Connect in the back of the net

This weekend’s sure bet on everyone’s accumulator was a Swindon home win over Crawley, top vs bottom and an expected three points for The Robins.

By 5 o’clock, neither side were in their starting position as the Red Devils clocked up their first three points of the season in one of the day’s most unexpected results.

 

Swindon stunned

Goals and a clean sheet, 3-0 the final score, showed how unpredictable this season could well be and no one will be more delighted with the result than Harry Kewell.

For Swindon, an unbeaten record and top spot was gone but still in touch with the play offs places, just in front of Coventry City who of late have found this division won’t be easy to get out.

Back to back defeats after back to back wins have maybe reminded City fans every game must be fought for and sometimes scrapped for to come away with maximum points, there is no divine right to promotion.

Just four sides remain unbeaten and they make up the current top four.

 

Exeter take over the ascendancy

Led by the Football League’s longest serving manager Paul Tisdale, Exeter jumped into top spot with a hard fought 4-3 over struggling Cheltenham, dragging Newport, Stevenage and Crewe up with them.

The latter both picked up 1-0 wins to maintain undefeated starts and after last season’s relegation struggles, County appear to be a surprise package so far under the stewardship of Mike Flynn, who worked wonders to keep the Welsh club in the Football League last term.

 

Wrong direction

After two successive 1-0 defeats, Barnet appear to be heading in the wrong direction and manager Rossi Eames needs to arrest the slide quickly.

Port Vale and Grimsby, after opening day wins, have both lost three on the spin and sit just outside the drop zone, with Michael Brown finding life tough at Vale Park after last season’s relegation.

Chesterfield couldn’t build on last week’s victory and move to the bottom of the table after Crawley’s win, joined by Cheltenham Town, goal difference keeping the Valiants and Mariners above water.

But, with only three points separating 10th and 24th, one win can send any side moving as far as eight places up the table given how tight the division currently is.

 

The standout fixture

This weekend coming one fixture jumps out above the rest as 1st takes on 2nd. Newport take their unbeaten record to St James Park, Exeter hoping to end their hosts fine start and prolong their own.

Crewe and Stevenage take their records on the road to strugglers Grimsby and Cheltenham, but given Crawley’s result at Swindon, there is no guarantee both sides will still stand undefeated at 5pm.

Coventry will be hoping to prove the last two results were just a blip heading to bottom side Chesterfield, while Barnet know they need to get a result at Swindon to arrest their downward slide.

With such a small difference in points between such a large number of clubs, any one of these 24 clubs could be moving up or down the table again, what’s not to enjoy!

 

Written by Trevor Knell

Follow Trevor on Twitter @trevk37

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