D3D4 Correspondents give their take on the weekend’s action from their club’s perspective…
MATCH REPORT: Fleetwood 2 – 2 Oldham
A pointless Oldham – along with a near thousand-strong army of fans – took the 60 mile trip to Highbury to witness a thrilling 2 – 2 draw.
With debuts for Jack Ruddy and Gevaro Nepomuceno, the Latics lined up in a 3-5-2 formation against a strong Fleetwood side which had on-form Devante Cole leading the line.
It took just 18 minutes for Oldham, who had started strongly, to take the lead; smart work from Jack Byrne saw him turn his man and play the ball into the right channel to Eoin Doyle – who put the ball on a plate for Davies to nod home. Only the second time this season Oldham have taken the lead.
The blues only held the lead for 6 minutes, though, as poor defending from a Kyle Dempsey free kick allowed Baily Cargill to nod across goal for Ashley Eastham to finish. Fleetwood continued to pile on the pressure for much of the remainder of the half as the Oldham defence looked a little shaky – Devante Cole should have given the Cod Army the lead in the 42nd minute but his shot sailed agonisingly close, past the post.
Oldham started the second half sharply and their pressure was rewarded with an excellent strike from on-loan midfielder Kean Bryan in the 55th minute as the Fleetwood defence failed to clear a cross adequately and the Manchester City youngster curled the ball into the top left-hand corner. Jubilant away fans roared and chants of ‘Sheridan’s blue and white army’ rang through the stadium.
Despite being down, the home fans continued to make themselves heard and a red fog emerged from the stand as a confident Oldham team continued to pile on the pressure. Both ex-Fleetwood striker Aaron Amadi-Holloway and defender Anthony Gerrard should have done better with close-range headers and they would rue missing these chances. With some neat work in the Fleetwood midfield, the ball was played through to Devante Cole and a naïve challenge by George Edmundson saw referee Robert Jones point to the spot in the 92nd minute. It was for Ashley Hunt who stepped up to pass the ball into the middle of Ruddy’s goal – sealing the point for Fleetwood
Heartbreak for the Oldham faithful and despite recording their first point of the season in a much-improved performance, the Latics sink to the foot of the table.
Fleetwood XI: Cairns (GK), Coyle, Bell, O’Neill, Eastham, Hiwula (Hunter), Dempsey, Grant (Glendon), Bolger ©, Cargill (Burns), Cole.
Subs not used: Neal (GK), Pond, Godswill, Schwabl.
Oldham XI: Ruddy (GK), Gerrard, Gardner, Davies (Holloway), McLaughlin, Doyle, Edmundson, Clarke, Nepomuceno, Byrne, Bryan.
Subs not used: Placide (GK), Dummigan, Wilson, Banks, Menig, Obadeyi.
Referee: Robert Jones
Attendance: 3606 (997 away)
words Chris Stringer D3D4 Oldham Athletic Correspondent
MATCH REPORT: Rotherham United 3-2 Bury
Back to League 1 action at New York Stadium this afternoon with Rotherham’s home game with Lee Clark’s Bury side.
Rotherham began the game at Breakneck speed & could have been two goals up in the first ten minutes, efforts from Millers Midfielder Will Vaulks & striker Kieffer Moore bringing good saves out of Shakers keeper Joe Murphy. Rotherham’s domination continued & after Murphy again clawed away a goalbound Ryan Williams effort, the Millers got the goal their domination warranted when following a superb diagonal ball from Vaulks, striker Moore calmly brought the ball under control & slipped the ball past Murphy to put Rotherham a goal up. Rotherham chances continued to pile up, another Williams effort was headed off the line by Bury’s Alex Bruce, then midfielder Jon Taylor ran clear, took the ball around Murphy & shot into the side netting. On 34 minutes however with their first attack of any note, Bury’s veteran striker Ryan Lowe whipped in a superb cross for strike partner Jermaine Beckford to power a header past Rotherham’s debutant keeper Marek Rodak to make the scores level.
Half Time 1-1
The Millers continued to pile forward at every opportunity at the start of the second half & were rewarded on 54 minutes when Moore bagged his second goal of the afternoon with a powerful header from Jon Taylors left wing cross. Taylor could have made it three but Murphy saved well from his free kick but Bury were coming more into the match as an attacking force & after Rotherham defender Michael Ihiekwe superbly blocked Beckfords goalbound shot Bury equalised for the second time when Nathan Cameron scored with a brilliant diving header following good work by Beckford. Shocked Rotherham brought on all three substitutes & after another spell of sustained pressure one of the subs Brighton loanee Richie Towell struck a superb 20 yard shot into the corner of the net to win the game for the Millers in the 89th minute.
Full Time 3-2
A thoroughly deserved win for Rotherham but boy did they make hard work of it?
words Ian Bradley D3D4 Rotherham United Correspondent
MATCH REPORT: Coventry City 1-0 Port Vale
On a windy and rainy autumnal afternoon the Sky Blues and Port Vale tried to entertain us watching supporters, but sadly the football produced by either side was of a poor standard.
But I have to keep reminding myself this is League Two football I’m now watching, so I try hard to keep my thoughts to myself, and who wants to sit next to a moaning and whinging fan for ninety odd minutes ? As my mate says on a regular basis : ” A win is a win and who cares how we get it, three points is three points. ” And of course he’s right you won’t get fast flowing football in this division, it’s the result that counts.
But one player who did stand out and was rightly awarded the man of the match, was Jodi Jones. He got a superb hat trick on the opening game of the season verses Notts County, and since then he has been kept out of matches by robust challenges and tight defensive work by opposing defenders. But on Saturday he was full of tricks and used his pace to great effect, and his goal was a cracker. Receiving the ball on his right foot he twisted and turned his marker, and with his left foot curled the ball inside the post, to leave the Vale keeper well beaten.
He is used by the City manager Robins in a wide wing role but I feel he’s more effective playing through the middle, or even as a striker. But given a free role he can cause the opposition problems as he has got skill but at times over does it and ruins his good play with a poor cross or pass. But he’s young and still learning and is without doubt one for the future, and the worry for us City supporters is will they sell him on ? We are well known as a selling club and our hated owners wouldn’t hesitate to flog him when clubs come sniffing around. They spend more time in the courts than they do at our club, and it costs them money, so they may be looking at Jones and thinking we could get a few bob for him ? Still until it happens we just have to hope as long as he’s playing in a sky blue shirt he can continue to shine.
As for Port Vale they really plied on the pressure in the last fifteen/twenty minutes, and when Coventry went down to ten men due to the sending off of Rod McDonald with nine minutes to go, which was a harsh red card and will be appealed by the club, the Valiants almost got the equaliser by hitting a post.
So a well needed three points for the Sky Blues and which put Port Vale on the bottom of League Two. And as my mate said to me as we made our way back to the pub : ” A wins a win mate, it’s your round by the way ! ”
On Twitter @mistergodiva
words Kevin Halls D3D4 Coventry City Correspondent
MATCH REPORT: Shrewsbury Town 1-0 Wigan Athletic
Excuse me Bet365, Mr William Hill. Betfair, don’t talk to us about fair. Coral, pahhh what do you know? You have hundred’s of computers & staff crunching numbers, stats and even more figures, but what none of your bots and humanoids could do is read into the fact that a wonderful young manager who is on the move up the ladder had put together a fantastically well balanced squad that has the makings of a once in a generation team of hero’s at Shrewsbury Town.
You had us as one of the favourites for relegation, also rans you said, fodder for the bigger boys in the league. You gave us no chance. Most would listen and unwisely mirror your opinions, some closer to the team looked at a well managed pre-season and at a team eager to perform, even against bigger teams and wondered if the bookies knew something they didn’t. It’s a “fluke start” you said, “they haven’t played anyone yet” others said. Well Wigan one of your own favourites have just been gunned down by this vibrant, young, highly skilled side. How do you feel now? Silly? Foolish?
Stefan Payne bagged what proved the winner 26 minutes in, after Town had weathered an early Latics storm. Ivan Toney had a penalty appeal turned down, Henderson saved well from Powell and live wire Jacobs hit the side netting when through, then Salop kicked into their newly found top gear and Whalley stung Jones’ fingertips with a fine effort before Payne stabbed home Nsiala’s knock down for the only goal of the game. Pantomime villain and former Shrew loanee Toney clipped the post for the visitors in the second half with a diving header, but that was as close as they came as the Salopian defence marshalled the favourites attack convincingly and with relative ease to claim an impressive three points.
Paul Hurst hailed the effort from his charges after the celebrations at the final whistle.
“It’s nice for the fans, isn’t it – but you know what I’ll say, I’m more interested in what happened today on the pitch. It was a fantastic effort from the team. We said and knew it would have to be against that team. We might have different results, that are less positive, but I’m not sure we’ll play a better team than them. The way they work the ball, how comfortable they are under pressure, it needed to be a top performance. It stemmed from pure togetherness and hard work, which again I’ll make no excuses about.”
“The best thing for me is that it’s together. But again some quality as well. In the second-half although they had a lot of territory, we’ve got players that can take the ball up the pitch. We created some chances ourselves. Overall, the concentration levels had to be very high. I thought we started a little nervy, maybe giving them too much respect, a bigger crowd”.
“Maybe I’m guilty in forgetting, with some of the players here – it is the biggest game of their careers so far. I’m really pleased with them for everything they’ve done. I’m delighted for the fans who’ve had more negative feelings in the last couple of seasons, even if it’s just for tonight, looking at the table.
“But I’ll leave that for fans to do”
Most people say you’ll never see a poor Bookie and that is right, but lets hope this incredible run can continue and there can be a few more weeks of bookie bashing as Paul Hurst and his well thought through incredibly tight band of on the field brothers continue to defy the odds and take League One by storm.
Ray Winston watch out, your boys are taking one hell of a battering….”get on it”!
Shrewsbury Town (4-1-4-1):
Henderson; Bolton, Nsiala, Sadler, Brown; Godfrey; Whalley (Beckles, 94), Ogogo ©, Nolan (Adams, 91), Rodman; Payne (John-Lewis, 77) Subs not used: MacGillivray, Riley, Dodds, Gnahoua
Jones; Byrne, Bruce, Burn, James; Morsy ©. Evans; Massey (Colclough, 62), Powell (Roberts, 77), Jacobs; Toney (Grigg, 62) Subs not used: Sarkic, Perkins, Thomas, Hunt.
words Ian Evans D3D4 Shrewsbury Town Correspondent
MATCH REPORT: Peterborough United 1-3 Bradford City
Saturday 9th September 2017
ENGLISH FOOTBALL LEAGUE 1
PETERBOROUGH UNITED 1-3 BRADFORD CITY
Baldwin 70 Poleon 7, Vincelot 36
Lineup: Bond. Taylor. Baldwin. Tafazolli (Hughes 46). Lopes. Grant. Doughty (Anderson 46). Edwards. Marriott (Miller 61). Morias. Maddison
Posh came crashing down to earth as heavy as the cascading down-pours which enveloped London Road for most of the day. Bradford showed why they are one of the favourites for promotion this season. Expansive, clynical and hard to break down, all attributes greatly needed for heading out of the division.
Posh changed their formation, only slightly to a 3-4-3, differing from the 3-4-1-2 model in which has heralded brilliant early-season form. In McCann’s defence, I believe this was to try and match Bradford better on the flanks. It was crosses/set pieces which ultimately led to Peterborough’s downfall.
After making a decent save after only 4 minutes, Jonathan Bond over-complicated a cross, making a complete hash of it with the ball in turn falling to Dominic Poleon to stroke home. Posh had some chances in the first half, most notably efforts from Tafazolli and a typically audacious attempt from Marcus Maddison.
Without a doubt Bradford always looked a serious threat on the attack and headers from a corner and a free-kick respectively gave the Bantams a commanding 3-0 lead before the interval. Vincelot and Kilgallon, clinical with their heads, however Posh defending was inept. Possibly why Tafazolli having an uncharacteristic bad day at the office was culled at half time.
Posh came out for the second half like a new team, however things just were not going in for the Boro. From my vantage point, Ricky Miller was brought down in the area, but referee Keith Stroud (having a stinker IMO), booked Miller for simulation. He then booked Morias and Grant in the resulting melee, Grant would later receive his marching orders for a second booking for deliberate hand-ball.
Peterborough did get the deserved goal, with skipper Jack Baldwin stroking the ball home after an old-school goal-mouth scramble. Shortly after Grant’s sending off the game would finish 10-a-side as Adam Chicksen would also see the right to an early shower for a reckless tackle.
It was good to see Jermaine Anderson back after being blighted by injuries, he didn’t make one error from when he came on for the second half. His touches, runs and ball retention alone deserved him of being on the winning side, sadly this did not transpire and Bradford were worthy winners overall in an exciting encounter.
words Ian McFarlane D3D4 Peterborough United Correspondent
MATCH REPORT: Barnet 3-1 Cambridge United
It was a hugely disappointing trip to Barnet for Cambridge United, who couldn’t build on a couple of promising performances on home soil as they were brought back down to Earth with a 3-1 defeat at The Hive. Barnet moved into the playoff spots thanks to a goal from Shaquile Coulthirst and an impressive brace from Mauro Vilhete.
The home side dominated throughout, and in truth, the final score-line could’ve been much worse for Cambridge had it not been for yet another solid display from ‘keeper David Forde. Barnet’s first chance of the match came through centre-back Ricardo Santos, who had made his way up from the back, but could only flash a shot across the goal and just past the post from the edge of the area.
Forde was first called into action by Jamal Campbell-Ryce, who saw his shot parried away having been played through by Coulthirst, who had won the ball after chasing down a poor clearance from U’s defender Greg Taylor. Campbell-Ryce again caused problems, this time down the right hand side, and after turning the Cambridge defender inside out, he floated a delightful cross in towards Ruben Bover, whose header looked destined for goal, only for Forde to get down well to turn it round the post.
However, Forde could only keep the home side out for so long, and it was in the 40th minute of the game when Barnet deservedly broke the deadlock through the lively Mauro Vilhete. Bover took the ball to the touchline, before a clever move between Campbell-Ryce and Coulthirst saw the latter float the ball into the path of Vilhete, who found himself unmarked on the edge of the six-yard line, to guide a header past Forde, and put the home side in front going into the break.
Despite an initial improvement from Cambridge in the second half, it was to be Barnet’s day, and they extended their lead through the lively Shaquile Coulthirst just after the hour mark. Youngster Jack Taylor played a delightful through ball into the path of Coulthirst, who, after a clever step-over, took the ball past Greg Taylor and fired into the bottom corner past Forde to double the home side’s advantage. Coulthirst, who had scored a hat-trick in Barnet’s previous fixture away at Swindon, almost doubled his own tally, only for his out-swinging effort from 25-yards to be tipped wide by the outstanding Forde.
Cambridge managed to give themselves a lifeline with twenty minutes remaining, when Leon Legge rose highest to connect with a Medy Elito free-kick, and glanced his header past former United goalkeeper Craig Ross to half the deficit.
Even with a considerable amount of time to throw everything at Barnet in search of that elusive equaliser, Cambridge never really threatened to complete their comeback, and the home side’s dominance was confirmed in injury time, when Mauro Vilhete capped an impressive personal, and team display with a fine finish. Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro powered into the area, and when his delivery was only half cleared, Vilhete was on hand to fire the loose ball into the roof of the net, to seal the win for his side, and pile the misery on for Cambridge.
The away fans were understandably disappointed, and made their feelings known towards partly their team, but mostly their manager as the pressure begins to build on Shaun Derry. As he was making his way down the tunnel back into the changing rooms, a small, but not insignificant group of United fans gathered around where the tunnel is situated at The Hive to voice their frustrations on what was yet another extremely disappointing performance. Things will have to change, and quickly, for the Cambridgeshire outfit if they are to go one better than the disappointment suffered during the previous campaign. For Barnet, though, things are looking up, and with an impressive team at an excellent new facility in The Hive, with the likes of John Akinde and Dave Tarpey yet to get up and running for the season, who knows what the season could hold for Rossi Eames’ side.
words Tom Walker D3D4 Cambridge United Correspondent