20/10/2007 : Football League Blog : Football League Review : October 20th 2007
20 October 2007 : Football League Review : October 20th 2007
With all eleven fixtures played simultaneously this week, League One had once again switched leaders by five o’clock on Saturday - a series of close results at either end of the table mixing up the standings, and confirming the division’s current unpredictability.

Orient, who recovered from their disappointment of last weekend at Elland Road with a convincing home win, showed character to reclaim top spot in fine style. Finding the net three times in the space of seven hectic minutes, the O’s heaped more misery on poor Vale, who had even opened the scoring through Luke Rodgers just before half-time. But with the Valiants 2-1 down and under half an hour remaining, referee Mike Thorpe rightly awarded the hosts what seemed to be a stonewall spot kick, and it was Adam Boyd who stepped up to seal the win with a trademark power penalty, bagging that goal he was long due, after being denied so cruelly last Saturday against Leeds.

Elsewhere Southend, who cruised to another comfortable victory, this time against Walsall, moved into second, whilst Carlisle United bounced back from their recent defeat at Huish Park, dismantling a tentative Gillingham eleven on two occasions, and climbing to third place in the table. Still manager-less, the Gills could not avoid slipping into the relegation zone, where they join Port Vale, as well as Cheltenham and Bournemouth, who also lost back to back games.

Northampton edged past the Robins in a tense encounter at Sixfields, where Andy Kirk, now sole top scorer with 8 goals in total, was back on target for the Cobblers.

Meanwhile at the New Den Lee Bradbury’s last-gasp effort proved too little to late for the Cherries, as Millwall also came out on top, 2-1 winners.
Following in the footsteps of the feisty Lions, fellow strugglers Crewe Alexandra finally eased their relegation worries at Gresty Road. The psyched-up Railwaymen saw off a strangely inconsistent Luton Town side, as substitute Ryan Lowe took the game by the scruff of the neck, firing a double past Tottenham’s Ben Alnwick.

At the other end of the table, debt-ridden Swindon left it late to strip promotion rivals Tranmere Rovers of all three points at the County Ground. Eventually it was substitute Barry Corr who brought the game to life in the 88th minute, latching onto JP McGovern’s cross and finally giving the increasingly worried home crowd something to cheer about.

At the City Ground, fourth placed Forest were up against Doncaster Rovers and, despite a mighty team effort, the hosts fell short with a series of goal-line clearances denying them victory, whilst the visitors rattled the woodwork late on. In the end neither side was able to break the deadlock and it finished all square 0-0.

Brighton and Hove Albion took on League One celebrities Leeds United at a not so glamorous Withdean Stadium, that was unusually busy for the occasion. The Seagulls did put up a good fight but as ever the Whites upped their game towards the end and this time it was the opportunistic Tresor Kandol who clinched the winner, capitalising on a weak clearance. Once again the Elland Road outfit’s clinical finishing was the difference come the 90th minute, their tenth win of the season lifting them into ninth place, only one point behind Russell Slade’s men.

Whilst Yeovil Town suffered the consequences of a late equaliser in their West Country derby, Oldham also threw away their lead at the Galpharm Stadium against Huddersfield Town. Craig Davies’ stunning solo effort looked to have sealed all three points for the Latics, until veteran Ronnie Wallwork, on-loan from West Brom, met Cadamarteri’s whipped cross with a clever header, bringing the hosts level on 80 minutes.

However the Glovers’ nervy finale was surely the worst of them all - Bristol Rovers defender Steve Elliott pouncing on a loose ball to crucify Larrieu in the dying seconds, right in front of the incredulous travelling fans. Somewhat surprisingly the opener had come from an unlikely charge forward on the part of ‘the glass-man’, Matty Rose, who connected with Betsy’s low cross to poke the ball home on the hour mark. But with the best of thirty minutes to go, new signing James Walker was left hanging on the edge of the bench, as the green and white’s instead sat back, relying only on some defensive heroics to protect their slender lead. At the final whistle of course the scoreboard read 1-1 and emotions were running rather high all around. At no point this season have the Glovers managed more than two goals in a league game, and yet, at the other end, out of twelve played so far, the back four have kept only three clean sheets. With Swansea City and their prolific strike-force making the journey down to South Somerset next week, Glovers fans will be wishing for more of a cushion to take into the last quarter, making for a result that is hopefully easier to swallow...

Swans and Pools did not square up in the end at Victory Park. Indeed Hartlepool United, who tragically lost midfielder Michael Maidens in a road accident on Friday, decided to have their clash with last week’s table toppers postponed as a mark of respect to the player and his family, reminding everyone that at the end of the day it’s just a game of football.


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