Story by Aaron Bliss
Due to the FA Cup, there were only three games played, with one in midweek, leaving all League Two sides having played exactly 20 matches, while the table is taking shape in a way that will concern Barnet and Aldershot fans particularly.
ACCRINGTON STANLEY 1-2 ROTHERHAM UNITED
Accrington Stanley fans were roaring their approval after just two minutes, as they took the lead before some had taken their seats, through a Dean Winnard header from a corner. Their jubilation was short-lived however, as Rotherham struck back within three minutes, when Daniel Nardiello latched onto a clanging howler from the former hero. Perhaps drunk on the euphoria of his early strike, Winnard misjudged a long ball and headed past his own goalkeeper, leaving Nardiello to tap in. Nardiello was at it again minutes into the second half, as his deep cross deceived Ian Dunbavin in the Stanley goal to make it 2-1. After a patchy start, Nardiello has now scored five goals in his last four appearances, and the Millers will be hoping his scoring form lasts until May.
ROCHDALE 2-3 YORK CITY
York earned their first win in six matches, as a three-goal first half salvo saw off Rochdale, whose second half comeback was not quite enough to glean a share of the spoils. Michael Potts bagged an early brace, and Jason Walker added one to give the Minstermen a dream half-time interval, but Dale, presumably with the proverbial rocket up their backsides, flew out of the traps in the second period, though only began narrowing the deficit after the hour, through a weaving run and finish from Rhys Bennett. York, no doubt stuck between sticking and twisting, contrived to sit back somewhat, and their fans endured a torturous last few minutes, after conceding a late penalty, converted by Bobby Grant.
TORQUAY UNITED 2-1 DAGENHAM AND REDBRIDGE
A hard-fought game ended in disaster for D & R skipper Abu Ogogo, who turned a Niall Thompson cross into his own net with ten minutes left to plunge a the proverbial dagger into the Daggers’ collective heart. Rene Howe’s 36th minute was brilliantly turned onto the crossbar by Daggers’ goalkeeper Chris Lewington, but the rebound was plundered by Danny Stevens to put the Gulls ahead. Dagenham fought their way back to parity through a low Matthew Saunders shot, but it all ended in tragedy at Plainmoor for the London club.
WYCOMBE WANDERERS 2-0 BRISTOL ROVERS
Wycombe comfortably gleaned their third win in a row, after previously having gone six without a win. Their topsy-turvy season continued in a positive vein as they sunk the floundering Pirates, whose dismal recent run sees them just one point above the dead men, in 22nd. Chairboys’ top scorer Joel Grant notched his seventh goal of the campaign to put them ahead, and player-manager Gareth Ainsworth brought himself on to finish the job with a classic diving header. After initially struggling, Ainsworth seems to be growing into his role, and is gradually pulling Wanderers clear of danger. Rovers’ defender Michael Lund was sent off in the last minute, though it made little difference to the final result.