League Two Review – Week 18

Sky Bet League Two saw yet another reshuffling at the top of the table last week as Cheltenham Town’s brilliant form pushed them into the lead.

The Robins chalked up their fourth successive win on Saturday as they beat Port Vale, 3-2, at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium. Cheltenham led by two at the break as Alfie May netted his sixth goal of the season before an own-goal from goalkeeper Scott Brown doubled the advantage four minutes later.

Liam Sercombe found the net 15 minutes from time to put Michael Duff’s side three to the good, but it was not an easy tie to see out as Vale reduced the arrears with two quickfire strikes late on from Will Swan and Alex Hurst. The Valiants have won just twice since the turn of the year and find themselves five points clear of the looming relegation zone.

Second-placed Cambridge United found a winner late in their clash with Walsall as top scorer Paul Mullin scored the only goal of the game in the fourth minute of injury time. The 26-year-old has suffered a relative drought of late, but the win-securing strike chalked up his 23rd goal of the season and extended his lead at the top of the scoring charts. Cambridge are one point off the summit of the division but have played two matches more than Cheltenham.

Bolton Wanderers fell short of their best league run for 24 years as they drew 1-1 with Bradford City. Ian Evatt’s men edged ahead seven minutes from time as substitute Nathan Delfouneso latched onto a cruel deflection to tap the ball into an empty net. It was not to last, however, as Bradford pulled level in the 93rd minute through January signing Danny Rowe. Bolton occupy the bottom spot of the playoffs, seventh, just a solitary point ahead of promotion contenders Exeter City and Salford City.

Barrow turned their torrid home form around with a 2-0 win over Mansfield Town. The Bluebirds had lost each of their previous three home games before Saturday but sniffed an opportunity when Irishman Ryan Sweeney was given his marching orders just beyond the hour mark. Patrick Brough netted a three-minute brace as the clock ticked into the final 15 minutes and Barrow held out to put to bed the demons of Holker Street.

Grimsby Town fell further from safety on Saturday after a 2-1 defeat at home to Forest Green Rovers. Goals from Jamille Matt and Ebou Adams saw off the Mariners with ease as Paul Hurst’s side slipped to a five-point deficit at the bottom of the table. Grimsby have leaked 51 times in 31 matches with only six wins on the board.

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