Mansfield and Portsmouth both need to get their act together
These two teams had very different seasons last term; Mansfield won the Conference, whilst Portsmouth finished bottom of League 1. However the two clubs’ form of late has been very similar. Mansfield narrowly avoided losing seven games in a row this weekend, as they drew 0-0 with Wimbledon, but they have still not won in the League since the 28th of September – a run which has seen the Stags fall from 2nd place to 17th. Portsmouth have enjoyed slightly better form over the last few months but, considering their target was to bounce back to League 1 at the first time of asking, there will be many frustrated people at Fratton Park. Pompey have only won two of their last ten matches and have experienced some humiliating defeats, particularly their 4-0 defeat away to Wimbledon. Things will have to dramatically change for both of these teams if they want to climb the league table and challenge at the right end.
Despite only being a point clear at the top of League 2, Oxford have now been in 1st place for a month, since their 3-1 win away against Mansfield. This weekend they beat Dagenham 2-1, with James Constable and Dave Kitson netting. Constable scored after just eight minutes with a brilliant overhead kick before Kitson headed a 90th minute winner, following Rhys Murphy’s leveller late in the first half. With the quality Oxford have this year it is more than likely they will still be top of League 2 (or at least in the top three) come the end of the season.
Newport are on course for back to back promotions
Despite having a very strong squad, questions were asked at the start of the season of Newport County’s ability to win promotion into League 1. However, despite the doubts, the Exiles are currently sitting 4th in the League table and 5th in the form table. Their last couple of results have firmly underlined their promotion credentials; a 3-2 win over Chesterfield and a 2-0 away win against Portsmouth. Their form at Rodney Parade has been key (7 wins out of 9) and should they keep this up, there is absolutely no reason they cannot achieve promotion to League 1 this season.