With only 3 months left of the Sky Bet League 2 season, things are getting tense at the bottom of 4th tier of English football.
It took them 25 years to get back their Football League status and they will do anything to keep it. Bottom of the league, Newport County, have won just 1 league game in 14 and are favourites for the drop. However, the exiles are currently unbeaten in 5 and managed to hold table toppers Doncaster Rovers to a 0-0 draw at home. This now now leaves them 5 points from safety with a game in hand. At the start of the season, the county fans must have been praying to not have as bad of a season has they did last year. They finished 22nd and just narrowly missed out on relegation thanks to York City and Dagenham & Redbridge’s dreadful performances. With a completely fresh start and the majority of the squad from the previous season cleaned out the fans must have been expecting something different but unfortunately it has definitely not been the case.
Leyton Orient are also in the danger zone with Newport County. The O’s grabbed a vital point in the 88th minute in their last game against Morecambe that boosted their survival hopes. The fans haven’t had the greatest start to 2017, as they are still yet to witness a win and have only taken 1 point this year. The ex-League 1 club are staring Conference football right in the face and everyone knows it is extremely difficult the return to the Football League straight away. Watching two relegations so close together is definitely something the fans do not want to witness.
The oldest Football League club, Notts County, could also be set to lose their vital status. The Magpies are no stranger when it comes to fighting for survival as they were in a similar position last season and got the job done on not being relegated. However, it wasn’t ideal because the season before they were relegated from League 1 and were hoping to bounce straight back up. The Notts have now appointed Kevin Nolan as their manager and it’s safe to say that he has made an improvement since the sacking of John Sheridan on January 2nd. John Sheridan was sacked by The Magpies after a run of 9 straight defeats which left them right in the fight for survival.
The biggest little club in the world, as they are known, Accrington Stanley have also not had the greatest of seasons. With just 2 wins in 16 games, they float just above Leyton Orient by 3 points. On the bright side, they have 2 games in hand which will benefit them massively if they can manage to take advantage of them. The fans definitely would’ve expected much better from them this season as they finished 4th and were nearly promoted.
It has been a rollercoaster of emotions for Robins fans in the past few years. With relegation from the Football League in 2015, then champions of The National League in 2016 and now… They could be relegated yet again from League 2. Losing a Football League status again isn’t something that anyone would want to see. Some may say that last season Cheltenham were extremely fortunate and practically did the impossible on returning to the Football League on the first time of asking. In their last match, they just missed on out stealing a point away from their relegation rivals, Notts County. They went 2-0 behind and grabbed a goal back in the 88th minute but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation. In the match before, they had a vital 3 points taken away from them as other relegation rivals, Newport County, managed to equalise in the 93rd minute as they had to settle for a draw. The Robins definitely have a knack for conceding late goals and scoring late goals.
By Dylan Scarborough