The League Two season kicked off last Saturday and there was much anticipation for several teams going into the 2018-19 campaign. Just like every year, there are six changes to the participants of the fourth tier with four promotions into League One and two relegations to the Conference and vice versa. This is what makes this division one of the most highly competitive in the country.
Last season saw Accrington Stanley blitz the league and reach the third tier for the very first time with Luton Town and Wycombe Wanderers joining them in the automatic promotion spots. Coventry City grabbed the final promotion place as they condemned Exeter City to their second play-off final defeat in as many years. Coming down from League One were Bury, MK Dons, Northampton Town and Oldham Athletic.
At the other end of the table saw Chesterfield drop out of the football league after back-to-back relegations along with Barnet who narrowly missed out on survival on the final day. Returning to the football league to make up the numbers were Macclesfield Town and Tranmere Rovers.
The first weekend of the league two season kicked off on Saturday 4th August. Many were tipping Exeter City for the title this season, despite having lost two play-off finals in a row as well as the departure of Paul Tisdale, their manager of 12 years. The Devon club have since got off to the best possible start winning their opening two games with a 3-1 and 2-0 victories of Carlisle United and Morecambe respectively. Their third match sees them entertain Newport County at St James’ Park who had a very contrasting opening two games. Michael Flynn’s men opened the campaign with a 3-0 defeat to Mansfield Town at Field Mill but registered their first win of the season yesterday with a 1-0 victory over Crewe Alexandra at Rodney Parade, who themselves won their first game 6-0 against Morecambe.
Colchester United are another side who have been tipped for big things this season. The U’s have significantly strengthened this summer with the signings of Harry Pell from Cheltenham Town and Frank Nouble from Newport amongst others. They began their season with a hard-fought 0-0 draw away to Kevin Nolan’s Notts County and followed up with a 2-0 win at home to Port Vale yesterday.
Notts County themselves will be hoping to go one better this year as they fell short in the play-off semi finals last season. However, they would have hoped for a better start as the Magpies have taken only one point from six so far following their 3-2 defeat to Cambridge United at Abbey Stadium yesterday. Cambridge are playing their fifth consecutive season in this division and will be hoping that this could be their year and that result was an excellent response to their opening 3-0 defeat to Port Vale last week.
Swindon Town would’ve been optimistic going into this season with manager, Phil Brown having already taken Southend United up from this division in the 2014-15 season. The Wiltshire club got off to a decent start with a 3-2 win over Macclesfield Town only to be humbled 4-1 against Lincoln City at Sincil Bank yesterday. Newly promoted Macclesfield will be hoping to improve on their poor start of two defeats (their second defeat coming at home to Grimsby Town, 2-0) from two as they try to adjust to life back in the football league along with Tranmere Rovers who have made a better start with a 2-2 draw and a 1-0 win so far against Stevenage and Cheltenham Town respectively.
Grimsby are another team with a contrasting opening two fixtures as the Mariners suffered a 4-1 defeat at home to Forest Green Rovers on the opening weekend, only to win the second game at Macclesfield Town.
Bury and Oldham Athletic will be looking to bounce back immediately as the two Manchester-based clubs will be fighting to return to League One along with Northampton Town and MK Dons. The Dons have so far, beaten both Oldham and Bury, 2-1 and 1-0. Bury managed a 1-0 win in the first game, however, with Oldham only taking a point from their second game with a 1-1 draw against Forest Green. Northampton would have hoped for a better as the midlands club began with an opening day defeat to Lincoln City at Sixfields followed by a 2-2 draw away to Carlisle United.
Harry Kewell’s Crawley Town started with a 1-0 win at Cheltenham Town last week but were beaten 3-1 yesterday by Stevenage, another team with a win and a defeat from their opening two games. Stevenage themselves have got four point from six with that win against Crawley to go along with their opening day draw to Tranmere Rovers. Yeovil Town took one point from their first two games with a draw at home yesterday to opening-day winners Mansfield Town with the score ending 2-2 at Huish Park.
League Two is arguably the most unpredictable league in the country. Every team has a chance in every single game, as these results go to show. The fact that so many teams won and lost their opening two games goes to show that anything is possible in this division and that you cannot take any game for granted.