The D3D4 Correspondents give you their match reports from a busy weekend of League One and Two action…
MATCH REPORT: Plymouth Argyle 0-4 Oxford United
Coming into this game Oxford United and manager Pep Clotet were facing a number of searching questions after failing to win in their last six matches. The question of whether the tactics of patient build up play and one up front were working? The question of whether John Mousinho could be a decent captain and most importantly the question of how Oxford would cope now that Curtis Nelson and Rob Hall were out for the season and four months respectively.
Well the answer to those questions is yes, certainly he can and rather well actually. Oxford have enjoyed their recent visits to Home Park and it is was another fruitful trip this time round. It was helped by the referees decision to send off Ryan Edwards, one of Argyles best performers at the back this season, for a foul on Wes Thomas that gave away the penalty leading to Oxford’s first goal.
A lovely ball over the top by Ryan Ledson was latched on to by the lively Wes Thomas. The striker used all of his experience as he cut across his man and was brought down. The ref correctly pointed to the spot but I was less than convinced it merited a red card. Nonetheless Oxford were one up against 10 men with 75 minutes still to play, thank you Mr Horwood!
To be fair to Argyle they did rally and the ever impressive Graham Carey produced a good passing display and had a free kick hit the post before the break.
The second half was only seven minutes old when Wes Thomas made it 2-0. He manged to get on to the rebound after Matthews saved Rothwell’s initial shot. It was all over at this point and you could see some heads begin to drop in the Plymouth Argyle camp. Oxford sensed their weakness and James Henry hit the bar before scoring an impressive third.
The winger cut in from the right and drilled the ball through the keepers legs from an acute angle to open up a three goal lead in what was turning into a dominant performance from the U’s.
The scoring wasn’t over yet, though most of the 10,805 crowd in Home Park were probably wishing they had gone and done their Christmas shopping early rather watch the mauling that was being handed out to the men in green. Another goal was coming and Oxford’s Brazilian left back Ricardinho cut the ball back for substitute Jon Obika to make it four.
The win moves Oxford into 7th just two points outside the play-off places. Now can we have some consistency please boys, being a fan is not good for my blood pressure right now.
words James Richards D3D4 Football
MATCH REPORT: Oldham Athletic 3-1 Rochdale
Oldham benefited from a week off from football, following the international break, in a solid win against Rochdale. Just 2 minutes into the local derby, dubbed the ‘El Flat Cap Classico’, Northern Ireland Under 21 international Cameron Dummigan gave the Latics the lead. Following some nice work from Eoin Doyle to retain possession, the ball was played to Gevaro Nepomuceno who played a superb ball to the onrushing right back who confidently headed into the left of the goal.
The home side looked confident and it seemed that Rochdale could have been on the end of a heavy defeat at one point. Eoin Doyle went close and Nepomuceno saw his shot go over. Dummigan went from hero to zero after 16 minutes, though. His misplaced header caught Johnny Placide out of position and Matt Done was on hand to give Dale the equaliser. This gave a shock to Oldham, who looked nervous for the rest of the half and proceeded with a more cautious approach. Consequently the game became a little more drab with less attacking intent and it was no shock that the half ended 1-1.
Despite a clear attacking focus from Oldham in the second half, they continued to struggle to get back to their best. Eoin Doyle and Jack Byrne have been two real threats for Latics this season and it was clear Keith Hill had made this known to his team, who did a good job at keeping them out of the game. This proved to be a successful tactic for Dale as they frustrated Oldham.
Despite the frustration, Oldham did press and if it weren’t for a magnificent save from Josh Lillis, Doyle would have fired the Latics ahead from the edge of the box. Aaron Holloway replaced Craig Davies after 77 minutes which provided some muscle to the Oldham attack, whilst Queensy Menig replaced Byrne to provide much-needed flair. This proved to be an intelligent change from Wellens as Oldham took the lead just 5 minutes later when Gardner’s free-kick was poorly cleared and Eoin Doyle finished well from the edge of the box – poor defending from Rochdale. Just 3 minutes later Doyle added to his tally with a magnificent strike. The Latics defence cleared the ball and Holloway flicked on to Doyle who struck the ball first time on the volley from 35 yards, dipping Lillis in the Rochdale goal – the Irishman paraded the corner flag around in celebration.
Oldham calmly saw the game out and Richie Wellens’ side now rise to 15th in the table. Meanwhile Rochdale fans will be worried as they witnessed another poor performance away from home. Keith Hill men now fall to 22nd in the league and are still looking for their first win away from home this season.
— Channel 5 Sport (@Channel5Sport) 18 November 2017
FULL TIME: Oldham Athletic (Dummigan 2’, Doyle 83’, 86’) 3-1 Rochdale (Done 16’)
Oldham Athletic: Placide, Dummigan, Bryan, Gerrard (Clarke 85’), Hunt, Nepomuceno, Fane, Gardner, Byrne (Menig 78’), Davies (Holloway 77’), Doyle.
Subs not used: Wilson, Green, Omrani, Duffus.
Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty, Ntlhe (Bunney 46’), McNulty, McGahey, Andrew, Camps, Rathbone (Davies 85’), Done, Inman (Gillam 68’), Henderson.
Subs not used: Moore, Slew, Daniels, Kitching.
Referee: Jeremy Simpson
Attendance: 6,129 (1,283 visiting supporters)
words Chris Stringer, D3D4 Oldham Athletic Correspondent
MATCH REPORT: Colchester United 0-0 Morecambe
Essex Boys Fail To Impress.
Morecambe have only ever played Colchester United twice before and both games were drawn. Today – with three straight wins in all competitions under their belts, the Shrimps visited the Community Stadium in the Essex town for the second time ever. Colchester – eight points better off than their visitors from Lancashire before the game – have gone through a patchy run of form in recent times. Two weeks ago, they were humiliated by non-League Oxford City, who scored the only goal of their FA Cup Tie in front of the U’s own fans. They then lost their midweek EFL Trophy local derby at Southend, two-nil at Roots Hall. They got back on track in League Two last week though with a win at Barnet, who took over the seat the Shrimps had been keeping warm for them in the upper relegation position as a result. So could United do to the Shrimps what they had failed to do to the Shrimpers just over a week ago?
The hosts had more of the play during the opening exchanges but Morecambe struck on the break throughout the opening half. In fact, the visitors had the first half chance when Aaron McGowan took a shot from a long way out after nine minutes which missed the target by some distance. Four minutes later, Kevin Ellison headed just wide only for Tom Eastman to play-in Brandon Hanlan a minute later: his shot was blocked by the visiting defence for a corner. Shortly after this, Ryan Inniss found the ball at his feet from another corner and unleashed a shot which big Barry Roche saved relatively easily. With almost half an hour played, Mikael Mandron hit a shot over the Morecambe bar just after Steven Old had headed narrowly wide for the Shrimps. This followed a clearly rehearsed corner routine where skipper Alex Kenyon had nodded the ball on to him and the big Kiwi should probably have done better. Both sides had half-chances after this but the outstanding chance of the half – and for Morecambe as far as the match was concerned – arrived after 42 minutes. Frankie Kent’s wayward pass was intercepted by Aaron Wildig, who bore down on Sam Walker in the United goal. The goalkeeper managed to force the Morecambe midfielder wide though and also managed to save his eventual shot from an acute angle.
The second half followed a similar pattern. In a match of little real skill and even fewer chances, neither side managed to get a real stranglehold on the game at any time. The truth of the matter, bluntly, was that neither keeper had a difficult save to make until right at the death. With 87 minutes on the clock, substitute Drey Wright unleashed a thunderbolt of a shot from a long way out. The ball dipped in flight but it came crashing back off the bar having beaten Roche all ends up.
So Morecambe rode their luck today right at the end. The third draw in the three contests so far between the two clubs meant that John McGreal’s team dropped to twelfth in the table. With bottom of the division Chesterfield surprisingly beating Exeter and Forest Green also overcoming struggling Crewe, Morecambe also slipped in the standings to twentieth. The next game at the Globe against Old Boy Dave Artell’s Crewe on Tuesday night thus gathers even more significance for both clubs involved.
Colchester United: 1 Sam Walker; 2 Ryan Jackson; 4 Tom Lapslie; 6 Frankie Kent; 10 Sammie Szmodics; 14 Brandon Comley (24 Craig Slater 65 mins); 18 Tom Eastman (7 Drey Wright 78 mins); 19 Mikael Mandron; 21 Brandon Hanlan (17 Kyel Reid 75 mins); 22 Kane Vincent-Hall; 26 Ryan Inniss.
Subs not used: 29 Rene Gilmartin; 3 Lewis Kinsella; 8 Doug Loft; 27 Sanmi Odelusi.
Morecambe: 1 Barry Roche; 2 Aaron McGowan; 16 Sam Lavelle; 5 Steven Old; 3 Patrick Brough; 4 Alex Kenyon (C); 8 Andy Fleming; 7 Garry Thompson; 15 Aaron Wildig (9 Vadaine Oliver 79 mins); 11 Kevin Ellison; 28 Adam McGurk (10 Adam Campbell 70 mins).
Subs Not Used: 12 Danijel Nizic; 22 Max Muller; 17 Mitchell Lund; 29 Callum Lang; 24 Michael Rose.
Ref: Lee Collins.
words Roger Fitton, D3D4 Morecambe Correspondent
MATCH REPORT: Rotherham United 1-2 Shrewsbury Town
League leaders Shrewsbury were todays visitors to NYS for todays L1 encounter. Before kick off, Shrews manager Paul Hurst, the Millers record appearance holder as a player received a rapturous welcome from the Millers faithful.
The game started at a quiet pace with the only opening of any note was a weak header from Millers midfielder Will Vaulks which was comfortably saved by Dean Henderson in the Shrews goal. Henderson was a hero on 13 minutes however, saving a penalty from the EFL’s top scorer the Millers Kieffer Moore, awarded for a clumsy tackle by Shrews defender Nsiala on the Millers loanee Midfielder Richie Towell. Shrewsbury gained heart from the penalty reprieve & took the lead in the 18th minute when a left sided run from Shrews midfielder Jon Nolan saw him hammer the ball past O’Donnell in the Millers net. Whalley was next to go close for Shrewsbury, testing O’Donnell with a hard low shot on 33 minutes. As half time approached, Rotherham came more into the game & defender Richard Wood had a goalbound effort saved by Henderson who saved again from Towell just on the half time whistle.
HT Millers 0 Shrews 1
Shrewsbury’s task of holding on to the three points became harder on 52 minutes with the straight red card issued to defender Abu Agogo for a rash challenge on Millers midfielder Ryan Williams. Shrewsbury to their credit almost made it two when following a quick break, forward Stefan Payne played in Nolan again but the Shrews goalscorer fluffed his lines & blazed the ball over the bar. Millers manager Paul Warne obviously had seen enough & started withdrawing midfielders & introducing striker Clarke-Harris & attack minded midfielder Frecklington & after a sustained period of Millers pressure, the home side deservedly equalised when Towell rifled in a fine Joe Newell crossfield ball. Rotherham continued to have all the momentum going into the game’s final stages with one or two goalmouth scrambles which were well defended by the Shrews. A terrific roar from the Millers faithful greeted the 4th officials board of SIX minutes added time hoping their team could finally breach the Shrewsbury back line but after conceding a needless corner the Millers went home empty handed when Payne rifled the ball home in the 93rd minute.
FT Millers 1 Shrews 2
An unlucky defeat of their own making by the Millers. Six games without a win now with Wigan in town next weekend. Disconcerting to say the least.
words Ian Bradley, D3D4 Rotherham United Correspondent
MATCH REPORT: Rotherham United 1-2 Shrewsbury Town
All aboard, the Salopian bandwagon is back on track after a slight derailment. It is back on track in some style too….bigger, faster and stronger.
Town were in trouble against Rotherham though. They found themselves up against a decent team and another set of officials who wanted to take centre stage, but try as they might they couldn’t deny Salop another three points.
A dubious red card allowed the Millers back into the game and then even adding as much stoppage time as they could muster between them, the set of incompetent officials decision backfired totally when Stefan Payne swivelled on a Carlton Morris knock down to snatch a super late three points.
It was an entertaining game in fairness and things kicked into life when the fantastic Dean Henderson flung himself to his left to deny the countries leading goalscorer Kieffer Moore from the penalty spot with shades of Scott Howie, after a clumsy challenge from Toto on Towell.
Henderson’s contribution to the victory can not be underestimated he was excellent throughout and commanded the penalty area along with the defence superbly, this young man has a bright future and to me is looking better than Joe Hart, the last big name ‘keeper at Salop. If he keeps his feet on the ground and continues to work hard and keeps good people around him this lad will, without doubt usurp everything Joe has achieved in the game.
Back to the game though and down the other end some good work between Sadler and Rodman released Nolan who finished superbly from a narrow angle into the far corner, cue jubilation from Salopians in the away end. The half ended with Town comfortably ahead.
Nolan fluffed another excellent chance early in the second period firing high over the top after Hendo showed another side to his almost complete game when he released a selfless Payne from a well claimed corner to counter attack the Millers defence.
Moments later though Ogogo flew into a challenge on Cummings on the touchline and the ref couldn’t wait to brandish a straight red in the skippers direction. It looked harsh and left Town with forty minutes to play with a man down.
Rotherham slowly came to life and it looked like they had rescued a point at least when Towell smashed home from the edge of the box, but it was Salop’s guts that won the day in added time. They committed men forward to a 94th minute corner in typical Paul Hurst attacking style and it paid dividends when the two big strikers linked up to wrap up the points kicking off pandemonium all round from anyone of a Salopian persuasion. Massive.
Rotherham: O’Donnell; Cummings (Clarke-Harrism 60), Ajayi, Wood (c) (Frecklington, 73), Mattock; Williams (Forde, 82), Towell, Potter, Vaulks, Newell; Moore
Subs not used: Rodak (gk), Emmanuel, Ball, Wiles
Shrewsbury Town: Henderson; Riley, Nsiala, Sadler, Beckles; Godfrey; Whalley (John-Lewis, 90+5), Nolan, Ogogo (c), Rodman (C Morris, 77); Payne
Subs not used: MacGillivray (gk), Bolton, Dodds, B Morris, Gnahoua.
words Ian Evans, D3D4 Shrewsbury Town Correspondent
MATCH REPORT: Luton Town 7 (seven) – 0 Cambridge United
Cambridge United were comprehensively dismantled in a disastrous afternoon at Kenilworth Road, as they suffered their heaviest ever Football League defeat at the hands of a rampant Luton side who went goal-crazy in front of their home fans for the third time this season, having already put eight past Yeovil and seven past Stevenage.
After Dan Potts had opened the scoring for the Hatters, Olly Lee scored the pick of the goals, smashing home an effort from 70-yards, with his brother Elliot scoring a classy brace, while Danny Hylton took home the match ball after scoring a perfect hat-trick.
United were up against it from the start, missing strike partnership Uche Ikpeazu due to suspension and Jabo Ibehre due to his wife giving birth, which left the U’s with no recognised striker in their match day squad, leaving winger Medy Elito to play the lone striker role. As expected, it was the home side who dominated the opening stages, with Scott Cuthbert and Danny Hylton going close.
However, it wasn’t long before the hosts had their first goal of the afternoon. A Danny Hylton cross wasn’t dealt with by the Cambridge defence, and an Andrew Shinnie effort was deflected into the path of left-back Dan Potts, who smashed the ball into an empty net to register his fourth goal of the season. He almost added a second shortly after, but saw a header chalked off for offside.
Next came the game’s outstanding moment. After Cambridge had taken a short corner, Town midfielder Olly Lee won the ball back from Gary Deegan, before spotting U’s keeper David Forde off his line, and launching an audacious effort on goal from a full 70-yards, which flew over the aforementioned Forde and bounced into the back of the net to the delight of the home crowd.
The result was put to bed before the interval, as Danny Hylton registered his first, and Luton’s third of the afternoon with a neat finish into the bottom corner across the keeper after being put through on goal by former Cambridge man Luke Berry. Hylton then turned provider for partner Elliot Lee, floating a chipped pass into the path of Lee, who volleyed into the top corner.
The second half was more of the same, with Hylton scrambling home a fifth in the eighty-first minute after Jack Stacey delivered a driven cross from the right-hand side. By now it was getting embarrassing for Cambridge, even more so when Elliot Lee doubled his personal tally by rocketing a shot from 25-yards into the top corner.
Hylton completed his hat-trick in stoppage time, and completed the rout, making it 7-0 after being found unmarked at the back post and heading home from an Alan Sheehan set-piece, which rounded off the perfect treble for the frontman, and a perfect afternoon for the hosts who hit the goal trail in impressive fashion once again.
The travelling Cambridge fans who stayed to witness the full extent of the embarrassment made their feelings clear at full-time, with manager Shaun Derry being subjected to huge levels of stick from supporters who increasingly seem to have turned on the man in the dugout. Whether the United board will agree remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, if Derry is to remain manager of Cambridge United for the long-term, this type of result and performance can never be repeated again.
words Tom Walker, D3D4 Cambridge United Correspondent
MATCH REPORT: Wycombe Wanderers 4-0 Crawley Town
Sublime second half showing grabs the points for classy chairboys.
A Craig MacKail-Smith hat trick and a sublime effort from Eberchi Eze secured the win to propel the Blues to sixth place in the table. Wanderers attacking intent was seen in the first half after an Antony Stewart header hit the bar and Luke O’Nein had a header chalked off for a foul in the box. Scott Brown made a tremendous save in the 9th minute but apart from that Crawley looked a soft touch and it surely was only a matter of time before the deadlock was broken.
It came early in the second half as the Chairboys started strongly. Eze picked the ball up 30 yards from goal and played an exquisite one-two with Akinfenwa and finished expertly in the bottom corner. The goal wouldn’t have looked out of place at Camp Nou and Akinfenwa showed vision and finesse beyond league 2 in the build up for the goal (though I’m not sure he could quite replace Messi in the Barca first team).
Instantly Wycombe looked to dominate proceedings, in the 73rd minute Craig MacKail-Smith received the ball from Akinfenwa and rifled the ball into the back of the net. The striker picked his spot and showed exactly why he was capped at international level by Scotland. MacKail-Smith only had to wait a few minutes for his second, this in fact was a better strike than the first from all of 20 yards which beat Crawley’s number 1 all ends up.
His third came in the 82nd minute and after finishing expertly, he wheeled away towards the fans who by this point were in dreamland after a stunning performance. Both Akinfenwa and Eze were strong contenders for man of the match, but the day belonged to Craig Mackail-Smith for the quality of his finishing and all round endeavour. With Scott Kashket, Nathan Tyson and Josh Umerah all due to return in the next month, the blues are well placed to continue their rise up the table towards the league 2 summit.
words Scott MacDonald, D3D4 Wycombe Wanderers Correspondent
MACH REPORT: Lincoln City 1-2 Coventry City
The Sky Blues once again raised their game against one of the better League 2 sides, just like they did recently at high flying and high scoring Luton Town, and came away from noisy and packed Sincil Bank with three points.
In a crowd of 9,581 with an impressive away following of over a thousand making Coventry’s fans on the road the best in the division, it had the making of a good and lively match.
And those watching on weren’t disappointed as both sides attacked with pace and both defended manfully. The home sides keeper was tested but saved well when called upon, as was the City’s goalie Burge, but the Imps took the lead in the 28th minute through a well taken goal by Rhead.
But the Sky Blues came out of the traps in the second half and really turned on the style and pressure, and so it was no surprise when Jodi Jones levelled with a cracking goal. The visitors were confident now and when Nazon came on as a substitute he showed Robins the manager that he should have played him from the start, and in the 70th minute he smashed home the second goal.
Lincoln rallied and if they had got the equaliser they probably would have said it was deserved?
But this Coventry team especially in defence is resolute and tough, and with a frugal midfield they are no pushovers. Not free scoring but when you’ve got such a solid rear guard I can say Coventry City will be hard to beat especially when in a lead.
Up next is an away trip on Tuesday night to Stevenage and then a home game on Saturday against struggling Crawley Town. Win both of them and the Sky Blues will back up Mark Robin’s statement that his side are the best team in League 2. He may have said that tongue in cheek but without being biased as a City supporter, if we were a bit more lethal upfront I’d wholeheartedly agree with him.
words Kevin Halls, D3D4 Coventry City Correspondent
MATCH REPORT: Peterborough United 0-1 Blackpool
Saturday 18th November 2017, English Football League 1, GAME #17
PETERBOROUGH UNITED 0-1 BLACKPOOL ATT: 5,254
Line-up:- O’Malley, Tafazolli, Baldwin (Edwards 45), Taylor, Da Silva Lopes, Grant, Doughty (Anderson 66), Maddison, Hughes, Lloyd (Kanu 58), Marriott.
Optimism was high at the ABAX, after some decent performances in all competitions, the hope that this could translate into a positive result against Blackpool. Sadly former Boro boy Kyle Vassell put pay to this in the 21st minute, a goal Peterborough would not recover from.
Blackpool had the better of the chances in the first half, which in turn led to Vassell being put through on goal and lifting the ball, via a deflection over the helpless O’Malley. Within the first half, hot prospect Da Silva Lopes was just not at the races. Apart from a decent driven cross to Marriott, he just was not making runs into spaces and didn’t look entirely convinced that he wanted to be there. He did improve in the second half, as did Posh, who had some great chances, via good deliveries across the box that frustratingly could not be converted.
Taylor and Edwards both headed chances over the bar in the second half, with substitute Jermaine Anderson also lifting an effort over said bar in stoppage time at the end of the game.
Playing for the full ninety minutes and being clinical in front of goal are becoming a problem for Posh. At times it seemed Hughes and Da Silva Lopes were playing out of position, some changes were also made devoid of tactical order. This can throw the opposition off however can also have a detrimental effect on the solidity of the nucleus of the general formation.
Overall there were positives from the performance, at least Peterborough are creating chances-a-plenty. If this was not occurring, light at the end of the tunnel would be difficult to construe.
words Ian McFarlane, D3D4 Peterborough United Correspondent