Last weekend, most teams in League Two must have been full of the Christmas spirit – points were shared in seven of the twelve matches. With no change at either end of the table, the round-up begins at the bottom where both Wycombe and Aldershot won their respective matches in a bid to move up the table.
Victory for Wycombe at the Crown Ground extended their unbeaten run to five league matches and saw them move up to 17th – eight points clear of danger. Bruno Andrade gave Wanderers the lead in the 11th minute – the QPR loanee’s deflected shot from 12 yards beating Paul Rachubka in the Accrington goal. Matt McClure made it two before half time when he reacted quickest to a shot by Dean Morgan that came back off the post. But McClure soon turned villain when he was shown two yellows in six minutes and despite having a man advantage for over half an hour of the game, Stanley could find no way back.
Meanwhile, Aldershot ran out winners when they entertained a Rochdale side without a win in December. The Shots took the lead in the opening 10 minutes – Dani Lopez with his fourth goal in five games. The striker, on loan from Stevenage, headed in from close range. Dale drew level minutes later through Ashley Grimes' low shot but Aldershot restored their lead when Peter Vincenti turned in Danny Hylton’s cross. The home side increased their advantage through Danny Rose’s penalty in first half stoppage time. With an hour gone, Rochdale managed to get a goal back – Ashley Grimes on the score sheet again – but Aldershot restored their two goal cushion when, with minutes remaining, Craig Reid added a fourth. The drama didn’t end there and with four minutes of injury time played, the Shots had defender Ben Herd dismissed.
Bristol Rovers remain in the bottom two, after their heavy defeat to newly-promoted York. The game was wrapped up in the first half – with all of the goals coming in the opening 33 minutes. The Minstermen were gifted their opener as Rovers’ defender Garry Kenneth headed into his own net. The visiting side levelled the scores a minute later when Tom Eaves fired home from just outside the box. In an exciting opening period, York quickly retook the lead as Ashley Chambers headed in from Matty Blair’s cross. And the home side ran rampant as they added a third, with less than 20 minutes played through Jason Walker’s volley. The misery was compounded on Bristol Rovers and manager Mark McGhee when Chambers got his second with a neat chip. With nine defeats from 11 games, McGhee was shown the door after less than a year in charge.
There were also narrow victories for Rotherham and Dagenham & Redbridge – both against sides in the bottom four. At Kingsmeadow, a late goal for Kieran Agard handed the Millers victory, against AFC Wimbledon. The substitute netted with a little over 10 minutes left to play, as his shot hit the post and went in off Neil Sullivan between the sticks. Across London, a solitary goal for Dagenham & Redbridge was enough to keep Barnet rooted to the bottom of the Football League. The goal came on 17 minutes through Matthew Saunders and sees Daggers move into the top half of the table.
At the top of League Two, Gillingham remain leaders as they salvaged a point after going two goals down against Fleetwood. The visitors were cruising with half an hour on the clock: first, Junior Brown netted from close range, before Alan Goodhall’s head met Barry Nicholson’s corner. The Gills reduced the deficit before the break when Charlie Lee’s strike hit the back of the net and their comeback was complete midway through the second half after Myles Weston scored from six yards out.
Port Vale stay second and five points behind Gillingham after they played third placed Cheltenham. Both teams left Whaddon Road with a share of the spoils. The home side took the lead in the second half when midfielder Darren Carter struck from 12 yards out. Vale quickly levelled through Louis Dodds’ close-range shot, leaving both teams as they started.
Bradford and Southend –both in the play-off places – fought out a 2-2 draw, with the Shrimpers grabbing a late equaliser. The Bantams, buoyed by their cup victory against Arsenal in the week, went ahead through Nahki Wells and their goal advantage stood as both teams went in at the break. Their lead was doubled halfway through the second half when Luke Prosser sliced the ball into his own net. But the hosts earned a point in the final 10 minutes: Ryan Cresswell’s header set up a final flurry and Gavin Tomlin’s strike in time added on gave both teams a point.
The points were also shared in the Devon Derby as Exeter took on Plymouth, with the teams residing at opposite ends of the table. The Grecians went ahead when Liam Sercombe's chance deflected into the bottom corner in the opening period. Joe Lennox scored his first goal for Argyle – and an important one – as they found an equaliser. Despite having Maxime Blanchard sent off for a second bookable offence late on, the Pilgrims managed to hold on.
There were also late goals at Plainmoor where Torquay took on Northampton and the Globe Arena, with Morecambe hosting Oxford. In the south west, the Gulls took the lead through Ryan Jarvis, just after the half-hour mark. The Cobblers left it late, but skipper Kelvin Langmead netted in second half stoppage time. Elsewhere, two goals in 10 minutes gave Morecambe and Oxford a point apiece. It took as long as the 78th minute for the first goal – Kevin Ellison giving the home side the lead with his finish from close range. With two minutes left on the clock, Harry Worley turned in Alfie Potter’s cross and his equaliser secured Oxford’s fourth consecutive draw.
And it was draws galore, as Chesterfield and Burton played out a 1-1 finish. Jacques Maghoma gave Albion the lead in the first half before the Spireites snatched a point through Marc Richards’ header. Jack Lester saw red 22 minutes after entering the field, but it was too late to make a real impact on the game.
Friday night sees three games as Rochdale entertain Cheltenham, Burton travel to Barnet and Southend and Chesterfield meet at Roots Hall. As for Saturday’s matches, the stand-out game has to be Torquay versus Exeter.