There were mixed fortunes for the for teams at the top of League Two last night, with two of the division’s top three sides tasting defeat.
Leaders Doncaster kept up their fantastic run of form, which has seen them lose just once in their last ten, with victory Cambridge. The match became closer than Doncaster would have liked though, as Rovers had to hold off a spirited comeback from Cambridge to hold on to all three points.
Rovers found themselves 3-0 up with 15 minutes to play, thanks to goals from Tommy Rowe, Mathieu Baudry and John Marquis. But Cambridge mounted a comeback and tested Doncaster’s resolve, with goals from George Maris and Luke Berry setting up a tense finale. The win puts Rovers 12 points clear of fourth and, barring disaster, it should see them return to League One next season.
Their fellow automatic promotion candidates didn’t have such good evenings, with Plymouth losing to Notts County and Carlisle falling to defeat away at Cheltenham Town. Argyle still have a six point cushion in the automatic promotion places but a run of four games without a win will concern Derek Adams.
Meanwhile two consecutive defeats for Carlisle have seen them sucked back into the chasing pack, with Portsmouth, who were held by Morecambe, now just two points off the Cumbrian side, with a game in a hand. Exeter City are also on the heels of Carlisle as they went four games unbeaten with victory over Crawley Town.
Elsewhere at the top, Stevenage have surged into the play-offs with a superb run of form that has seen them take 19 points from the last 21 on offer. Leyton Orient were their latest victims, with first-half goals from Ben Kennedy and Matty Godden establishing a 2-0 lead before Paul McCallum gave his side a lifeline. But Boro asserted their dominance after the break and goals from Luke Wilkinson and Tom Pett saw Darren Sarll’s side ease to a 4-1 victory.
Mansfield Town fell out of the play-off places after being held to a goalless draw away to Yeovil, whilst Wycombe also lost ground on their rivals. A brace from Adebayo Akinfenwa put Wycombe in front but an equaliser from Matty Pearson forced them to settle for a point. Grimsby Town’s win over Colchester United brings them further into the play-off picture, a Sam Jones strike denying Colchester the chance to claim a play-off spot.
At the other end, Leyton Orient’s defeat to Stevenage left them six points from safety, thanks to Hartlepool United putting four past Crewe. The result for United also means that Newport, who didn’t play last night, now find themselves 9 nine points from safety.
It is perhaps Orient who find themselves in more trouble than Newport, as Graham Westley has seemingly began to turn their form with his side only losing three of their last ten. Orient on the other hand, not only have trouble on the pitch, where they’ve lost eight of their last ten but have a toxic situation off it, with protests against the clubs ownership. The club appears on a downward curve and desperately need a win if they are to preserve their Football League status.
Accrington’s draw with Wycombe gave them a much needed point and wins in their two games in hand would see them move 11 clear of the relegation zone.
In the night’s final fixture Barnet surrendered a 2-0 lead as they drew 2-2 with Blackpool at Bloomfield Road thanks to a Kyle Vassel injury time winner.
Accrington Stanley 2-2 Wycombe Wanderers
Blackpool 2-2 Barnet
Cambridge United 2-3 Doncaster Rovers
Cheltenham Town 1-0 Carlisle United
Crawley Town 1-2 Exeter City
Grimsby Town 1-0 Colchester United
Hartlepool United 4-0 Crewe Alexandra
Plymouth Argyle 0-1 Notts County
Portsmouth 1-1 Morecambe
Stevenage 4-1 Leyton Orient
Yeovil Town 0-0 Mansfield Town
By Alex Knight