With a handful of emphatic score lines, and a grand total of thirty seven goals clocked up, several of this year’s top contenders decidedly chose this Saturday afternoon to up the tempo in League One. Leading the way were Roberto Martinez’s rampant Swansea City who demolished league leaders Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road by five goals to nil. With the O’s dream start to the campaign now all but a distant memory, following two consecutive defeats this week and eight goals conceded, Tranmere Rovers, unbeaten in nine, rose to the occasion and deservedly pipped them of top spot - Gareth Taylor the man for Rovers to bring Southend United’s recent run of form to a standstill.
Up north high-flyers Carlisle United continued to climb the table, welcoming new manager John Ward to Brunton Park with an impressive 4-0 win over lowly Millwall, as striker Danny Graham celebrated becoming joint top scorer in the league with his 6th and 7th efforts. Newly promoted Walsall, winning by the exact same margin against promotion chasing Huddersfield Town, improved their poor home record and moved one place above Yeovil in the process.
Meanwhile manager-less Gillingham, who so far have been a trifle wobbly on their travels, were at the receiving end of the weekend’s other mauling, as a rejuvenated Swindon Town side bounced back from their mid-week defeat at the Liberty Stadium to treat the delighted home crowd to a festival of goals. Despite some battling displays at The Priestfield and a top-notch performance against Leeds the Gills were unable to prevent the Robins from putting their promotion push back on track. In the end Paul Sturrock’s men put five past a dejected Simon Royce, with former Huish Park favourite Efe Sodje clearly unlucky to miss out on the man-of-the-match award ...
Elsewhere Northampton Town sunk a shaky Port Vale side at Sixfields, courtesy of Andy Kirk’s first-half brace. At the City Ground, Junior Agogo found the net late on, to help Nottingham Forest edge past playoff rivals Hartlepool, while struggling Bournemouth secured a crucial win at Gresty Road, leaving an uninspired Crewe Alexandra side hanging dangerously above the relegation zone. Finally Brighton battled out a goalless draw with the Gas, while Cheltenham v Oldham, and Luton v Donny both finished with a share of the spoils, at one all.
For now Yeovil Town sit five points above the bottom four and five below new league leaders Tranmere. And whilst at this point the Glovers season could arguably still swing either way, the quality on show at a buoyant, and frankly intimidating Elland Road was more than promising. Plagued by injury with ten first team players unavailable for selection, Yeovil did brilliantly to soak up the pressure and at times looked set for a famous win. Unfortunately in the end De Vries’ late header was enough to see off the valiant green and white army that on balance was definitely worth at least a point.
With a fair share of luck on their side Leeds United took their goal tally to 15 and if it weren’t for the deduction penalty they would currently lead the pack by nine points. Having waited until stoppage time against Oldham on Tuesday, the mighty Yorkshire outfit decided to play it safe this time by tying up victory as early as the 89th minute ... And whilst an avalanche of goals this weekend does highlight the Glovers shyness in the last third, it remains early days and with only three points separating the top seven teams anything seems possible in what is proving to be a highly competitive division.
[Article by Josh Rogers.]
Link: 2007-08 Latest League One Table.
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