The news is coming thick and fast from League Two so, for the second time in 24 hours, here are some stories from around our division.
- Notts County have taken strong action against a number of supporters they feel have breached the club’s strict anti-social behaviour policy. Recent matches against Newport County and Bristol Rovers were affected, resulting in the following action: One person banned for three years (18 months suspended) for use of a smoke bomb, one person banned until the end of the 2017-18 season for displaying anti-social and inappropriate behaviour, one person relocated to another section of the ground having signed an Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC), one person spoken to about misuse of their season ticket, which had been handed to others. Imagine that, handing a season ticket to someone else? Stringent.
- Meanwhile, on Evans watch, he’s prepared to ring the changes (again) after losing away at Crawley on Saturday. My favourite other League Two manager was his typical belligerent self whilst chatting to Mansfield’s official website today. “It’s now about working hard this week and getting ready for Yeovil on Saturday. We want to try to win a couple of games pre-Christmas and if we do that, we’ll be in the top four or five. We’ve got enough characters in the dressing room to bounce back after Saturday, we bounced back after Swindon didn’t we? There’s a lot of players that are going to have a point to prove. Some of them, unfortunately, are going to have to prove a point sitting up in the Ian Greaves Stand with a big coat on because they won’t be involved. There will be changes for Saturday, there’s got to be.”
- Still on Evans (yeah I know, I’m obsessed), he’s also got a battle to keep a loan player at the club. Kane Hemmings is on loan from Oxford and can be recalled in January as per the agreement. Evans is keen to keep the player who has scored three in his last five games. “I’ll probably have a chat with Pep (Oxford manager Clotet) when we get into January. We’re very clear, we’d like to keep Kane. We were just starting to get him fit, he’s starting to get goals and it’s a shame he pulls up with his calf because he was just starting to look a real threat. He’s a proper striker for this level and we worked so hard to get him in the condition he is. We’ll respect the thoughts of Oxford United Football Club, there are good people there. I know Kane would like to stay but we respect Pep and Oxford too much to say that we have anything to do with the decision, that lies in the hands of his parent club.” The craziest thing about that statement is Steve Evans saying he respects someone. Madness.
- Colchester boss John McGreal is worried about the upcoming transfer window. Recently, Sammie Szmodics (pictured top) has attracted the attention of bigger clubs after smashing nine goals in just 18 first-team outings this season. The 22-year-old helped set up their first goal this Saturday against Exeter before scoring the next two and also hitting the post in an impressive 3-1 home win. “I would think we will have a problem keeping hold of Sammie,” said McGreal. “Our youngsters are getting noticed now, even though they are only 21 and 22-year-olds. They are young players with nearly 100 games under their belt, and you don’t get that anywhere else. That’s why I hope January (transfer window) comes and goes as quickly as it can, but if it happens, then of course it happens.”
- Morecambe boss Jim Bentley has spoken of his desire for former Imp Vadaine Oliver to kick on after scoring against Coventry this weekend. Bentley told local media: “Vadaine needed the goal. He’s been unlucky but there’s been poor finishing and ‘keepers have pulled off good saves. At Forest Green, for example, he hit the post and, on another day, that goes in and gives you a spring in the step. He had another couple of opportunities against Coventry, particularly when he went through one-on-one and might have taken it around the keeper instead of shooting.” Oliver has scored three times this season after stepping back up from the National League.
- Grimsby’s board have set about picking up the shattered pieces of their reputation by appointing a new Supporter Liaison Officer, Adie Merrikin. A statement on the club website said: “It is clear that we need to do more to engage with our fans at Blundell Park and better promote the work the Football Club does within the community. Adie will operate out of Blundell Park on behalf of the Grimsby Town Sports & Education Trust, this will provide him with daily access to the leadership, the Board of Directors and Management of Grimsby Town Football Club and its supporters.” Good luck Adie, on last week’s evidence you’ll need it.
- Your daily dose of Mansfield gets wrapped up with a third bit of news from Field Mill (I know, I’m breaking my own rules). As if adding fuel to my Lee Angol rumours, Evans has admitted that although he will be active in January, he’ll also be moving some players on: “We know who we want and the chairman is good with that. There won’t be many. It could be two or three in and two or three may go to balance numbers back. We don’t want to be just adding to the group. We have a really competitive squad as it is. No one who has been playing regular football is going to be leaving, but maybe one or two who have not been able to get on the pitch on a regular basis need to go and ply their trade somewhere else. They are big decisions as they are still good players and there is a lot of football to be played between now and when we travel to Cardiff.” Lee Angol back in red and white? You just never know.