27/10/2007 : Football League Blog : Football League Review : October 27th 2007
27 October 2007 : Football League Review : October 27th 2007
Thirteen games into the season, and it is difficult to predict who will be crowned champions come May 2008. Aside from the impressive consistency of Leeds United, no team seems to have really done enough yet to make a serious claim on this year’s League One title. That said, out of the twenty four outfits competing, there is clearly a pace-setting upper-tier in the top half of the table, and a trailing lower-tier in the bottom half – for now Yeovil Town appear to be somewhere in between, sitting on the fence in 12th position.

This week Carlisle United capitalised on Leyton Orient’s slip-up, to leapfrog rivals Southend United. At Roots Hall the Cumbrians’ Joe Garner capped a fine performance with a neat finish, which in the end proved enough to hand John Ward’s Blue Army the win, and more importantly top spot for the first time this season. Below them a handful of teams remain on their heels, including Tranmere, who put last weeks hiccup behind them with a convincing display against an increasingly disjointed Huddersfield side.

Orient, who failed to stretch their lead at the top of the table, eventually fell victim to Doncaster’s prolific strike-force - Rovers now seemingly coming together and beginning to surge up the table. At a half empty Keepmoat Stadium, Donny took their time to wrap up a game that was kick-started by Richie Wellens’ opener early in the second half.

In the meantime at Kenilworth Road high-flyers Forest also chocked. Kevin Blackwell’s men, who so far have strung together a strangely inconsistent series of results, this time impressively broke down the mighty Reds, whose recent revival came to a sudden end. On Tuesday, Forest will travel to Oldham, where the precious three points certainly seem up for the taking at the moment.

Indeed the Latics’ dreadful start to the season continued at Boundary Park – John Sheridan’s men huffed and puffed but simply could not break down Northampton’s resilient defence, and on ninety minutes the home side had nothing to show for their efforts. At the other end veteran midfielder Alex Russell, on-loan from the massively over-staffed Bristol City, netted the only goal of the game, with a fine strike from the edge of the area.

Brighton and Hove Albion, one of several teams to overtake Yeovil, travelled the length of the country to take on newcomers Hartlepool United at Victoria park - the seagulls’ Bas Savage ploughing through a shaky Pools defence to slot away the injury time winner with a clinical drive.

Elsewhere at Dean Court, Bournemouth were denied a much needed home victory late on, as the Saddlers drew level with less than ten minutes to go. The Cherries, who are now in desperate need of a win, remain rooted to the bottom of the table.

At Elland Road, Leeds ran riot for over an hour (and yes we are talking about the football here), and two late strikes for Millwall ended up being mere consolation goals. Once again the Whites came out on top of what was a rather fiery encounter, both on and off the pitch - Dennis Wise’s side decidedly looking set to pursue their charge up the table, even without assistant manager Gus Poyet who is Tottenham bound. Incredibly, despite their start of season penalty, the Yorkshire outfit are now sixth in the division, and it seems unlikely at this stage that they will settle for anything less than top spot, which now lies only four points away.

Meanwhile in the sorry category of managerless clubs, Port Vale beat Swindon, Cheltenham drew with Crewe, and Gillingham edged past Bristol Rovers.

Luke Rodgers’ power penalty gave the Valiants a breath of fresh air, but their joy was short lived as Swindon’s Lee Peacock hit straight back, heading in the equaliser within a mere sixty seconds. An action-packed first half then saw Danny Whitaker come to Vale’s rescue, restoring the home side’s lead just minutes later. With the occasional help of lady luck, Port Vale, under the supervision of Dean Glover (surely a candidate for the Yeovil job if the Western Gazette manage to drive Russell Slade away!), weathered the storm in the second half, and the 2-1 score-line remained unchanged at the final whistle.

At Whaddon road, the game only really came to life in the 74th minute, when the home side allowed the visitors to go two goals up in the space of four minutes. Ryan Lowe notably poached his third goal in a week but Alexandra were unable to prevent the Robins from pulling two back, which also came one within four minutes of the other. Crewe, who entertain Yeovil next week, survived a late scare, and in the end the Railwaymen settled for the draw.

Finally, delighted Gills fans saw their team overturn the Gas with an unlikely late comeback - Chris Dickson once again grabbing the winner.

Unfortunately for Yeovil Town, Dickson’s Charlton team-mate James Walker saw his last minute effort ricochet off the crossbar at Huish Park, and the hard-working Glovers went home empty handed despite their gutsy performance. For the moment Russell Slade’s strikers don’t seem to have their shooting boots on, but with the promising contribution of the lively Walker, and the possible addition of Adebayo Akinfenwa, the tide may soon be turning. Having missed out on a game last weekend, an inspired Swansea eleven didn’t appear in the slightest bit rusty, and at Huish Park they went on to secure their third straight away win.

So far this season Yeovil’s home record has perhaps been slightly under par, but there are nonetheless many positives to be taken out of Saturday’s game. With the home side starting the second half brightly, new midfielder Kevin Betsy getting off the mark, and overall encouraging spells of possession, Glovers supporters can certainly still have high hopes for the rest of the season.

From here the Glovers’ campaign could really go either way, and they now head up to Gresty Road in search of a morale-boosting win that could potentially swing the balance.

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