivery evaded everyone in the box, but Jordan Clark couldn’t force a shot on target when stretching at the back post.
The game’s outstanding moment of quality came, perhaps unsurprisingly, from the boot of pre-match division top goal scorer Billy Kee, who launched an audacious effort on goal from the right hand side of the penalty area on the volley, but saw his attempt crash back off the crossbar with David Forde beaten, and McConville couldn’t find the net from the rebound.
Cambridge grew into the second half, however, and created a string of their own chances. Winger Medy Elito drove inwards, and played a well angled pass into the path of Ikpeazu, who laid the ball off to the impressive Jevani Brown, who took a touch before striking the ball on the half volley, which flew just wide of the post.
The best chance of the match fell to Ibehre, with Jevani Brown again proving a nuisance for the Accrington defence, this time from a set-piece delivery. Brown whipped in a ball from the right hand side, which found its way to the unmarked Jabo Ibehre who will be wondering how he failed to break the deadlock when any solid connection would surely have seen the ball find the net.
However, despite late efforts from Kee for Accrington and Brown for Cambridge, neither side could find a winner and the points were shared, which was perhaps the fairest result in the context of the match. This was United’s fourth stalemate of the season, and with the U’s sat in twelfth place with a neutral goal difference, the lack of a clinical finisher to really take a promising squad to the next level could start to become a concern, despite a solid defensive record to date.
Attendance: 4,402 (173 from Accrington) | Next up: Cambridge – Luton (a), Accrington – Guiseley (h)
words Tom Walker, D3D4 Cambridge United Correspondent
MATCH REPORT: Morecambe 2-1 Wycombe Wanderers
The goal had been almost inevitable and it was merely a question after it arrived of seeing whether Wycombe could maintain their unbeaten record in North Lancashire by scoring at least one more or if Morecambe could finally overcome them on their own patch. In fact, Akinfenwa could have equalised just a minute after scoring his first goal but he headed Freeman’s pin-point cross narrowly wide. But try as they might, the Buckinghamshire side could not break through again, despite further half-chances and four minutes of injury time.
Sunday 12th November 2017, English Football League 1, GAME #16
AFC WIMBLEDON 2-2 PETERBOROUGH UNITED ATT: 4,220
Taylor 1 Lloyd 26
McDonald 45 Maddison pen 38
Line-up:- Bond, Tafazolli, Baldwin, Taylor, Edwards, Grant, Doughty, Da Silva Lopes (Hughes 69), Lloyd (Kanu 81), Maddison, Marriott.
Sadly, I have to start this report with the moment that marred an entertaining afternoon, all the way in the 85th minute. This is when Peterborough’s Marcus Maddison’s disgraceful play-acting took centre stage. Maddison typically went down rather easilly from a Trotter challenge. When both players looked to go nose-to-nose, without Trotter even fully moving his head inwards, Maddison threw himself to the floor clutching his face. This was an absolute disgrace that does not belong in football, let alone at this level, where a lot of people attend to get away from this ‘top-flight tomfoolery’.
Onto what was a very good game, we didn’t have to wait long for the first goal, 36 seconds in fact when Don’s danger-man Lyle Taylor was slipped through, to shoot across the keeper into the bottom corner. The high winds added to the end-to-end style of play, with Maddison’s floated free kick, brushing off Lloyd’s head via a Wimbledon defender, then in-off the post for Posh’s equaliser.
In a pulsating first half, Maddison was brought down, just inside the area and dispatched the resulting penalty kick. Just before the interval a hopeful punt from Wimbledon and Posh defensive lapses left a marauding McDonald free to run and thump the ball past a hopeless Bond for the equaliser.
No more goals, but more entertainment followed in the second half. Marriott and company coming close in a half that Peterborough had the better of. There was even a reverse Cruyff turn to devour from Gwion Edwards to attempt to set up a chance that deserved a goal.
In a match that, on any day Marcus Maddison would have been ‘Man of the Match’, his awful theatrics sullied all that.
words Ian McFarlane, D3D4 Peterborough United Correspondent