League Two Round Up – Derby Day Defeat for Swindon as Oxford End Di Canio’s Winning Run.
Swindon Town lost their first nPower League Two match of 2012 in a highly charged derby against Oxford United on Saturday.
There was a crowd of over 10,000 at the Kassam Stadium for the first meeting between Oxford and Swindon since the U’s moved in to their new stadium in 2001. An already rousing atmosphere was heightened further with James Constable receiving a red card after just 10 minutes. The Oxford striker, who had been linked with a move to Swindon in January, was sent off for an elbow on Joe Devera to leave the hosts with an uphill struggle. Roared on by the capacity crowd, the home side overcame the odds to grab two goals in quick succession to stun the League leaders and take a 2-0 lead after just 20 minutes. Swindon despite their numerical advantage were unable to capitalise and saw their run of consecutive league victories end at ten. The win maintained Oxford’s play-off position of 7th.
Cheltenham were unable to cash in fully on Swindon’s slip as they were forced to mount a comeback to earn at home against bottom of the table Northampton. Goals from Ben Tozer and Adebayo Akinfenwa had given the Cobblers a shock 2-0 lead which they held until 15 minutes from time. Darryl Duffy came to the rescue for the Mark Yates’ side with two goals including a last minute equaliser.
Southend United moved into third place with a 2-0 win at Burton Albion, leapfrogging Shrewsbury Town who could only draw 1-1 at Crewe Alexandra. Crawley Town’s recent poor run continued as they were beaten at home 1-0 by Torquay United who moved above Steve Evans’ side into 5th place.
Plymouth slipped back into the relegation zone after they lost at home to Gillingham 1-0. This was because Dagenham and Redbridge won for the first time in five games with a 1-0 win over fellow strugglers Bradford City.
Hereford also earned a valuable win with a 2-1 victory over AFC Wimbledon. The victory, a first in eight games, was not enough to save the job of manager Jamie Pittman who was removed from his managerial duties on Monday. He has stayed at the club in a coaching capacity and has been replaced by former assistant boss Richard O’Kelly, who has been appointed until the end of the season.
The days other games saw Accrington draw at home 2-2 with financially stricken Port Vale and Barnet earn a valuable point with a 1-1 draw at home to Rotherham. Aldershot earned a club record sixth consecutive victory by beating Morecambe 1-0 while Bristol Rovers and Macclesfield fought out a goalless draw.