Monday, September 10, 2012
Notts tie up top spot
Welcome to The Trawler, your weekly submersion through the teeming waters of life in the Championship, League One and League Two. You might be surprised what you find down there.
Magpies flying high
With no Championship fixtures because of the international break, it was left to Leagues One and Two to provide the weekend's action. Some of the best of it came in Notts County's 3-2 win against Shrewsbury - a result that sent the Magpies to the top of the table.
The match looked destined for a 2-2 draw after the sides shared four goals in seven frenetic second-half minutes, but veteran striker Lee Hughes popped up with a typically clinical finish to win it late on.
The 36-year-old considered leaving Meadow Lane this summer and had offers to do so, but was convinced to stay by manager Keith Curle and collected his second league goal of the season in the 88th minute.
Pompey pick up first win
Michael Appleton's Portsmouth made the short trip to face Crawley in Sunday's televised League One clash, which pitted two clubs on very different trajectories against each other.
Three years ago, Pompey were in the Premier League and Crawley were a non-league outfit. While the Red Devils have risen to establish themselves in the Football League, Portsmouth's financial woes have seen them relegated twice and threatened with extinction.
But on Sunday, Pompey took the spoils, winning 3-0 against a Crawley team reduced to nine men after losing Josh Simpson and Hope Akpan to red cards.
Appleton praised the composure of his patchwork team and singled out the youthful exploits of Adam Webster and Ashley Harris, who combined for Pompey's opener."I was delighted that the goal was made by a 17-year-old and scored by an 18-year-old," he said. "It couldn't get any better for us."
Di Canio corner
Paolo Di Canio's Swindon suffered a second successive defeat when they lost 1-0 to Leyton Orient in League One. Lee Cook got the decisive goal, ending the Robins' 28-game unbeaten run at the County Ground and prompting a typically scathing assessment of his players by Di Canio.
"There wasn't passion in this game, or desire," he said. "It was an empty performance. I have over-estimated some of my players. I hope my players analyse themselves.
"We have very good players but football is not just about technique, it's about the brain, mentally. I have to convince them that they have to work a lot."
Redknapp back at Bournemouth
Harry Redknapp returned to Bournemouth in an advisory role last week - 20 years after leaving the club to take over at West Ham - and his influence was felt in their 1-0 win at Yeovil on Saturday.
"Harry has supported us, been around the camp and travelled on the bus with us here," Cherries manager Paul Groves said.
"He's a fantastic football man and it's a pleasure to be in his company. I know and trust him - he's a great football person and his knowledge is second to none. The way he is as a person and the way he interacts with the players is fantastic."
Blackburn signed Grzegorz Sandomierski, Nuno Henrique and Diogo Rosado on transfer deadline day - but it turns out manager Steve Kean hadn't seen any of them play before.
Rovers' global advisor Shebby Singh was the man behind the deals and appears to be growing in power and influence at Ewood Park by the day.
"These players have been identified by Shebby and he's been very excited about the technical abilities of these players," Kean told BBC radio. "You can't have too many good players."
Pope answers Vale prayers
What's the best way to show your former team what they're missing? How about scoring four times in a 6-2 romp, in the style of Port Vale striker Tom Pope against Rotherham on Saturday.
The famously fiery Rotherham manager Steve Evans, as you can imagine, was not best pleased. "We lacked discipline to mark people - it was absolutely embarrassing for 30 minutes," he fumed.
Clayton attracting attention
Crewe's Max Clayton attracted a collection of 19 Premier League scouts on Saturday, along with 12 from the Championship, as he went about his business in a 0-0 draw with Tranmere in League One.
The 18-year-old is clearly considered among the hottest young talents in the Football League, but his manager Steve Davis is determined he continue his evolution at Gresty Road.
"There's not a lot I can do about all those scouts being here but it means we're doing something right with our young players," Davis said. "Max has got great potential, but he isn't ready to leave here yet. He needs more games for us."