Here’s a round up of some of the news from league Two over the last couple of days. I realise I’m inconsistent with these, but surely the unpredictable nature of the site is one of its main charms, is it not?
- Mansfield Town is not a happy place at the moment. Despite spending big, many fans are disillusioned at manager Steve Evans tactics after the 2-0 defeat by Colchester. Steve is unrepentant though, telling local media: “I’ll say this for a final time and won’t discuss it again – they bleed, all the staff bleed. We’re all together and more importantly our supporters are the same. The words of supporters coming into the stadium and up to the training ground this morning is heartfelt and taken with the right thought process. We all need to be together. We will all learn from Saturday. We’ll learn tactically, our players will learn. We’ll try and improve on it.” One thing that does not bleed for Mansfield Town is my heart.
- Another club with critical fans is Notts County. Despite their great start to the season, coach Mark Crossley has blocked several fans that were highly critical of the 1-1 draw with Forest Green this weekend. Despite their lofty position and Kevin Nolan’s manager of the month award, fans were not happy with the performance that almost led to an unlikely victory for the Villagers. Former City hack Leigh Curtis reported it via the Nottingham Post, with Crossley tweeting: “Fantastic football club transformed by a fantastic owner, manager, n board members, can’t understand any negativity at all.”
- Speaking of Forest Green Rovers, there is some discussion about the departure of Liam Noble not being down to the factors many of us first thought. One their forum, a user called dursleydog posted. ‘Health’ issues and now ‘family’ issues sounds to me like Liam was potentially struggling with mental health problems, which can happen to the very best of us. I hope he recovers quickly and gets back to his best, a really fine player who’s always got a significant place in this club’s history. Whilst there is no suggestion of this, it is food for thought. Apparently Liam’s performances this season have been below par and concerns have been raised prior to his departure. If it is the case then Forest Green should be applauded for their actions, and I’ll happily retract my article from yesterday.
- We’re back at Mansfield, and striker Lee Angol has been turning out for the reserves despite a decent goals haul so far this season. He grabbed a brace today as the Stags second string beat Grimsby 2-0. Omari Sterling-James and Jacob Mellis also featured in a strong Mansfield side.
- Grimsby are looking to strengthen after their indifferent start to the season. The Mariners are expected to be challenging at the right end of the table, but so far they’ve managed to underwhelm their expectant fans. Today in the same game as mentioned above, they featured several trialists. Carl Lawson, a striker who was on the books at Sunderland from an early age, Jason Akiotu, who is a young Nigerian left-back who has been at Crystal Palace, and Jude Oyibo, a pacy midfielder-winger from Glossop North End FC, all got a run-out in the 2-0 defeat by Mansfield Town.
- One of my favourite players you probably haven’t heard of (and I’ve never seen), Nicke Kabamba, has also been in action. You might remember me championing Kabamba when he played at Hampton and Richmond before a move to Pompey. He’s now on loan at Colchester, and he secured a late 2-2 draw for their U23 side against Southend U23s. I firmly believe he has the ability to be a very good striker at this level and now he’s out of favour at Portsmouth it would be worth DC monitoring the situation. For the record, he’s crap on Football Manager so this isn’t the PC pundit speaking!
- Port Vale’s new manager Neil Aspin has made a harsh assessment of the Valiants current position, claiming they’re in the position they deserve to be after a poor start to the season. Aspin, formerly of Gateshead, is a club legend at Vale and has been appointed partly because of his achievements in not getting the Heed promoted, and partly to win over the Vale fans. However, Aspin stated that the club’s league position is a fair reflection on their performances, telling the club website: “At the moment we deserve to be where they are because we’ve conceded too many goals and we haven’t scored enough. We have to stop shipping goals and find the net at the other end, the priority has to be what we do in both boxes.”
- League Two rivals Morecambe are still up for sale, with their owner saying £4.5m would comfortably buy you the Shrimp. Graham Burnard said there had been “passing interest” from potential buyers of the Shrimps, speaking to BBC Radio Lancashire, he also said Morecambe FC was continuing to enjoy a period of “stability” behind-the-scenes after the “roller coaster” of last season. Their short-term future looks rosy however, “As long as Abdul is going to put his hand in his pocket everything is good going forward,” said Mr Burnard.
- The son of a former Imp has been hailed as one for the future after a late winner for his current club Crewe. Jordan Bowery, son of Bert Bowery, grabbed a 94th minute winner for Alex as they beat Stevenage 1-0 on Saturday. Manager David Artell said: “Jordan has scored the winner. That’s why he is at the club. That is why we wanted to sign him in the summer. When you look at the running stats, he has been right up there in the last few games. That will surprise a few people and it surprised us.” His Dad Bert played for City in the record-breaking 1975/76 season, bagging on his debut in a 6-0 win against Southport after joining on-loan from Forest.
BONUS AND FINALLY
- I know we’re not National League, but our old friends Tranmere are having a tough time down in the fifth tier, drawing 0-0 with Chester this week. Mellon told local press: “I expect you guys to report on that properly. They’ve not had a single chance and we’ve had six or seven real chances. I’d take one of them every game and expect to win the game. “It is the way it is, we’re not blaming anybody. We’re disappointed not to win as we always want to win here but we are creating some unbelievable chances. We can only continue what we are doing.” What they are doing is failing to score, they’ve drawn a blank nine times in just 15 encounters this season, despite the awesome array of attacking players they possess. The Chester Chronicle accused Mellon of sour grapes in an editorial today, but they also paid tribute to the heroics of Keeper Adam Lynch. The ‘Super White Army’ are currently 15th in the National League, although nine points separates them and top side Macclesfield.