English Soccer – England’s Football League Division One Review

March 5, 2006 darnell

It would appear that Swindon Town have been keeping an eye on Football England recently, at least that’s what I’m claiming anyway. Since I tipped them as most likely to stay up in the now ferocious relegation battle, they haven’t put a foot wrong.

This was confirmed by another good win at home to Doncaster Rovers on Saturday.

The 2-1 victory, gives them three on the bounce on the row, and confidence seems to have been restored. Any struggling teams yet to visit the County Ground – beware.

Manager Iffy Onoura was well pleased with the latest result, and also seems optimistic of survival. Perhaps he’s also in a good mood because the proposed television project featuring Big Ron has been booted into row z, early doors.

At the top, Southend reconfirmed their promotion credentials with a fine 2-0 away defeat of Yeovil, which keeps them top. Shaun Goater scored the second, and his goals could be vital in the remainder of the season.

Brentford too perhaps have been reading this column. Last week I voiced a concern that letting DJ Campbell disappear to Birmingham for a pittance could harm their promotion aspirations. Seems I’m wrong.

The Bees absolutely paggered Walsall 5-0, proving that they can score without the DJ (League one player of the month for Jan), and heaping misery on a forlorn Paul Merson. Brentford still look nicely poised, sitting 5th with games in hand. Walsall look to be in terminal decline, and Merson has hinted that he will quit if results don’t improve.

Colchester continue to make us marvel at their impressive record this term. A comfortable 3-1 home win over Bradford City, after going 1-0 down racks up a club record of nine consecutive wins, and perhaps more impressively winning 19 out of 21.

Bradford went ahead through stocky veteran Dean Windass just before half time – the chunky striker is still a force to be reckoned with at this level. The game, now a tough test, was turned by the inspirational Richard Garcia who headed home twice early in the secone half. Garcia has now notched 6 in his last 4 games. A confident display was rounded off by Chris Iwelumo, also heading in just after the hour.

Colchester must now believe they can go up without the lottery of the play offs – they sit second, 1 point behind Southend, with a game in hand.

Also at the top, Barnsley have slipped in unnoticed in recent weeks, while others have floundered. A 2-0 victory over Bristol City at home this weekend lifts them into fourth spot. Much of this recent form can be attributed to striker Marc Richards, who bagged both goals, bringing his tally to 10 in the last 15 outings. His first was an exquisite finish after lobbing a defender on his approach.

Back at the bottom, a predictable dour affair between Rotherham & Hartlepool ended 0-0. Both these sides are in deep trouble and must turn the corner soon or bye bye. Hartlepool were under the instruction of Youth team coach Paul Stephenson for the first time after the much publicised turmoil at the club. Hopefully he can get them on track.

MK Dons look to be adrift without a paddle after going down 2-0 to Scunthorpe. Scunny will be glad of the points to keep them above water, thanks again to their prolific goal getter Billy Sharp. Another brace for Sharp put the game away after just 10 minutes.

As for the Dons – it looks like they are going. Will anybody miss them?

Blackpool continue to show great determination at home, and look to have what it takes to stay up. The Seasiders were very unlucky to take only the 1 point from their home meeting with Notts Forest.

A creditable 8,399 turned out for this 2-2 draw in which Blackpool were always in control, until the last minute equaliser by Forest’s Julian Bennett.

Oldham Athletic tripped themselves up by going down 1-0 in an eminently winnable game at home to Port Vale. This leaves the Latics adrift by 7 points from the play off spots. Manager Ronnie Moore knows he has to improve quickly.

Finally, Chesterfield kept up their unbeaten run and their play off hopes with a late home equaliser against Gillingham. Chesterfiald lie in 7th, with the Gills out of trouble, for the moment.

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