Category Archives: Exeter City

EFL League One & Two clubs vote to end seasons early

Football League One and Two seasons have both been ended early after a vote by all clubs on Tuesday.

Both tables will be settled on points per game, while promotion, relegation and the play-offs all remain.

Coventry and Rotherham have been promoted from League one, While Wycombe leapfrog Peterborough into the play-off places.

Swindon have been crowned League Two champions, but ongoing disciplinary matters mean it is not yet certain who will get relegated into the National League.

Currently, Stevenage are rooted at the bottom of the table, but they could be reprieved after Macclesfield Town were handed a fresh EFL misconduct charge at the beginning of the month.

Macclesfield, who sit three points above Stevenage, have already had 11 points deducted for previous rule breaches this season and have a further suspended two-point penalty hanging over them if they transgress again.

Both votes were passed with an overwhelming majority, according to the EFL. No dates have yet been confirmed for the League One play-offs, but the schedule for the Division Two play-offs has been decided with Colchester entertaining Exeter on Thursday 18th June and Northampton facing Cheltenham on the same day in the first legs. The second legs for all four sides will be on Monday 22nd June, with the Final played at Wembley on Monday 29th June.

Clubs in League One had previously been divided over whether to finish the season or not. Initial talks were put on hold when at least six sides said they wanted to continue the campaign.

However, the new regulations proposed by the EFL board and approved by the 71 clubs on Tuesday, meant just over half of the teams in any division needed to agree on ending the season early.

With the decision of points per game decided by the board, it has thrown up one major change to the League One table, with Wycombe who originally were in eighth placed replacing sixth placed Peterborough United in the play-offs.

After the conclusion of the season, the next few months are going to be a very anxious time for clubs in League One and Two. Many of whom are going to find themselves financially very insecure.

 

Carabao Cup: Round One Draw Announced

The Carabao Cup Round One draw was made on Thursday evening from Morrisons, Colindale, North West London.

There were two stand out ties from the draw with AFC Wimbledon playing MK Dons, while newly-promoted Salford City will face Leeds United.

The draw was conducted by two former England internationals in John Barnes and Ray Parlour and was split into two regions – North and South.

Huddersfield Town, the hightest-ranked team in the Northern Section, will face Lincoln City while the highest ranked Southern side, West Bromwich Albion, will face Millwall.

Every club from Sky Bet League One and League Two enter the Carabao Cup in Round One, along with 22 Championship clubs.

Only Cardiff City and Fulham – who finished 18th and 19th respectively in the Premier League last season, will enter in Round Two, alongside the clubs from the Premier League, not in European competitions.

The first round matches are scheduled to take place week commencing Monday 12thAugust, with the final due to take place on March 1, 2020.

Full Round One Draw can be seen below:

North Draw

Tranmere Rovers v Hull City

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers

Wigan Athletic v Stoke City

Port Vale v Burton Albion

Nottingham Forest v Fleetwood Town

Bradford City v Preston North End

Blackpool v Macclesfield Town

Blackburn Rovers v Oldham Athletic

Mansfield Town v Morecambe

Accrington Stanley v Sunderland

Scunthorpe United v Derby County

Rochdale v Bolton Wanderers

Huddersfield Town v Lincoln City

Middlesbrough v Crewe Alexandra

Shrewsbury Town v Rotherham United

Sheffield Wednesday v Bury

Salford City v Leeds United

Barnsley v Carlisle United

South Draw

Colchester United v Swindon Town

AFC Wimbledon v MK Dons

Oxford United v Peterborough United

Queens Park Rangers v Bristol City

Plymouth Argyle v Leyton Orient

Wycombe Wanderers v Reading

Charlton Athletic v Forest Green Rovers

Gillingham v Newport County

Stevenage v Southend United

Luton Town v Ipswich Town

Walsall v Crawley Town

Bristol Rovers v Cheltenham Town

Brentford v Cambridge United

Coventry City v Exeter City

Swansea City v Northampton Town

League 2 Promotion Race Hots Up

Well Lincoln City, are promoted to League 1, this was confirmed after last weekend’s draw against Cheltenham and thanks to results elsewhere, with MK Dons surprisingly losing to Tranmere Rovers.

So that leaves a very intriguing race for the remaining two automatic promotion places, between the following teams.

Bury

Mansfield

Milton Keynes Dons

Tranmere Rovers

There are only  3 points seperating Bury from Tranmere, and given the way the seasons has unfolded to this point, you would have to be a very wise man to bet with any certainty on who would take the remaining 2 places.

On paper, you could say that MK Dons, would be one of the two favourites to sneak a place, but this is tempered by the fact that out of the above teams on current form, they  have won just 2 of their last 6 and in the current form table lie, 16th, and have 12 defeats in total.

That is one place above Bury, who have an idential form record to MK Dons having won just twice in the last 6 and have 10 defeats all season.

Mansfield, who on current form lie in 12th Posistion, due to the fact that they have lost only 7 matches all season.

That leaves just Tranmere Rovers, who are enjoying a good season, following their promotion from the National League Last season and who on current form sit second in the league, with just 1 defeat in the last 6 and 11 overall.

So as you can see, its a close call, the only consistency, given that this is a promotion race is the fact that all the teams, instead of being on winning runs as Lincoln are, are doing the opposite and losing at the wrong time.

However, given the depth of the squads involved, you would have to say that both.

MK Dons and Bury, would be the two teams more likely to scrape over the line.

What are your thoughts?

James Norwood- the countries top scorer’s on the rise

Tranmere’s James Norwood is enjoying the best season of his career in England’s basement division, with 28 goals in 42 games so far, the striker has been simply unstoppable in front of goal. 

Starting his career off at Devon based club Exeter in 2009, Norwood made his debut on the first day of the 09/10 season against Leeds. However, over the next two seasons Norwood struggled for game time and only made four league appearances, being shipped out on loan to Sutton, Forest Green and Eastbourne Borough with limited success.

Following his release, Norwood resigned for Forest Green this time on a permanent basis. His first season was a struggle as he managed only three goals in the National League as Forest Green finished 10th. The next three seasons were much more fruitful for Norwood as he adapted to Non League and becoming a regular starter, to score 16, 19 and 11 goals, helping Forest Green finish 10th, 10th and 5th narrowly losing in the play off semi-final to Bristol Rovers.

After his contract expired in the summer of 2015, Norwood joined newly relegated National League side Tranmere on a two year deal. He continued his fine form as Tranmere initially struggled to gain promotion, but 17/18 saw the striker enjoy the best season of his career, as he notched 23 goals as Tranmere won the play off final, Norwood scoring the winner as Rovers overcame Boreham Wood 2-1 at Wembley.

Tranmere’s first season back in the football league since 2015 has been a huge success, as they currently sit comfortably in the Play offs and won’t have ruled out going up automatically. Much of this success can be attributed to Norwood, who is the type of striker that scores goals in patches, scoring 7 goals in the first 7 games of the season, 9 in 9 over October, November and December and is currently on a run of 6 in his last 6.

But one fear they will have is their top scorer and best players contract is set to expire this summer, and with little progress being made on an extension fans must be beginning to sweat.

The striker won’t be short of offers, with Championship side Ipswich already rumoured to be monitoring the situation. With back to back top scoring seasons at National League and League Two level, the logical next step for the 28 year old would be a step up the pyramid, whether that will be with Tranmere or elsewhere remains to be seen.

The Battle for Football League survival

With less than 9 games left in League Two, we here at 24/7 football decided to look at the final games for every club in the fight to retain their Football League status. This season has thrown up a few surprises and looks to keep that trend going into the final 8 or 9 games.

24. Notts County

Currently sat at the foot of the League Two table are Nottinghamshire based side, Notts County. County, who were preseason favourites for promotion, currently find themselves on the verge of entering the Non-League for the first time in their history. The oldest Football League club are also having a nightmare off the pitch with the club currently up for sale.

Notts County’s recent form – LDLWD

The Magpies head into the final 8 games in a slight rejuvenation of form with 4 points being acquired in their last two games. However, County have only picked up 5 points in their last 6 games and have struggled to string a prolonged run of form together all season. To add further salt to their wounds, County have been dire at Meadow Lane in recent weeks, with the Magpies having only picked up 7 points in their last 8 home matches.

Notts County’s final 8 games

Exeter City (H) 23/03/2019

Stevenage (A) 30/03/2019

Northampton Town (H) 06/04/2019

Crewe Alexandra (A) 13/04/2019

MK Dons (H) 19/04/2019

Crawley Town (A) 22/04/2019

Grimsby Town (H) 27/04/2019

Swindon Town (A) 04/05/2019

County have a fairly balanced final 8 games with Notts having to face 2 promotion-chasing sides in MK and Exeter. County also have to play an inform Northampton side and a playoff-chasing Stevenage. A tough easter weekend awaits on the horizon with the Magpies facing MK on the Friday before a long away trip to mid-table Crawley on the Monday which could be a deciding factor in Notts’ survival.

23. Macclesfield

Newly promoted Macclesfield town currently sit 23rd place under the guidance of former Arsenal and Spurs defender, Sol Campbell. Since Campbell’s arrival, the Silkmen have seen an improvement in their fortunes,  picking up 7 points in his first 4 league games. However, Campbell’s men have slumped back into their old habits over the recent weeks with Macclesfield winning just one of their last five league games.

Macclesfield Town’s recent Form – DDLLW

The Silkmen head into their final 9 games in good spirits after defeating 22nd placed Yeovil Town, 2-0. The victory over Yeovil ended a 7 game winless streak and has left Macclesfield only 3 points away from safety with the Cheshire-based side also having a game in hand on Yeovil.

Macclesfield Town’s  final 9 games

Stevenage (H) 23/03/2019

Lincoln City (A) 30/03/2019

Morecambe (H) 06/04/2019

Forest Green Rovers (A) 13/04/2019

Northampton Town (A) 19/04/2019

Newport County (H) 22/04/2019

Port Vale (A) 27/04/2019

Cambridge United (H) 04/05/2019

*Exeter (H) Date to be confirmed

Macclesfield arguably have one of the toughest final 9 games out of all the teams facing relegation with the Silkmen facing 3 of the top 7 teams. Furthermore, Macclesfield have to face both Stevenage and Northampton who will be hoping they can sneak into the playoffs. Macclesfield finally have two huge games at the end of the season facing 20th and 21st placed Port Vale and Cambridge who will be hoping to seal their futures as Football League clubs before the final two games. However, if the Silkmen can get results against the teams around them they can pull away from the drop zone.

22.Yeovil Town

In 2014, Yeovil Town were battling relegation from the Championship. Fast forward 5 years and Yeovil currently find themselves ominously facing relegation to the National League for the first time since they were promoted to the Football League in 2003. Yeovil, who had started the season in encouraging form, soon fell away and have subsequently been dragged into a relegation battle.

Yeovil Town’s recent form – WWLLL

Yeovil’s recent form makes for vexatious reading for Glovers fans, with the Somerset-based side sitting bottom of the League 2 form table. Yeovil have only picked up 9 points in there last 12 games and to add to their problems, have failed to win in their last 4 away games with the Glovers only scoring one goal in those 4 away trips.

Yeovil Town’s final 8 games

MK Dons (A) 23/03/2019

Newport County (H) 30/03/2019

Swindon Town (A) 06/04/2019

Crawley Town (H) 13/04/2019

Crewe Alexandra (A) 19/04/2019

Colchester United (H) 22/04/2019

Northampton Town (A) 27/04/2019

Carlisle United (H) 04/05/2019

Yeovil arguably have one of the toughest finishes in the League with the Somerset-based side face 3 playoff-chasing teams in their final 3 games. With Macclesfield facing Port Vale and Cambridge, it could be crucial that Yeovil stop the rot and pick up points earlier and secure their survival.

21.Cambridge United

Cambridge United currently sit 8 points clear of the drop, however could still get sucked into a relegation battle if the U’s fail to pick up points in their final 9 remaining games. United will be hoping to seal their fate as a Football League club and play a sixth straight season in League Two.

Cambridge United’s recent form – LLWDD

Cambridge have managed to pull away from the bottom two with a burst of positive results. The U’s have managed to pick up 18 points in their last 12 games, allowing them to pull away from the drop. Cambridge have also improved their home form, picking up 15 points in their last 8 league games at the Abbey Stadium.

Cambridge United’s final 9 league games

Carlisle United (A) 23/03/2019

Colchester United (H)  30/03/2019

Mansfield Town (A) 06/04/2019

Newport County (H) 13/04/2019

Swindon Town (H) 19/04/2019

Forest Green Rovers (A) 22/04/2019

Morecambe (H) 27/04/2019

Macclesfield (A) 04/05/2019

*Bury (A) date to be confirmed

With the U’s facing 3 promotion chasing teams in their next three games, Cambridge could get dragged into a relegation battle if Notts County, Macclesfield and Yeovil all pick up points. Furthermore, Cambridge have to face both Morecambe and Macclesfield on the final two games of the seasons both of which might be must-wins if the U’s are dragged into a relegation battle.

20.Port Vale

Sat 8 points clear of the drop are Staffordshire-based side, Port Vale. Vale have been dragged into the relegation battle following poor on-field performances and off-field issues that have plagued the club this season, similar to the situation at Notts County. If Vale were to be relegated, it would be the first time the side has played outside England’s top four divisions for 100 years with The Valiants last playing Non-League football in 1919.

Port Vale’s recent form – LDWWD

Port Vale have enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance of form over the past few weeks with the Valiants picking up 8 points in their last 6 games which has allowed Port Vale to create a sizable gap between them and the bottom two. However, Vale’s home form has been horrific with the Staffordshire based side only winning 2 of their last 8 home games.

Port Vale’s final 8 games

Forest Green Rovers (H) 23/03/2019

Northampton Town (A) 30/03/2019

Crewe Alexandra (H) 06/04/2019

Exeter City (A) 13/04/2019

Stevenage (H) 19/04/2019

MK Dons (A) 22/04/2019

Macclesfield Town (H) 27/04/2019

Bury (A) 04/05/2019

Vale have a gruelling final 8 games to play, with 7 out of the 8 still having something to play for. However, if Vale can put together a successful run in, the Valiants should secure their Football League status.

19. Morecambe

Morecambe appear to have retained their Football League status for 12 seasons in a row and have the astute guidance of Jim Bentley to thank for that. However, the Red and White army still could get sucked into a relegation dogfight if the Shrimps fail to pick up points in their final 8 games.  

Morecambe’s recent form – LLWDD

Morecambe’s resurgence of form has seen the Seasiders pull away from the bottom two with the Shrimps now having a 9 point gap between them and 23rd placed Macclesfield Town. Morecambe have picked three wins in their last six league games ranking them as one of the inform sides in League Two. Morecambe in recent weeks has picked up impressive results against MK Dons and playoff-chasing Forest Green.

Morecambe’s final 8 games

Swindon Town (A) 23/03/2019

Crawley Town (H) 30/03/2019

Macclesfield Town (A) 06/04/2019

Grimsby Town (H) 13/04/2019

Mansfield Town (A) 19/04/2019

Cheltenham Town (H) 22/04/2019

Cambridge United (A) 27/04/2019

Newport County (H) 04/05/2019

The Shrimps on paper appear to have one of the easier run-ins with the Red and White army only facing two teams in the top half of the table. The rest of Morecambe fixtures are against mid-table sides and fellow relegation candidates. Arguably looking at Morecambe’s final run in it is safe to predict that the Shrimps will be playing League Two football for a 13th straight season.

Who do you think will be relegated from League Two?