It’s funny how as football fans we look at the New Year as the season racing to a finish when in reality most teams have only in the last week or two just completed half of their fixtures. As we know there is always a team or two that defy their form in the first half of the season, and either put a string of results together that sees them challenging for a play-off place, or others that can’t buy a win and they start to get sucked into the battle to avoid relegation. Whatever happens we will try to keep you up to speed and collate all the results that matter in one place, so you don’t have to go looking for them.
Gillingham 0 Lincoln 3
Hull and Lincoln have been playing leapfrog with the top spot for weeks now and with this Friday night gig it was the Imps opportunity to regain the top spot against Steve Evans unpredictable Gills side. To me the score line flatters the Imps, the opener from former Don Conor McGrandles was fine as he seized his opportunity to fire home a loose ball in the Gills defence, but the next two goals were debateable to say the least. The first a penalty was almost laughable, there was minimal contact on the arm and the Lincoln player went down like he had been hit with an avalanche of bullets, and ref Sam Barrott bought it and pointed at the spot. Jorge Grant converted which must have been a relief as he had missed his previous two. The third goal had more than a hint of offside about it, some good work in the box resulted in a parried shot from Bonham and Tom Hopper who was clearly offside during the move nodded home.
Accrington 0 Northampton 0
Accy Stan were halted in their advance up the table by lowly Northampton who are starting to look in trouble. The Cobblers were the better team in the first half creating plenty of chances, but now have not won in 6 games. In response the Stanley frontline fresh from their six goal trashing of Bristol Rovers failed to register a single shot on target. With 5 minutes left on the clock Joe Pritchard received his second yellow card of the game for Accy and was sent from the field of play, and that’s just about the only talking point in this game.
Burton 1 Hull 0
Bottom club Burton stunned title wannabes’ Hull City who blew the chance to go back to the top spot, by scoring in the final minute of injury time. Don’t let the result fool you this was not a smash and grab performance as the shot shy Hull attack failed to register a single shot on target. Debut day signing Jonny Smith from Bristol City was the difference between the two sides after coming on as a second half substitute and with seconds remaining he collected a Josh Parker cross and coolly slid it past George Long the Hull keeper.
Doncaster 3 Oxford 2
In the clash of the form teams in League 1 something had to give, and it was Doncasterlona who came out victorious. Jon Taylor kicked the scoring off for Rovers, Sam Long equalising for Oxford. Straight after halftime Fejiri Okenabirhie and Taylor Richards scored two goals in just 4 minutes and the game looked done and dusted but Olamide Shodipo scored with 20 minutes to go to set up a grandstand finish, and although Oxford pressed hard they just couldn’t find their way past a determined Rovers defence.
Fleetwood 0 Bristol Rovers 0
Simon Grayson in his first game in charge since Joey Barton was sent packing resulted in another dull game in League 1 that gave each team a point. Not much to enthuse about in this game other than a superb save from Joe Day somehow keeping out a Paddy Madden shot that seemed destined for the back of the net.
Ipswich 2 Blackpool 0
Goals either side of the interval were enough to dismiss Blackpool without much fuss. Alan Judge got the opener firing a low shot that eluded Chris Maxwell in the Pool goal and shortly after the break a Luke Woolfenden header found the corner of the net.
Peterborough 2 Crewe 0
Posh still reeling from getting dumped out of the PJ Trophy by Tranmere in midweek had little trouble overcoming the Railwaymen. The Alex defence was undone after 25 minutes after a three man slick passing move that resulted in Sammie Szmodics slotting home without much fuss. On the half hour mark it was that man Jonson Clarke-Harris who had it laid on a plate for him following a defence splitting cross from Szmodics, that’s his 16th goal of the season, and pushed Posh back up to 4th place.
Portsmouth 2 Plymouth 2
Plymouth looked to have this well sewn up in this derby of sorts after going into a 2-0 lead late on through a brace from League 1 top scorer Luke Jephcott. His first after he caught Andy Cannon in possession and forced the ball home, his second after a breakaway as Pompey searched to level. With just 4 minutes remaining Rona Curtis robbed the ball on the by-line and tucked the ball into the far corner, and just a minute later James Bolton headed home a Marcus Harness cross to reduce the Plymouth defence to its knees and leave it all square.
Rochdale 0 Charlton 2
The thing that surprised me about this game was that Dale never scored after weeks of being involved in high scoring games. Charlton dominated large swathes of the game but in truth Rochdale had no answer to the Charlton approach to the game. Chuks Aneke scored the opener after just 8 minutes with a fancy piece of skill swivelling in the box and hitting a fierce shot into the corner of the net. Deji Oshilaja put the game to bed as early as the second half after he forced the ball home after a goalmouth scramble coming from a corner. Charlton move back into 6th place and Dale are one of those teams hovering above the relegation spots, and we visit on Tuesday night, weather depending.
Swindon 0 Shrewsbury 1
Swindon week by week, game by game are starting to look very much involved in fighting relegation, and this result does little to ease their worries especially with teams around them picking up points. In a game lacking anything clear cut in terms of chances it was a wonder strike from Blackburn loanee Harry Chapman who hit a half-volley from way out that struck the inside of the post before going in. The result leaves the Robins in the bottom four with four teams separated by just two points, and three of those on goal difference alone.
Wigan 2 AFCW 3
AFC recorded their first win in 12 games against relegation threatened strugglers Wigan Athletic. It was all going nicely for AFC who were 2-0 up after 30 minutes following goals from Jack Rudoni tapping in from close range and then Joe Pigott who had it easy to slot home. Wigan gave themselves a chance just before halftime as Curtis Tilt headed home a corner. Just after the hour Wigan were level after the AFC defence screwed up allowing Jamie Proctor on his debut to rifle it into the back of the net. It looked like Wigan would then go on to win the game, but Jones in the Wigan goal hesitated coming off his line and clearly tripped up Pigott, who picked himself up to claim the points from the penalty spot. The win eases AFC out of the bottom four, Wigan look in awful trouble in 23rd.