Another week has passed, and a whole host of hotly contested League One action occurred this Saturday. As the final round of remembrances took place for the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, teams were looking to bolster their positions in the league with the season edging ever closer to a quarter of games played. And with some games already postponed next weekend due to international call-ups, it was important that some clubs were entering a potential week break on a high, writes Samuel Rowson.
Portsmouth leave it late to crush Argyle’s hopes of a 5th away win on the spin. Every team in the division have a win as lowly Burton and Morecambe secure three points in their respective games. Joey Barton seems unfazed at the current position of his Rovers team after a 6-3 humbling at the hands of The Imps on Saturday. But we start with a strong Peterborough United side who have lost for the fourth time on the bounce after an away defeat to Bolton.
Posh No Longer Sitting Pretty
Peterborough United travelled to fellow promotion hopefuls in Bolton Wanderers on Saturday, with Bolton looking to cement their position within the early top 6. Whilst Peterborough were looking for a positive result to stop the recent rot and run of defeats. Up until the 86th minute Posh fans believed they might just scrape a draw from an ever-improving Wanderers side. However, Oladapo Afolayan had other ideas as his heavily deflected strike hit the back of the net, which sealed Peterborough’s fourth League One defeat on the bounce. To put this into context, Peterborough haven’t tasted victory since the 4-0 thrashing of The Imps in late August.
However, three of those defeats have come at the hands of fellow promotion contenders in Bolton, Portsmouth and Derby County with the exception to the rule being a 1-0 home defeat to Fleetwood. If Peterborough were looking for a swift return to the Championship, then the one thing you have to do is to take points off the top teams and with one victory against the early favourites in Sheffield Wednesday, Peterborough will hope they can find that form when they come to play more top teams later on in the season. The next run of four games should, on paper, yield a high points total with all four opposing teams being in the bottom half of the table.
Pompey Leave It Late
Plymouth were sailing home with three points in the bag and a potential five-game winning streak until one minute of madness turned the game on its head. Plymouth dominated the early exchanges and thought they had taken the lead, a well worked moved which was eventually tapped home by Azaz. However, he was flagged for offside, with replays suggesting that he was just in line. Plymouth would also benefit from potentially lax refereeing as a Sean Raggett attempt on goal was hooked away on the line and waved away as a potential goal. Manager Danny Cowley in his post-match interview asking for goal-line technology to be brought into League One as soon as possible to make these decisions obsolete. However, as was demonstrated at Huddersfield the weekend prior, goal-line technology is not always perfect.
This decision did nothing to stop the Pompey surge towards the interval as Portsmouth opened the scoring with a well-taken goal by Josh Koroma on 41 minutes. A right-footed strike from just inside the penalty area which was just out of reach for Cooper in the Argyle net. After the break two quick-fire goals for Plymouth on 74 and 79 minutes turned the game on its head and left Plymouth going into added-on time defending a potential impressive away win. However, an off-the-ball incident before a Portsmouth throw-in lead to a red card for Plymouth. Galloway was sent off for a second bookable offense and from the resulting throw-in Portsmouth scrambled the ball home. This result keeps their unbeaten start to the League campaign going. Heartbreak at the death for Plymouth meaning that of the last 6 meetings between the two sides, five have been draws and of those, four have been by the score line of 2-2. Bizarre.
Brewers And Shrimps Win First Games
For two of the slow starters this term, getting three points on the board has been hard. So much so that Burton Albion are already on their second manager of the season and we aren’t even ten games in. Morecambe, as I have already touched on before, are up for sale and as a result haven’t had much in the way of investment this season. However, both teams ended up on the right side of the results. Burton beating a beleaguered Exeter side fresh from their last-minute loss away at Shrewsbury on Tuesday. And Morecambe coming from behind to steal all three points at the death away at Forest Green Rovers with a Farrend Rawson goal on 90+3′.
Barton Unfazed By Current Rovers Situation
This weekend sparked one of the results I’m not sure many of us Imps fans saw coming, with City beating Bristol Rovers 6-3 in a barmy afternoon down in the South West. The last time we scored six away from home was the promotion season of 18/19 at Port Vale. A Jack Diamond masterclass was the spark for a impressive performance this time around. And for one I did many a double take as the notifications came flooding in on my phone. In his pre match press conference Barton stated that his Bristol team would be up against a side that likes to lump the ball long. How wrong was he.
On Monday when Devon Live released an article stating: ‘Joey Barton not reading too much into Bristol Rovers League Position’ it got me thinking. On one hand- yes it is too early to take too much from the table, but the other hand previous form and performances show a side trying and struggling to cope with the demands of a tough League One.
Bristol did lose two centre backs to red cards in the previous game against Ipswich Town, which could have been a factor in Saturday’s defeat. However I think he should be more worried than he is letting on. So far Bristol have won 2 games, drawn 2 and lost 5, of the two games they have won they beat a lowly Burton away and a stumbling Oxford at home. These were the opening two fixtures of the season with both teams in the bottom six at the moment of writing.
They have been held to draws by Shrewsbury and Morecambe at home, and beaten convincingly by Barnsley 3-0, Portsmouth 3-1, Ipswich 2-0 and Lincoln 6-3. Having not won a League game since the 13th August. Even with players coming back from suspension and injuries to help bolster the squad, staying in this division is number one priority for any team entering this competitive league. And at the moment averaging less than a point a game it could be a tall ask for the Gas to stay afloat in this Division.