18/01/2008 : Football League Blog : Football League Review : January 18th 2008
18 January 2008 : Football League Review : January 18th 2008
With twenty League One fixtures still to play, and thirteen days of the transfer window left, most managers will be looking to make the final adjustments to their squads, in order to inspire rich vains of form for the New Year. Knowing that his hooped army will take on the current top four in the final five games of the campaign, Slade will surely be hoping to pick up as many points as possible ahead of that tricky home straight, starting with tomorrow’s game against Oldham. A morale-boosting win at Huish Park would indeed pave the way for the two consecutive away fixtures next week against Tranmere and Port Vale.

On Saturday the Valiants showed character to overcome fellow-strugglers Millwall, leaving poor AFC Bournemouth to pick up the pieces at the foot of the table. Downing’s Cheltenham secured three more points at Whaddon Road, where David Bird’s dramatic stoppage-time winner shattered the Cherries’ debt-ridden hearts, and once again handed the Robins a precious home win in a crucial relegation scrap.

Also courtesy of a late winner, Doncaster edged past Carlisle in the weekend’s main playoff battle, whereas sixth placed Walsall only managed a draw at the Bescot against a consortium-salvaged Swindon eleven.

Meanwhile Gillingham put their JPT disappointment behind them with a solid win at Huddersfield that moves them away from any immediate danger in the league, while lowly Northampton held Hartlepool to a 1-1 draw at Sixfields, in what proved to be Andy Kirk’s last appearance for the Cobblers.

Elsewhere the Gas confirmed their good run of form against Ronnie Moore’s plummeting Tranmere Rovers, and cash-strapped Luton Town failed to contain the rampant Swans at Kenilworth Road. Nottingham Forest join Swansea in the automatic promotion spots with a convincing 4-0 victory over Martin Ling’s rather inconsistent O’s, and Leeds United remain on their heels thanks to Jermaine Beckford’s sixteenth goal on Monday against Crewe.

Most importantly though, Russell Slade’s men came away from Roots Hall with a decent point, which leaves them five points adrift of the playoffs. And just below Yeovil in the table, the Seagulls shared the spoils with the Glovers’ next opponents, Oldham Athletic, at Boundary Park. Brighton substitute Nathan Elder’s injury time equaliser will certainly not have amused John Sheridan and his giant-killing Latics, who will be planning to bounce back down in Somerset tomorrow.

With the added incentive of challenging their former team-mates for players such as Kalala and Warne, the tie will no doubt be a hard-fought physical contest and an overall close affair for two mid-table sides on the up, both pushing for promotion.

Tomorrow a Forbes-less Yeovil rearguard have the steep task of marking the visitor’s skilful forwards, namely Lee Hughes and Craig Davies. But with sixteen goals between them this year in League One, Kirk and Owusu together will be looking to kick-start what should hopefully become one of the divisions most prolific strike forces. Slade may not yet have revealed his preferred partnership up front, but he certainly has more options now, making for a future that’s bright, and one that’s green and white!

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