The festive period of the footballing calendar can make or break a season for any club.
Four games set out in the space of nine days, 12 points on offer and the chance for significant movement up or down the division.
In League Two, there were clear definitions of winners and losers from this period along with one or two eyebrow-raising results that had the gamblers scratching their heads in disbelief.
Mansfield, Colchester and Cambridge all enjoyed an unbeaten festive period, the former putting themselves in the middle of the play-off mix and the latter two have jostled themselves into position to challenge those already in the top 7.
Lincoln City have also pushed themselves into the mix despite a New Year Day’s defeat at leaders Luton Town, their only blip but one that hasn’t hurt their league position.
Some clubs have had a mixed time, some stringing a couple of wins together from those four games, some interjecting two wins with losses either side.
Wycombe Wanderers and Exeter City come into that category but that hasn’t caused much harm to either promotion hopes, both are play-off placed and City fell foul to a waterlogged pitch mid-way through their derby encounter with Forest Green.
Swindon Town were booed off the pitch after leaders Luton went on the rampage on Boxing Day scoring 5 without reply. Fast forward two games and the Robins are back in the thick of it after back to back wins over Notts County and Barnet, so crucial has it been to pick up at least six points during this period.
Yeovil, Stevenage, Carlisle and Grimsby fall into ‘some results helped, and some didn’t’ category, a couple of losses a set back to the two wins or draws gained and not helping in any way to push themselves up the table.
And then there were the losers.
Grimsby, Chesterfield, Barnet and Forest Green all failed to win a game over the Xmas and New Year period and the latter three find themselves adrift at the bottom, possibly needing some help from the January transfer window to get themselves moving up the table.
The Mariners are entrenched in mid-table, seemingly well away from those struggling at the wrong end but not close to troubling those above them given their current form.
Accrington Stanley could also be classed as ‘losers’ during this period, only picking up a solitary win, although their New Year’s Day clash with strugglers Morecombe was abandoned with Stanley leading 1-0. Despite their poor run of form, they are still very much in touch with the promotion race and can’t be discounted.
So, now to the January transfer window and there’s bound to be a lot of movement among League Two clubs, some will need to rectify what went wrong over the last four games, some won’t have the money to do so and will have to rely on the squads they have already.
Others will want to strengthen further to maintain what they already have and if you’ve blown the chance of picking up a good set of points from the games just gone, this could be the last chance to make amends and make a difference to the season.
Written by Trevor Knell
Follow Trevor on Twitter @trevk37
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