The second week of the EFL League Two 2019/20 season certainly carried on the excitement from the opening day. Three teams have 100% records and while others are still yet to get a point, there’s still one team that hasn’t scored or conceded a goal.
Salford & Leyton Orient brought back to earth
Salford City and Leyton Orient picked up dominant home wins on the opening day against Stevenage and Cheltenham Town respectively. The newly-promoted sides experienced their first away days of the season on Saturday, with disappointing results.
Salford were surprisingly beaten 2-0 by Crawley Town, a team tipped by many to struggle this season. The result wasn’t necessarily shocking, instead, it was the level of dominance shown by Crawley in their victory. The hosts had 30 shots on goal while Salford had just one shot on target, an almost identical reverse to the victory over Stevenage. The goals came in each half courtesy of Bez Lubala from the penalty spot and Nathan Ferguson.
Leyton Orient suffered a heavier defeat, with the Londoners convincingly losing 3-0 away at Macclesfield Town. All three goals came from new signings, with winger Theo Archibald opening proceedings with a curling 30-yard shot. Emmanuel Osadebe and Theo Vassell sealed the victory in the second half to kick start Macclesfield’s season after defeat on the opening day.
Both Salford and Leyton Orient will want to get back on track this Saturday in front of their supporters as they host Port Vale and Stevenage respectively.
The South West setting the early pace
The South West hasn’t seen much EFL success in recent years but that hasn’t stopped Plymouth Argyle, Swindon Town and Exeter City from being the only teams in League Two with 100% records.
Plymouth followed on from their impressive win away at Crewe last week with a narrow 1-0 win at home to Colchester United. Antoni Sarcevic scored the winning goal on 58 minutes with a powerful, low effort. The Pilgrims remain top of League Two on goal difference ahead of their Westcountry rivals and are yet to concede a goal.
A dramatic second half saw Swindon keep their 100% record with a 3-2 win over Carlisle United. The Robins would come from behind courtesy of goals from Jerry Yates, Zeki Fryers and Kaiyne Woolery. Despite the visitors being reduced to 10-men, Swindon had to hold on for their victory after a late consolation from Mohammed Ali Sagaf.
Two games into the season and two late winning goals for Exeter City. Nicky Law’s bending strike on 89 minutes ensured that Exeter moved into the automatic promotion places with their local rivals. That result means that Stevenage remain pointless and goalless as they dropped into the relegation places.
The 100% records of at least one of Exeter or Swindon are guaranteed to end this Saturday as they face off at St. James’ Park. Plymouth will look to continue their fine start but face a tough trip away to Newport County.
Scunthorpe’s poor start continues
Paul Hurst has not had the best of starts in his tenure at Scunthorpe United. After a 2-0 defeat at home to Swindon Town, fans were hoping for better fortunes away at Cheltenham Town. They would end up bitterly disappointed as the Iron were resoundingly beaten 4-1.
Scunthorpe took the lead on 55 minutes, as a mistake from Cheltenham defender Charlie Raglan was capitalised by striker Lee Novak. However, Cheltenham would score three quick-fire goals to quickly change the direction of the game.
Ryan Broom’s curling effort levelled the scores on 68 minutes before Raglan made amends four minutes later with a towering header. Less than a minute later the game was sealed when Alex Addai’s slotted the ball through Jake Eastwood’s legs. An injury-time penalty from Conor Thomas compounded Scunthorpe’s misery.
Scunthorpe will look to move off the bottom of the EFL this Saturday when they host Crawley Town while Cheltenham travel to Morecambe.
Cambridge United are yet to concede… or score
Following a gutsy 0-0 draw away at Bradford City, fans of Cambridge United were hoping to see their team secure their first goal and first win of the season. Neither would happen as Cambridge once again drew 0-0, this time at home to Newport County.
Newport also drew on the opening day so were looking to secure their first win of the season. However, they’ll see this result as a step back by their standards. Chances were rare with Robbie Willmott coming closest for Newport with a long-range shot in the second half.
Cambridge are the only team in the EFL not to score or concede a goal, a record they’ll want to erase when they travel to Colchester United. Newport host league leaders Plymouth in one of the most intriguing games of week three.
Mansfield come from 2 down again
There’s a sense of déjà vu when watching Mansfield Town in this early stage of the season. Mansfield managed to come from 2-0 down away at Newport before holding on with 10-men. Those hoping for a routine win at home to Morecambe ended up experiencing a near-identical game to last week.
Morecambe raced into a 2-0 lead in the opening 20 minutes thanks to goals from Alex Lavelle and Lewis Alessandra. The visitors nearly made it three after Adam Buxton’s free-kick hit the Mansfield crossbar. Mansfield’s comeback started on 39 minutes when Nicky Maynard scored his first goal for the club from close range.
The Stags equalised on 72 minutes courtesy of a Danny Rose header from Alex MacDonald’s cross. Mansfield’s disciplinary issues continued, as they once again finished with 10-men after Matt Preston was shown a straight red for a lunge on Alessandra.
Mansfield will look to kick-start their promotion push away to Carlisle United this Saturday while Morecambe host Cheltenham Town.
Elsewhere in League Two:
Grimsby Town 1-1 Bradford City
Oldham Athletic 1-2 Crewe Alexandra
Port Vale 1-1 Northampton Town
Walsall 1-1 Forest Green Rovers
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