Just three matches were played to completion in Sky Bet League Two last week as a disagreeable weather front brought an abrupt halt to much of the English Football League.
League leaders Cambridge United were stunned on Saturday as they were held to a 0-0 draw by an uncharacteristically plucky performance from Southend United. Southend are without a loss in their last two, which is their second-best run of form this term. The solitary point pushes Mark Molesley’s men out of the relegation zone to 22nd, one point clear of Barrow’s total. The Bluebirds have played three matches fewer than United.
As second-placed Forest Green Rovers missed out on their scheduled hosting of Barrow, Cambridge extended their advantage at the summit of the division to four points with three more matches played. Forward Paul Mullin drew a blank for the sixth time this year but continues to set the benchmark for scoring in the league with 20 goals to his name.
Bolton Wanderers welcomed Stevenage to the University of Bolton Stadium for the first time in the second fixture on Saturday. Despite being reduced to ten men late in the game, the hosts ran out as 1-0 victors after Declan John’s first goal in English football just seven minutes in proved to be decisive.
Stevenage’s third loss of 2021 sees them stay put in 21st, albeit six points clear of the drop. Bolton move up to 13th in what is a very densely-packed midtable. Ian Evatt’s men sit seven points behind the playoff spots and will be looking to continue their bright form of late as they seek an immediate return to League One.
Sunday afternoon saw the highest-scoring tie of the weekend as Mansfield Town made the 300-mile round trip to Colchester United’s Colchester Community Stadium. A remarkably even match saw the spoils shared as the two sides fought to a 2-2 draw.
Mansfield led on two occasions, with a Tommy Smith own-goal opening the scoring within five minutes. The hosts looked to January signing Frank Nouble to rescue a point right at the death with his first goal in a blue shirt. Colchester are without a win since early December.
Cambridge boss Mark Bonner was named League Two Manager of the Month for January last week. His side went unbeaten in all six games during the month and collected 14 points along the way as they rose through the ranks and returned to the top spot after a rough period at the end of 2020.
Veteran United midfielder Wes Hoolahan swooped the players’ honours after chalking up two goals and two assists in January. The 38-year-old has been instrumental in the success at Abbey Stadium.