D3D4 Correspondents give their match reports on the weekends action…
Carlisle United 3-0 Cheltenham Town
After 2 good results on the road following an opening day defeat, Carlisle United had the chance to extend their winning run against Cheltenham Town as they returned to Brunton Park before a cup match on Tuesday. Jason Kennedy came back into the squad after a summer out with an unknown injury and Keith Curle opted for a 4-4-2 system at home, a formation that the Brunton Park faithful have been wanting to see as of late, due its away successes.
It couldn’t have started much better for Carlisle as an early corner sent in towards Tom Miller at back post, saw the right-back very typically provide a strong header back across goal. Cheltenham couldn’t deal with it and Harry Pell ended almost bicycle-kicking it into his own net from around 6 yards out giving the Cumbrians the lead. Despite the set-back Cheltenham got their heads back up, Carlisle had moments under pressure but the physical back 4 dealt with it well. Ritchie Bennett offered the blues an excellent long-ball outlet and his flick-ons led to a number of chances as Carlisle aimed for a second. That second came soon after when some good play resulted in Nicky Adams collecting the ball on his left flank and whipping in a low cross on his weaker left foot for Reggie Lambe to latch onto as he came across from his right flank. The Bermudan managed to get a deft touch on the ball with his head, resulting in the ball flying into the bottom right-hand corner. The rest of half was full of half-chances for both sides and as the rain began to pour, the first-half fizzled out.
Once the second-half got going, it was clear Cheltenham weren’t going to peg Carlisle back. After an hour had passed the blues got their third and final goal. T. Miller capped on a superb performance with an equally silver goal. It might have been shot with his toe, but the former Lincoln City man, where Carlisle travel to next weekend, found the top right-hand corner from the edge of the penalty box as Keith Curle’s men knew the day was theirs.
Nothing too worthy of note followed in the match even when both sides made a number of changes. The Gloucestershire outfit did have height on their side towards the end of the match and long balls almost worked for them numerous times, but to no avail. That Carlisle back 4 of T. Miller, Mark Ellis, Tom Parkes and captain Grainger were dominant and for a side that is often so prone to conceding, they looked near-watertight with a number of headers, tackles and battles being well won. Ellis & Parkes’ partnership looks promising to say the least, their desire to win the ball first and individual different abilities blend them together well. Reggie Lambe is well-worth a mention, playing the full match yet again and deservedly so with his hard-working performance that shows just why he’s an important asset of the squad.
It was a dismal day for Gary Johnson’s side and a delightful one for Keith Curle’s. Sunderland will be a tough test on Tuesday but this strong showing will fill the dressing room and club with confidence. 3 wins in a row. 3 goals in this one. However, mostly importantly, 3 points for Carlisle.
Words Nathan Ridley, D3D4 Carlisle United Correspondent
Chesterfield 2 Port Vale 0
Two goals just before half-time were enough to give Gary Caldwell’s Spireites their first win of the season and condemn Port Vale to a third straight defeat in League & Cup.
Michael Brown’s Valiants started the game the brighter of the two sides but they lacked the nous to trouble Tommy Lee in the home goal, playing his first game in 15 months following operations on both shoulders. Tom Pope wasn’t brought into the game enough by the visitors despite early midfield domination with the experienced Michael Tonge seeing plenty of the ball and Vale notching up plenty of corners.
Chesterfield’s management spotted the problem and switched from a 5-3-2 to a 4-4-2 midway through the first half, pushing Wigan loanee and debut maker Jordan Flores more centrally and from then on began to look the more accomplished of two clearly confidence lacking sides.
The initial breakthrough came on 38 minutes when Jordan Sinnott played a through ball to Kristian Dennis to score beyond the inexperienced Sam Hornby and Sinnott turned from provider to scorer (and villain) five minutes later. The midfielder hammered a long-ranger onto the bar, Flores hit a target bound rebound that Hornby did well to block but Sinnott followed it up to make it 2-0.
The man signed from FC Halifax Town in the summer, after scoring his first League goal since hitting the target for Bury against Accrington Stanley four years and two days earlier, then rather foolishly goaded the Vale fans no doubt as a result of his Dad Lee’s unceremonious sacking by the Vale Park outfit in 2008.
From then on, Vale rarely looked like getting back into the game, Lee’s only real save coming late on from a Pope header, a scenario that led to some boos and ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ chants from some of the travelling fans at various times.
The hosts continually got under Vale’s skin with a series of tough tackles and player baiting, Anthony De Freitas in particular was a target after he’d replaced Ben Whitfield, whilst sub Jak McCourt was carded for a wild lunge just before the end, no doubt that moment was still in Vale Assistant Manager David ‘Ned’ Kelly’s mind when he seemed to refuse Caldwell’s final whistle handshake.
Over the 90 minutes, the best side won but Vale will wonder what might have been if they’d have had a little more guile in the opening quarter when they looked the more likely side to break the deadlock.
Words Phil Tooley, D3D4 Chesterfield Correspondent
Luton Town 3-0 Colchester United
It’s not often that a team is relieved at only being beaten 3-0. But, on Saturday, that’s exactly what the players, and fans, of Colchester United were feeling once the referee blew his final whistle.
In front of an always impressive crowd at good old (and pretty dingy) Kenilworth Road, The Mighty U’s looked more like they didn’t have a clue as, thanks to some fine goalkeeping from Sam Walker, they managed to only concede 3 goals against Luton. And that has been the trouble for Colchester so far. They have managed to make some fairly decent teams look like they could take on Barcelona.
Having said that, the match started fairly evenly with both teams sharing a few chances. Colchester’s Kane Vincent-Young had a lovely run at goal and shot wide from just outside the box. Meanwhile, The Hatters forced a number of quality saves from Colchester’s supposedly 7 foot tall keeper (if you believe the fans’ chant).
Unfortunately, just before half-time, Walker could defend his goal no longer. Following a corner from Luton, the ball was headed clear and promptly headed back towards goal. The U’s defenders stood still and Olly Lee swept the ball into the back of the net on the angle.
Not long into the second half, Colchester’s keeper had time to make another spectacular save before Luton scored again. McCormack tried his luck with a long range effort which was tipped away wonderfully. However, the writing was on the wall for The U’s and on the 52nd minute, they conceded again. Collins hit a wonderful shot, again on the angle, into the top corner of the net and once again Colchester’s defenders just seemed to stand and watch.
A rare and perfect chance came Colchester’s way to get back into the game as Szmodics was found unmarked in the box. The attacker’s header was destined for the back of the net if only Luton’s keeper Stech – stealing some inspiration from Walker’s goal saving gallantry – didn’t save brilliantly. If it wasn’t already clear is wasn’t the Essex team’s day, that save made it sure.
The Hatters had another fabulous chance to score again in the 76th minute, but thankfully Hylton’s header hit the bar and bounced up to safety. However, 6 minutes later, Luton had their third and final goal.
Sheehan’s free kick eluded every player except Luton’s Potts who – easy as you like – guided the ball into the back of the net. 3-0 and thankfully, that was that.
One point out of a possible 9 is not the start to the season anyone associated with Colchester United expected. It is not secret that the team is without some key players. Thankfully however, the players have no illusions about their poor performances. Experienced midfielder Doug Loft made his first start for a very long time on Saturday and his presence on the pitch and harsh words about the team’s performances, will hopefully give them the kick up the backside they need.
1 Stech, 7 Stacey, 16 Rea, 44 Sheehan, 3 Potts, 4 McCormack, 8 Lee, 11 Shinnie (sub Cook 88′), 17 Mpanzu, 9 Hylton (sub Lee 88′), 19 Collins (sub Cornick 87′). Subs: 2 Justin, 5 Mullins, 10 Cook, 14 Cornick, 22 Gambin, 36 Shea, 38 Lee
1 Walker, 18 Eastman, 6 Kent, 12 Kpekawa (sub Johstone 63′), 22 Vincent-Young, 4 Lapslie (sub Murray 54′), 8 Loft, 3 Kinsella, 10 Szmodics, 19 Mandron, 7 Wright (sub Issa 77′). Subs: 9 Johnstone, 16 Murray, 23 O’Sullivan, 29 Gilmartin, 31 Issa, 35 James, 42 McKeown
Ref: Seb Stockbridge. Attendance: 7,865
Words Piers Palmer, D3D4 Colchester United Correspondent
Coventry City 0-1 Newport County
With the Sky Blues starting the season well with two league wins and sitting at the top of league Two, I was fairly confident of the City getting another three points on Saturday.
But the team had other ideas and Newport were well worthy of their victory. Coventry were really poor and looked off the pace and to us fans watching on it really irritated us as they kept giving the ball away, were poor in the tackle, and were physically out muscled by the visiting side.
I know it’s early in the season and players are still getting used to each other, but we looked so disjointed and players seemed at times baffled as to what they were supposed to be doing, which Newport picked up on to their advantage.
Fair play to the Welsh club, who were backed by nearly a thousand noisy supporters, they were well organised and worked hard with and without the ball. Although the standard of football wasn’t pretty by both teams Newport played a canny game and played to their strengths, and as the away team defended well and used the counter attack effectively.
But the only goal of the game was a soft one for Coventry to concede as our keeper Liam O’Brien fumbled a speculative effort by Cole when it looked easier to save, and that surprised me as he has looked a safe pair of hands so far in this campaign. But that wasn’t the reason we lost we got beat because were second best on the day.
But it’s early days yet and the City just have to put this defeat down to a bad day at the office and accept no player played well, and go to Yeovil on Saturday and all put in a shift.
The Newport players and their supporters seemed to be more up for it and it was like they were playing in a huge match, and this was reflected at the final whistle when players and fans jumped about as though they’d won the FA Cup final at Wembley,as we trudged out of the Ricoh and headed back to the watering holes for some much needed alcohol.
Welcome to League Two Coventry City !
Words Kevin Halls, D3D4 Coventry City Correspondent
Peterborough United 2-1 Rotherham United
SATURDAY 19th AUGUST 2017
PETERBOROUGH UNITED 2-1 ROTHERHAM UNITED
Marriott 47, 75 Moore 55
Posh line-up: 1 Bond, 5 Tafazolli, 6 Baldwin, 27 Taylor, 7 Edwards, 42 Grant, 20 Doughty, 18 Da Silva Lopes (Hughes 82), 11 Maddison (Forrester 82), 16 Morias (Kanu 71), 14 Marriott
A captivating afternoons’ entertainment was had at the ABAX during a thoroughly enjoyable and pulsating spectacle unravelled in front of the 6,000 plus in attendance.
During a first half in which created no goals, but plenty of excitement. Jack Marriott’s effort seemingly had crossed the line, via the under-side of the bar, however my position within Zone D of the Family Stand was not as good as the lines-man’s and with no goal-line technology in League 1, this contest remained at 0-0.
Rotherham came close with a series of chances within a goal-mouth scramble, involving two smart saves from Jonathan Bond aswell as hitting the post before the ball was eventually cleared.
After the interval the high-octane action continued, Posh hit the front first, Marriott played the ball across the ground and the keeper, before the ball slithered over the line with the help of the inside of the post. The ball had just crossed the line, however Junior Morias was sliding in to make sure.
Rotherham equalised shortly after, the towering Kieffer Moore getting his head onto a lovely curling cross from the left wing. The Millers thought they had taken the lead shortly after, however Jamie Proctor’s effort was ruled out for offside.
With 15 minutes remaining, a clearance from the Peterborough back-line found an alert and able Marriott who deftly lobbed the on-rushing O’Donnell in the Rotherham goal.
Posh were under pressure for the remaining 20 minutes, which included the 5 added. They would hold out, crowning 9 points from 9 even though it means nothing at this stage. I will go on record as saying I left this amazing contest, thinking that every player gave their all from both sides. This just shows some of the best entertainment can be found within League 1, so leave your armchairs and your Sky remotes and be entertained.
Words Ian McFarlane, D3D4 Peterborough United Correspondent
Crawley Town 0-1 Cambridge United
Cambridge United picked up their first victory of the season on the road at Crawley thanks to a scrambled Jabo Ibehre winner, as Crawley fell to the bottom of the League Two table, now the only team to have failed to pick up a single point in their first three league matches.
Ex-Colchester and Carlisle frontman Ibehre opened his account for his new side in the sixty-third minute, poking home after excellent work from strike-partner Uche Ikpeazu had forced a save from home goalkeeper Glenn Morris, who could only palm a shot into the path of the U’s striker, who managed to beat a defender to the loose ball to score the game’s only goal.
In truth, it was a poor game, with quality moments few and far between, and Harry Kewell’s Crawley may feel aggrieved not to have salvaged anything from a game during which they struck the woodwork twice, and tested United stopper David Forde on numerous occasions. It was summer signing Mark Randall, brought in from Newport County, who gave United their first scare of the game, when his effort from twenty-five yards dipped at the last moment and crashed off the bar, with Forde beaten.
Reds’ stopper Morris was called into action twice in the first half, first getting down well to keep the lively Ikpeazu at bay, after being put through on goal by winger Medy Elito, and then later beating away a well struck shot from Ikpeazu, who brought the ball down well in the area from a deep Jake Carroll delivery. Arguably United’s best chance of the first half fell to talismanic figure Luke Berry, who saw a shot saved after winning the ball inside Crawley’s six-yard box, but may have been better using his opportunity to tee up teammates Legge and O’Neil who were in more favourable positions.
Crawley started the second half brightly, with enigmatic wide player Enzio Boldewijn having a reasonable shout for a penalty turned down, after claiming to have been brought down inside the eighteen-yard box by youngster Leon Davies, recently the subject of speculation from higher up the EFL pyramid. But it was Cambridge who scored the game’s only goal, with summer acquisition Jabo Ibehre pouncing on the rebound from Ikpeazu’s drive, after the ball had been won high up the pitch by fellow summer recruit Gary Deegan. Ibehre was, unfortunately for Shaun Derry’s side, injured in the scramble, and had to be replaced, leaving the field to an ovation from the travelling away fans.
The remainder of the game became a test of United’s resolve, with Crawley piling on the pressure in search of an equaliser. David Forde was tested twice in a matter of moments, as the aforementioned Boldewijn drove into the box, and saw a deflected attempt on goal almost wrong foot the goalkeeper, with huge Dutch striker Thomas Verheydt unable to convert the rebound. There was a late scare for Derry’s men, as former loanee Matt Harrold crashed a close-range effort against the inside of the post from a Verheydt knockdown. But, United remained firm, and held out for their first victory of the season, to the delight of the away fans who had made the trip to Sussex.
Words Tom Walker, D3D4 Cambridge United Correspondent
Stevenage 3-1 Grimsby
Stevenage have grabbed their first three points in a dominating display vs a lacklustre Grimsby side at broad hall way. Stevenage, who were in control for most of the game, scored three fabulous goals through Danny Newton, Jonathan Smith and Ben Kennedy. Grimsby had Sam jones sent off in what was a second successive defeat for Grimsby and leaves Stevenage unbeaten.
It was dominant in the first quarter for Stevenage but Grimsby started to come into the game. Thirty minutes in Luke Summerfield hit a free kick that landed right in Boro keeper Joe Fryers hands which he spilt and managed to claw away just before it crossed the line.
But on thirty six minutes Stevenage took the lead which no man can say was undeserved. A over hit cross by Luke Wilkinson was picked up by Tom Pett who fed the ball into in form striker Danny Newton. He flicked it up and lobbed over the keeper for a brilliant opener and his third in as many games. The goal had been coming and now Boro had the wind in their wings and were looking confident.
A minute before half time, Jonathan Smith doubled Stevenage’s tally, scoring on his home debut. A loose ball in the box led to Smith finding himself in the right place at the right time, as the midfielder poked home into the bottom right. In a matter of minutes Stevenage had changed the game completely. Grimsby looked shell shocked heading into the break two behind.
The second half was very much as you were for Stevenage with Grimsby getting increasingly frustrated and this showed early on as after having a penalty appeal turned away, Grimsby had Sam Jones sent off for an off the ball elbow incident.
Stevenage got into their groove once again and their dominance showed when Sub Ben Kennedy, who is attracting interest from Derby, picked the ball up on the right, jinxed past a few defenders cut in before finding the net with a calm, finessed finish into the far corner. He celebrated by running to the east terrace patting the badge and sending the fans wild.
Grimsby did pull a consolation goal back when Danny Collins headed home from a cross after young Joe Fryer made a mistake in goal.
But Stevenage held on and can take many positives out of the game. Grimsby can be nothing but disappointed with yet another disjointed performance. The win puts Stevenage in eighth with five points on the board.
Next up an away day derby with Barnet!!!
My MOTM: Jonathan smith
Attendance 2793 (770 Grimsby fans)
Words Reece Donnelly, Stevenage Fan
Milton Keynes Dons 1 Gillingham 0
Sadly, or perhaps not so sadly, seeing as the Dons lost their first two league games and just shaded an extra time win against league new boys Forest Green in the Carabau Cup, today’s game was my first of the season.
Still it was nice to be back at the cauldron of noise, excitement and unrestrained passion that is Stadium MK and to anticipate the Dons storming to their first home victory with both panache and style.
All change it certainly is with our man Robbie Nielson in charge. If the sight of the team playing in a 4-4-2 formation and a proper number 9 (one who actually seems to have some idea where the goal is located) wasn’t enough to leave the Dons faithful mopping their brows in disbelief the sight of long term favourite Dean Lewington sitting disconsolately on the subs bench (replaced at left back by a centre half Joe Walsh) certainly would have done so.
If Deano could use his right foot for anything other than standing on (I once counted the number of consecutive times he touched the ball with his left foot and gave up through sheer boredom on 98) there is no doubt that he would have played at a much higher level. His lack of pace (rumour has it that the taxi company that was used to take him back to his defensive duties after his regular lung bursting forays down the left wing has gone into liquidation thus hastening his demise) was also a bit of an issue but no doubt about it he is still a more than decent player and already a Club legend.
After a dire first half memorable only for a brilliant solo run and shot by Gboly Ariyibi and a smart one two between Southampton loanee Ryan Seager and new boy Osman Sow, all but the most enthusiastic of brow moppers were left enjoying the quiet and gentile kind of grumbling that has become a hallmark of Stadium MK.
Is there to be more of the same after the break I ask myself. Well no Siree. Almost straight from the kick off a delightful ball from Aston Villa loanee Aaron Tshibola finds the head of our new number 9 and the hen’s teeth of football, a MK Dons goal, is being celebrated by any of our supporters not too busy checking their mobile phones for the latest score of their other team.
Gillingham? Well apart from one or two nice touches from Lee Martin and a lot of graft from centre forward Tom Eaves they had little to offer and the home side, believe it or not, looked in cruise control.
A harsh penalty awarded by referee Kettle seems to put the result beyond doubt only for Kieran Agard to uphold the fine tradition of MK strikers by stroking a tame effort straight at goalkeeper Tomas Holy.
89 minutes: “Still a 1-0 victory can’t be bad. We’ll take that” say the Cow Shed. But wait a mo. What’s going on now? A penalty for the Gills in the last minute? You cannot be serious Mr.Kettle.
“Good God. That’s enough. I’m off” says the woman next to me before storming off in a huff. “Wait” I say as Josh Wright smashes the ball over the bar and deep into the 500 or so Gillingham faithful behind the goal. But sadly she has gone, oblivious to the final score and thus missing the rare chance of savouring the sweet smell of success.
The verdict: Well team MK are without doubt work in progress. Neilson needs time but with one or two additions and the return to fitness of Chucks Aneke I stick by my pre season prediction of a play off place or even better.
Gillingham? Well sad to say but if this performance is anything to go by they are going to struggle big time.
It’s Blackburn away next week, another team that so far have not been firing on all four cylinders.
Hope springs eternal…….
Words Ian Morley, D3D4 Milton Keynes Dons Correspondent