Prediction League: GW3/46

Here is an update on the Prediction League, after match-day 3.

TOP PERFORMER- Danny Weatherill (@Capt_Crackers) = 17 points [RECORD SCORE!!!]

Danny’s predictions:

Accrington 1-1 Mansfield
Carlisle 2-0 Cheltenham
Chesterfield 1-1 Port Vale
Coventry 2-0 Newport
Crawley 0-1 Cambridge
Crewe 1-0 Barnet
Exeter 3-1 Lincoln
Forest Green 1-0 Yeovil
Luton 2-1 Colchester
Morecambe 0-1 Swindon
Stevenage 2-0 Grimsby
Wycombe 2-2 Notts County

WORST PERFORMER- Nathan (@NathanPVFC123) = -12 points

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IF there are any scores that you don’t think have been calculated correctly, please let me know!

Matchday Three: Preview and Prediction

Accrington 1-2 Mansfield

Both teams have started the season quite successfully, taking 3 points and 4 points from their opening two games respectively. Mansfield currently sit second in the table and are one of the favourites for promotion and with Stanley losing to Yeovil last week, I think the stags should edge it.

Carlisle 1-0 Cheltenham

Cheltenham have started the season better than I expected and have been boosted by Eisa signing a new contract. Carlisle should be strong enough to hold off the Robins’ challenge but I think this a tough one to call. I’ve gone for a narrow win for Carlisle but don’t be surprised if Cheltenham take at least a point.

Chesterfield 0-2 Port Vale

This prediction shouldn’t be a surprise. Chesterfield are bottom of the league and are one of three teams yet to get a point on the board. Port Vale lost 3-2 to Wycombe after scoring two late goals, but Vale fans should be disappointed if they cannot capitalise on Chesterfield’s struggles on the pitch.

Coventry 3-1 Newport

It’s becoming a recurring theme for me to say that I expect Newport to do better this year. However, I can’t give them the benefit of the doubt every week. Coventry are top having beaten Notts County and Grimsby without conceding a goal in the league. This game should be comfortable for the Sky Blues as they continue their push for promotion.

Crawley 1-2 Cambridge

Both teams, as of yet, have been shit. Neither have picked up a point and this game pits 22nd against 23rd. Some may even name it a relegation battle game. For me, it is a surprise that Cambridge are down there. Crawley; not a surprise at all. Therefore, I am going for a Cambridge win.

Crewe 0-1 Barnet

If Barnet want to be serious contenders for playoffs this year, they are going to have to capitalise on beating Luton last week. That was the shock result of the season so far and it would be a bit of a waste if they couldn’t follow it up with a win against Crewe.

Exeter 3-1 Lincoln

By all accounts, Lincoln dominated Morecambe last week but a heroic display from Barry Roche stopped them taking all 3 points. Lincoln are a good side, don’t get me wrong. Exeter are very strong though. This now makes two weeks in a row I have predicted a 3-1 win for the Grecians; they let me down last week, lets hope they serve me better this time around.

Forest Green 0-0 Yeovil

Read the two teams involved. My prediction is explained.

Luton 3-0 Colchester

Luton will win. They thrashed Yeovil. Then lost to Barnet. It would only be right for them to continue to play with their fan’s emotions by winning this week. Promotion is the expectation at Kenilworth Road and I think they will get there eventually, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make it difficult for themselves.

Morecambe 2-2 Swindon

Morecambe have impressed me so far. They sit fifth in the league and deservedly so. Swindon have also started well and are only one place below the Shrimps. I predict that they will match each other in this early season game and share the points.

Stevenage 1-0 Grimsby

Grimsby were unlucky with their free kick disaster last weekend. I am not expecting their luck to change. Stevenage haven’t done as well as I expected so far; they remain unbeaten, with two draws. I think they will finally get their break and take all 3 in this one.

Wycombe 2-0 Notts County

I went hopeful for us last week. It more than paid off. 3-0 up in 25 minutes. I wouldn’t say no to the same again, but I doubt we will play as well as we did against Port Vale. Notts County have started the season fairly averagely and will be boosted by their 1-0 win on their last trip to Adams Park at the end of last season. Wycombe signed Mackail-Smith during the week, a good addition. I doubt he will start and he will probably come on, on the wing of a 4-3-3 like every other 30+ striker Wycombe have failed to utilise successfully in recent years.

Disagree with my predictions? Let me know on Twitter, by tweeting @FL2Blogger and I look forward to seeing how a lot of you do in the Prediction League. I’m still waiting on a number of predictions from some of you. 

Barnet 1-0 Luton Town

Disappointment, Frustration, Anger after watching 90 minutes of football at the Hive.

Nathan Jones decided to stick with the team that thrashed Yeovil 8-2. I don’t think anyone could argue with that decision as we were excellent last week and while we won’t win every week we have to keep a consistent level of performance. We simply didn’t produce any type of performance that looked like we were trying to win the game. 0-0 would have been the right result but we shot ourselves in the foot late on again just like we did on multiple occasions last season and for the 2nd time in the last 3 seasons at the Hive we conceded in added time to lose the game. We were like a different team from last week and more like the team we were on multiple occasions last season.

On a warm day in Barnet the pitch was very sticky and not helpful for Nathan Jones’s preferred style of football which made the game difficult to watch and possession was very slow while Barnet played their usual long ball tactic to their strikers on most occasions and we dealt with it quite well. It did help that Akinde was missing as we lacked height in defence once Cuthbert went off injured.

In a game that was mostly played in the middle third of the pitch there were very few clear cut or even half chances. The only 2 chances of note that we had were both from corners which is a surprise as we usually don’t look threatening from corners. The 1st was an Alan Sheehan corner in the first half which Potts got his head to and Stephens tipped it on to the bar and the 2nd corner was in the last minute delivered by Sheehan and Stephens tipped Olly Lee’s header over the bar.

Barnet had a few chances which were comfortable for Stech. The game was very scrappy and very similar to our game at the Hive last season. At least on that occasion we managed to find a goal. But on this occasion we never really looked like scoring. There was a 5 minute spell in the second half where Stephens kicked the ball to our defence and we just kept giving it straight back to him. It was very poor. No tempo, no urgency, no plan b, no inspiration from Jones, poor substitutions at bad times, no width, no leadership and a diamond formation that is very easy to play against and a boring style of play . All things that we saw on several occasions last season. The Yeovil game is clearly a fluke in my opinion.

Then came the last 10 minutes. Glen Rea was lucky to stay on the pitch when he went diving into a tackle with Jack Taylor although it looked as though the ref wasn’t going to give it until Taylor stayed down when he quite clearly wasn’t injured.

And then there was the goal in added time but it could easily have been avoided.  From a throw in McCormack has the ball and should just clear it up the pitch instead of dallying on the ball and then Taylor curled his strike  into the bottom corner from around 25 yards and gave Stech no chance.

Every player needs to up their game and perform much better if we are to achieve our target of promotion and hopefully that’s the wakeup call that we need. It’s not going to be easy every week and we aren’t going to win every week but we need to grind out results when not at our best. With the sale of Isaac Vassell hopefully our transfer business isn’t finished yet. On to our next league game at home against Colchester on Saturday with the distraction of the checkatrade trophy game on Tuesday night.

By Steven Kelsh (Luton fan)

Follow Steven on Twitter: @KelshSteven

Follow me on Twitter: @FL2Blogger

If you would also like to write for the site, as Steven has done, please give this a read.

Notts County 2-0 Chesterfield

Notts County condemned ten man Chesterfield to their third defeat in three games, coming out 2-0 winners at Meadow Lane.

A Jorge Grant brace was the difference between the two sides, despite the Blues squandering several good chances.

The first half was a half of few chances, County deploying a more direct approach with strikers Jon Stead and Shoala Ameobi posing a threat.

Sam Hird was forced to block a Hawkridge drive that looked destined for the bottom corner, and the Magpies forced a save from Joe Anyon following a corner.

The Spireites saw their fair share of chances, Ugwu hitting straight at keeper Collin after being played through on goal.

However, just before half time, the Spireites went down to ten men. Following a long ball, Scott Wiseman ran across Hawkridge, who went down, leading to the defender’s dismissal.

Chesterfield defended stubbornly in the second half but County saw their opening after an Anyon punch landed at the feet of Hawkridge, who’s cross was met by Grant, his header looping over the Spireites keeper to break the deadlock.

Grant doubled his tally for the match in injury time after Ameobi was brought down just outside the Chesterfield penalty area. His free kick curled over the wall and into the bottom corner to secure the three points for the Magpies.

Written by Matt Atkins (Chesterfield fan)

Follow Matt on Twitter @Mattkins98

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If you would also like to write for the site, as Matt has done, please give this a read.

Lincoln City 1-1 Morecambe

Football League is back at the bank and today’s game was the game to show off why we are back in the Football League. However, it didn’t all go to plan.

8000 fans crammed into Sincil Bank for a game a football which would leave 7’900 frustrated and 126 happy that it’s over. Lincoln were up against Morecambe.

The game began and within the first 10 minutes this game was going to be Lincoln’s big home return to the football league. But after 45 minutes of Lincoln doing everything but hit the back of the net, the doubt started to sneak in.

Soon after the half time whistle went the boys were back out and ready to put this game to bed. 2 one-on-one chances scuffed in the first half meant they should have been rallied up to stick the ball into the back of the net. But somehow after Morecambe’s first proper attack The Imps were 1-0 down. Frustrating to say the least, as we should have been 2/3 up by that time. The next 20 minutes showed Lincoln attack and have 2 certain goals cleared off the line by the Morecambe keeper. Who was literally the only person on that Morecambe team I can have any praise for.

The 73rd minute came and Lincoln finally found the back of the net through a nicely taken shot by Matt green. But that was to be the only joyous moment of the 2nd half as Lincoln were to continue to attack, only to see another goal line clearance and a final whistle that caused the whole stadium to sigh in disappointment as Lincoln missed too many chances to claim the first 3 points of our return campaign to the football league.

Written by Rhys Jenkins (Lincoln fan)

Follow Rhys on Twitter: @Rhys_Jenkins17 

Follow me on Twitter: @FL2Blogger

If you would also like to write for the site, as Rhys has done, please give this a read.

Grimsby Town 0-2 Coventry City

This was Town’s first encounter with Coventry since March 2003 where Coventry won 2-0. This scoreline was repeated today in a scrappy game where the better side edged it.

There were 2 changes from the winning side against Chesterfield with Summerfield replacing Sam Kelly and Ben Davies coming in to replace the suspended Zak Mills.

Mckeown started between the sticks with Nathan Clarke and  Danny Collins starting at the back. The back line was completed with Ben Davies on the right and Paul Dixon in the left. Mitch Rose, Berrett, Summerfield and the tricky winger Siriki Dembele forming the midfield. Sam Jones and Harry Cardwell (who replaced Vernon who got injured in the warm up).

It was a cagey affair early on with Coventry getting a half chance from a flicked header right into Mckeown’s arms.

A Jones attempt was blocked after it was worked into the edge of the box. On 16 minutes Dembele went on one of his tricky runs through the middle where the ball ended up at Sam Jones’ feet but he dragged the shot wide.

A foul 21 minutes in gave Coventry a free kick central to the goal. Jodi Jones’ attempt hit the wall while the rebound flew wide of the goal.

Half an hour gone both sides trying to play a long ball playing style and Berrett had an attempt from 20 odd yards which went wide.

A penalty appeal for the travelling City fans to appeal for but the man in the middle Clarke waved away the claims. With Coventry getting on top late in the half a low cross was cleared by Clarke.

One additional minute was added on but no chances were created and both teams went in at the break level.

Coventry’s Jones went close from 25 yards with Mckeown making a save pushing the ball over the bar. From the resulting corner, Coventry headed the ball across the face of goal going out for a goal kick.

With the visitors looking most likely to score, a free kick was given just inside the Town half. Clarke tapped the ball in the direction of Clarke and McNulty stepped in a scored. The intention of the free kick was so Mckeown could take yet the ref was adamant that it was taken and idiotically accepted the goal.

With changes being made for Town with the 2 new boys coming on later on in the half.

Collins put the ball out for a Coventry corner and the ball was placed in the area and a powerful header beat Mckeown and Davies on the line.

With 2 minutes to go, Berrett was rightly sent off with his second yellow card for a poor challenge. This is the second time in 2 full games where a Town player has been sent off, coincidentally around the same time in the game.

7 minutes added on with Coventry cleverly grinding out the win not allowing Town to make it a close end.

Coventry rightfully deserved to win but a poor decision by the referee put The Mariners out of contention with a bizarre decision.

We travel away to Stevenage on Saturday with a 3pm kick off. UTM

Prediction League: GW2/46

Here is an update on the Prediction League, after match-day 2. A varied performance this week…

TOP PERFORMER- Joel Heritage (@joalhe1997) = 9 points

Joel’s predictions:

Barnet 1-2 Luton
Cambridge 1-1 Carlisle
Cheltenham 1-0 Crawley
Colchester 2-1 Stevenage
Crewe 0-0 Newport
Grimsby 0-2 Coventry
Lincoln 2-0 Morecambe
Mansfield 2-0 Forest Green
Notts County 0-0 Chesterfield
Port Vale 0-1 Wycombe
Swindon 2-2 Exeter
Yeovil 1-1 Accrington

WORST PERFORMER- Massimo Fabbreschi (@EdinburghImp) = -20 points

Here is what you came for, the table…

GW2 TABLE

In future, I am likely to update the table in this format. It is much easier for me to ensure I can post the results as soon as possible after the games.

Let me know how you think you did by tweeting @FL2Blogger

IF there are any scores that you don’t think have been calculated correctly, please let me know!