Tag Archives: accrington

League Two review: Hughes scores on debut as Port Vale come out on top

League Two round-up: Hughes scores on debut as Port Vale come out on top

PUBLISHED:

19:06 GMT, 12 January 2013

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UPDATED:

20:03 GMT, 12 January 2013

Port Vale moved above opponents
Gillingham to the summit of npower League Two with a 2-1 win in the
top-of-the-table clash at Priestfield.

All three goals came in the first 21
minutes, with Tom Pope and Lee Hughes putting the visitors 2-0 ahead
before Danny Kedwell (21) pulled one back.

Hot shot: Port Vale's Lee Hughes (right) celebrates after scoring his side's second goal

Hot shot: Port Vale's Lee Hughes (right) celebrates after scoring his side's second goal

Exeter moved up to third with a 3-0 win at home to Southend, with John O'Flynn scoring either side of Scot Bennett's effort.

Rotherham are down to fourth after a surprise 2-0 home loss at the hands of Barnet, who scored through Jake Hyde and substitute Andrew Yiadom, while Cheltenham slip to fifth after being held 1-1 at home to York.

Shaun Harrad (67) put Cheltenham in front, but Jason Walker equalised six minutes from time.

Burton Albion are up to sixth courtesy of a 2-1 win over Torquay, who had taken the lead through Ryan Jarvis just before the interval. Calvin Zola (59) and Matthew Paterson (84) turned things around for the home side.

Bottom side Bristol Rovers enjoyed only their second away win of the season, hammering Fleetwood Town 3-0 thanks to goals from Danny Woodards, Eliot Richards and John-Joe O'Toole.

They are now just one point behind AFC Wimbledon, who were held 2-2 at home by Wycombe.

Paul McCallum scored twice after Jo Kuffour had given Wycombe an early lead, but the visitors claimed a point through substitute Matt McClure 18 minutes from time.

Plymouth moved above AFC Wimbledon thanks to a 2-1 home win over Morecambe, who could only manage an 80th-minute consolation from Ryan Williams after Conor Hourihane (10) and Paris Cowan-Hall (16) had put the Pilgrims in charge.

Elsewhere, Troy Brown and Daniel Lopez gave Aldershot a 2-0 win over Accrington Stanley, while Chesterfield eased past Northampton 3-0 thanks to a goal from James O'Shea and a Marc Richards double inside the first 25 minutes.

Peter Leven scored a 90th-minute penalty winner for Oxford at Bradford, who had seen Nahki Wells' early opener cancelled out by Sean Rigg (18).

And there was also a last-minute winner at Dagenham and Redbridge, where Medy Elito grabbed the winner for the home side in a 2-1 success over Rochdale. Andrew Tutte opened the scoring for the visitors on 72 minutes, but Abu Ogogo equalised just three minutes later.

James Beattie enjoying fresh start at Accrington

EXCLUSIVE: Former Southampton and Everton striker Beattie enjoying fresh start at Accrington

|

UPDATED:

09:03 GMT, 16 November 2012

'Two boys talking in the famous Milk Marketing Board TV advert of 1989: ‘Milk Urrrggh!’

‘It’s what Ian Rush drinks. He says if I don’t drink lots of milk, when I grow up I’ll only be good enough to play for Accrington Stanley.’

‘Accrington Stanley Who are they’

‘Exactly!’

There are many reasons why James Beattie finds himself in the unlikely surroundings of Accrington Stanley at the moment, but forgetting to drink his milk is not one of them.

A bust-up with Tony Pulis at Stoke, an injury at Rangers, the death of his father while Beattie was on loan at Blackpool and an ill-timed red card at Sheffield United have all contributed to a player who once commanded more than 15million in transfer fees pitching up at the 5,000-capacity Crown Ground, just a few miles from where he was brought up in East Lancashire.

Scroll down for memorable milk advert video…

New start: Beattie (right) with Accrington boss Leam Richardson

New start: Beattie (right) with Accrington boss Leam Richardson

When he was asked by his old Blackburn Rovers team-mate Leam Richardson to help out as player-coach at the League Two club last week, 34-year-old Beattie was only too happy to oblige.

He is one of a number of ex-Premier League players forced to drop down the divisions just to get a game these days.

Tonight the former England striker is in line to make his debut against Edgar Davids at Barnet. Just along the road from Accrington at Fleetwood Town, Barry Ferguson has also popped up in English football's fourth tier.

Beattie recently offered to join Swindon on a pay-as-you-play basis. They said no.

'No offence, but Swindon!' he says. 'The market is dead at the moment. There are so many pros out of a job.

'I know that even people within football say I don't want to play any more. They can think what they want, that's totally wrong. I won't stop because I've been knocked back by a few clubs. As long as I've got that spark to get out of bed in the morning and play football, I will pursue it.

'You're just waiting for somebody to give you a chance. It's a little bit like starting again.

'Realistically, I know I could hold my own at Championship level. The Premier League is probably gone but you never know – I'm a proven goalscorer at that level.

'It's just the match sharpness, which is exactly why I've gone to Accrington.'

Fresh start: James Beattie

Beattie has signed a contract until January 9 and will also help Richardson, even though he previously had few plans to go into coaching.

He remembers the slope on Accrington's pitch from schoolboy cup finals he played there as a teenager. The club have moved on, though, no longer known simply for that TV advert and the two little boys from Liverpool who had never heard of Accrington Stanley.

These days most of the players are from Merseyside and support Everton, as Beattie found out en route to his first training session.

'We were training at my old school,' says the former 6m Everton signing. 'I was following a car full of our lads up the M65 but they missed the turn-off, came off at the next junction and got back on.

'It was only later when they were laughing their heads off at training that they explained it was because the driver had Googled me on his iPhone and was watching my goals for Everton!

'They're saying, “We can't believe Beattie's here”. It's given them a bit of a lift as well. But I've told Leam I want to fight for my place, otherwise it's not fair on the other lads.

'There were a few raised eyebrows when I came in for the game on Saturday. We used to play cup finals at Accy Stanley when I was 14 or 15, and a couple of the older guys have said it's nice to see me. I'm on hardly anything but I'll give the lads my time and put everything I've got into it.

Target man: Beattie has scored goals

Target man: Beattie has scored more than 100 goals

'I was driving over the other morning for my first session and I was excited. That tells me it's the right thing to do. A football club is a unique environment.Many ex-pros miss going in and having the banter. There are a lot of ex-footballers around where I live in Cheshire. I see people like Graeme Souness and they say, “Keep playing as long as you can because you're a long time retired”.

'I'm sure Edgar Davids doesn't need to play football. Why would he be playing for Barnet Because he loves football. Barry Ferguson's another. When it's in your blood, it's in your blood.'

Beattie has been largely out of the spotlight since he left Stoke just over two years ago.

Legal reasons prevent him from talking about the well-publicised dressing-room clash with Pulis in December 2009 which hastened his departure, and a fresh start in Scotland was cut short by injury.

/11/15/article-2233642-03EEE827000005DC-243_634x552.jpg” width=”634″ height=”552″ alt=”National service: Beattie played for England” class=”blkBorder” />

National service: Beattie played five times for England

Just when Beattie looked to be finding his feet at Sheffield United last season, a sending-off against Exeter City cost him a place in the League One play-offs and, he believes, the chance of a contract.

He tried his luck across town at Sheffield Wednesday but a few weeks' training came to nothing. 'They said it was probably to do with the budget but a couple of days later they went and signed Jay Bothroyd and subsidised 25,000-a-week wages!' he says. 'I thought, “I'm a big boy, if you don't want to sign me just tell me”.'

Beattie doesn't need the money. The former Southampton striker has bought a house in Poole and is about to move back to the south coast with wife Sarah and their three children, sons James and George and baby daughter Halle.

One of his other business interests is to act as mentor to young players represented by his agent James Featherstone.

'They don't always get the right advice,' he says. ' “Don't be dazzled by the lights” is one of my favourites because a lot of them do. They don't know how lucky they are to be in that position. You can't abuse the fact you're earning good money.

'Your career earnings should go up and then tail off a bit, but when you retire it's a cliff face. Your salary from football doesn't just slow down, it stops.

'I've been lucky with the people I've had around me. I've got other things in place that can sustain my lifestyle for the rest of my life. I'm not going to say I didn't have fun, but I could retire if I wanted to – I just don't want to.'

VIDEO: Accrington Stanley, who are they EXACTLY!

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Former Southampton and Everton striker James Beattie enjoying fresh start at Accrington

EXCLUSIVE: Former Southampton and Everton striker Beattie enjoying fresh start at Accrington

|

UPDATED:

01:21 GMT, 16 November 2012

'Two boys talking in the famous Milk Marketing Board TV advert of 1989:
‘Milk Urrrggh!’
‘It’s what Ian Rush drinks. He says if I don’t drink lots of milk, when I grow up I’ll only be good enough to play for Accrington Stanley.’
‘Accrington Stanley Who are they’
‘Exactly!’

There are many reasons why James Beattie finds himself in the unlikely surroundings of Accrington Stanley at the moment, but forgetting to drink his milk is not one of them.

A bust-up with Tony Pulis at Stoke, an injury at Rangers, the death of his father while Beattie was on loan at Blackpool and an ill-timed red card at Sheffield United have all contributed to a player who once commanded more than 15million in transfer fees pitching up at the 5,000-capacity Crown Ground, just a few miles from where he was brought up in East Lancashire.

Scroll down for memorable milk advert video…

New start: Beattie (right) with Accrington boss Leam Richardson

New start: Beattie (right) with Accrington boss Leam Richardson

When he was asked by his old Blackburn Rovers team-mate Leam Richardson to help out as player-coach at the League Two club last week, 34-year-old Beattie was only too happy to oblige.

He is one of a number of ex-Premier League players forced to drop down the divisions just to get a game these days.

Tonight the former England striker is in line to make his debut against Edgar Davids at Barnet. Just along the road from Accrington at Fleetwood Town, Barry Ferguson has also popped up in English football's fourth tier.

Beattie recently offered to join Swindon on a pay-as-you-play basis. They said no.

'No offence, but Swindon!' he says. 'The market is dead at the moment. There are so many pros out of a job.

'I know that even people within football say I don't want to play any more. They can think what they want, that's totally wrong. I won't stop because I've been knocked back by a few clubs. As long as I've got that spark to get out of bed in the morning and play football, I will pursue it.

'You're just waiting for somebody to give you a chance. It's a little bit like starting again.

'Realistically, I know I could hold my own at Championship level. The Premier League is probably gone but you never know – I'm a proven goalscorer at that level.

'It's just the match sharpness, which is exactly why I've gone to Accrington.'

Fresh start: James Beattie

Beattie has signed a contract until January 9 and will also help Richardson, even though he previously had few plans to go into coaching.

He remembers the slope on Accrington's pitch from schoolboy cup finals he played there as a teenager. The club have moved on, though, no longer known simply for that TV advert and the two little boys from Liverpool who had never heard of Accrington Stanley.

These days most of the players are from Merseyside and support Everton, as Beattie found out en route to his first training session.

'We were training at my old school,' says the former 6m Everton signing. 'I was following a car full of our lads up the M65 but they missed the turn-off, came off at the next junction and got back on.

'It was only later when they were laughing their heads off at training that they explained it was because the driver had Googled me on his iPhone and was watching my goals for Everton!

'They're saying, “We can't believe Beattie's here”. It's given them a bit of a lift as well. But I've told Leam I want to fight for my place, otherwise it's not fair on the other lads.

'There were a few raised eyebrows when I came in for the game on Saturday. We used to play cup finals at Accy Stanley when I was 14 or 15, and a couple of the older guys have said it's nice to see me. I'm on hardly anything but I'll give the lads my time and put everything I've got into it.

Target man: Beattie has scored goals

Target man: Beattie has scored more than 100 goals

'I was driving over the other morning for my first session and I was excited. That tells me it's the right thing to do. A football club is a unique environment.Many ex-pros miss going in and having the banter. There are a lot of ex-footballers around where I live in Cheshire. I see people like Graeme Souness and they say, “Keep playing as long as you can because you're a long time retired”.

'I'm sure Edgar Davids doesn't need to play football. Why would he be playing for Barnet Because he loves football. Barry Ferguson's another. When it's in your blood, it's in your blood.'

Beattie has been largely out of the spotlight since he left Stoke just over two years ago.

Legal reasons prevent him from talking about the well-publicised dressing-room clash with Pulis in December 2009 which hastened his departure, and a fresh start in Scotland was cut short by injury.

/11/15/article-2233642-03EEE827000005DC-243_634x552.jpg” width=”634″ height=”552″ alt=”National service: Beattie played for England” class=”blkBorder” />

National service: Beattie played five times for England

Just when Beattie looked to be finding his feet at Sheffield United last season, a sending-off against Exeter City cost him a place in the League One play-offs and, he believes, the chance of a contract.

He tried his luck across town at Sheffield Wednesday but a few weeks' training came to nothing. 'They said it was probably to do with the budget but a couple of days later they went and signed Jay Bothroyd and subsidised 25,000-a-week wages!' he says. 'I thought, “I'm a big boy, if you don't want to sign me just tell me”.'

Beattie doesn't need the money. The former Southampton striker has bought a house in Poole and is about to move back to the south coast with wife Sarah and their three children, sons James and George and baby daughter Halle.

One of his other business interests is to act as mentor to young players represented by his agent James Featherstone.

'They don't always get the right advice,' he says. ' “Don't be dazzled by the lights” is one of my favourites because a lot of them do. They don't know how lucky they are to be in that position. You can't abuse the fact you're earning good money.

'Your career earnings should go up and then tail off a bit, but when you retire it's a cliff face. Your salary from football doesn't just slow down, it stops.

'I've been lucky with the people I've had around me. I've got other things in place that can sustain my lifestyle for the rest of my life. I'm not going to say I didn't have fun, but I could retire if I wanted to – I just don't want to.'

VIDEO: Accrington Stanley, who are they EXACTLY!

League Two round-up: Barrett keeps Gills five points in front

League Two round-up: Barrett keeps Gills five points in front

PUBLISHED:

19:04 GMT, 10 November 2012

|

UPDATED:

19:04 GMT, 10 November 2012

Gillingham maintained their five-point lead at the top of npower League Two after Adam Barrett secured a late 2-2 at Plymouth.

The Gills looked to be slumping to their second defeat of the season when Luke Young put the hosts ahead with 11 minutes to go but Barrett headed in with two minutes remaining.

Net profit: Gillingham's Adam Barrett (second right) scores the leveller

Net profit: Gillingham's Adam Barrett (second right) scores the leveller

Earlier, Curtis Nelson put Plymouth ahead but Ben Strevens equalised after 38 minutes.

Second-placed Port Vale could not capitalise after drawing 0-0 at Southend and are now level on 32 points with Cheltenham, who edged out Burton 1-0 thanks to a late Chris Zebroski goal.

A Nahki Wells brace enabled Bradford to move up to fourth with a 2-0 win at rock-bottom Aldershot while big-spending Fleetwood were twice pegged back in a 2-2 draw at Exeter.

Phil McNulty and Barry Nicholson gave the north-west side the lead on two occasions but the Grecians earned a point thanks to a Jamie Cureton effort and a John O'Flynn spot-kick.

Bobby Grant scored a deflected last-minute winner as Rochdale won 2-1 at struggling Wycombe.

Ashley Grimes' early effort was cancelled out by Wanderers' Joel Grant but Rochdale snatched it when Bobby Grant netted in the closing seconds.

Torquay slipped out of the play-off spots after a 0-0 draw at Oxford and promotion hopefuls Rotherham were thrashed 5-0 at Dagenham and Redbridge.

Dwight Gayle and Luke Howell both scored twice as Dagenham ran riot with Medy Elito also getting on the scoresheet. Adebayo Akinfenwa scored his first Northampton hat-trick as the Cobblers came from behind to win 4-2 at Accrington.

Stanley led 2-1 after George Miller and Rommy Boco cancelled out Akinfenwa's opener but Northampton substitute Jake Robinson levelled and burly striker Akinfenwa secured the points for the visitors with two late strikes.

Wimbledon moved away from the bottom two with a surprise 3-0 win at York.

Byron Harrison and Stacy Long put the Dons in control and Jack Midson added a third from the spot.

Richard Brodie scored two penalties as Morecambe beat Barnet 4-1.

Morecambe were 2-0 up inside 10 minutes thanks to goals from Kevin Ellison and Andrew Fleming before Brodie's double added gloss. Jon Nurse hit a consolation for Barnet in injury time.

Tom Eaves netted an 80th-minute winner as Bristol Rovers beat Chesterfield in a five-goal thriller.

Spireites defender Sam Togwell's own goal handed Rovers the lead but Mark Randall equalised with a free-kick.

Joe Anyinsah slid the Pirates back into the lead before debutant Brennan Dickenson levelled after 65 minutes.

But Eaves was the hero after 80 minutes with a deflected shot from 20 yards.

James Beattie in Accrington Stanley player coach

Accrington Stanley Who are they Former England striker Beattie is in as player coach

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UPDATED:

16:55 GMT, 9 November 2012

Former England striker James Beattie has joined League Two side Accrington as a player-coach, as revealed in Sportsmail.

The 34-year-old, who was released by Sheffield United in the summer, played with new Stanley manager Leam Richardson at Blackburn Rovers.

'Leam has taken over as manager and asked me to come along and play some games and do a little bit in a coaching role,' he told the club website.

Scroll down for video

Beattie signs for Accrington

Beattie signs for Accrington on Friday and holds his No21 shirt

Scoring for Everton... Beattie hits the target against Wigan

Scoring for Everton… Beattie hits the target against Wigan

Jumping for Sheffield United... Beattie avoids the challenge of Middlesbrough's Emanuel Pogatetz.

Jumping for Sheffield United… Beattie avoids the challenge of Middlesbrough's Emanuel Pogatetz.

On the ball for England... Beattie joins Sven Goran Eriksson's squad in 2003

On the ball for England… Beattie joins Sven Goran Eriksson's squad in 2003

Beattie, who won five England caps, has signed a contract until January.

He continued: 'I'm delighted to be here and can't wait to get started.

'The coaching role has put another angle on things for me, but I've signed a playing contract so I want to get involved in that as soon as possible.

'If there's anything I can lend to Leam and the coaching staff here then that'll be great.'

Sportsmail's David Lloyd is a director, shareholder and fan of the club. They were famous for the milk advert, when the child says: 'Accrington Stanley Who are they.' James Beattie looks like he knows the answer.

James Beattie in Accrington Stanley talks

Beattie in talks with Accrington Stanley over player-coach role

PUBLISHED:

22:18 GMT, 7 November 2012

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UPDATED:

22:18 GMT, 7 November 2012

Former England striker James Beattie is in talks over a player-coach role at League Two Accrington Stanley.

Free agent Beattie, 34, could link up with his former Blackburn team-mate Leam Richardson who is Accrington's manager.

On the ball: Beattie is in talks with the League Two outfit

On the ball: Beattie is in talks with the League Two outfit

FA Cup Second Round draw: AFC Wimbledon could meet MK Dons

Battle of the Dons: FA Cup draw throws together possible clash between AFC and MK

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UPDATED:

20:29 GMT, 4 November 2012

AFC Wimbledon and MK Dons are in line to meet each other for the first time in the second round of the FA Cup – so long as they both win their replays.

AFC Wimbledon have climbed the football pyramid up to League Two since they were formed 10 years ago after the original Wimbledon were essentially franchised to the town of Milton Keynes in 2004.

Neal Ardley's men will travel to the League One side should they beat York City in their first round replay after the two sides drew 1-1.

Possible clash: Karl Robinson's MK Dons could host AFC Wimbledon who are managed by former Dons player Neal Ardley (below)

Possible clash: Karl Robinson's MK Dons could host AFC Wimbledon who are managed by former Dons player Neal Ardley (below)

Here again: Ardley was unveiled as the new AFC Wimbledon manager on Wednesday

While Karl Robinson's Dons need to overcome Cambridge City in their replay too, if they are to host a club set up in protest at the decision to disband Wimbledon and move them 60 miles north of London.

Meanwhile, angry Tranmere fans were charged 5 to park even though their tie against Braintree was postponed. Council staff only offered a 50 per cent refund to supporters who had made the 250-mile journey.

Elsewhere in the draw, non-league Chelmsford have been rewarded for their victory over Colchester with a trip to the Us' npower League One rivals Crawley.

FA CUP SECOND ROUND DRAW

Preston v Gillingham

Bury v Southend

Sheffield Utd v Port Vale

Carlisle v Bournemouth

Crewe v Burton/Altrincham

Northampton/Bradford v Brentford

Luton/Nuneaton v Dorchester

Alfreton v Gloucester/Leyton Orient

Oldham v Doncaster

Braintree/Tranmere v Chesterfield

Rotherham v Notts County

Cheltenham v Hereford

Guiseley/Barrow v Macclesfield

Accrington v Oxford Utd

Lincoln/Walsall v Mansfield/Slough

Harrogate Town v Hastings Utd

Coventry v Morecambe/Rochdale

Cambridge City/MK Dons v York/AFC Wimbledon

Crawley v Chelmsford

Fleetwood Town v Aldershot

Ties to be played on the weekend of the 1/2 of December

Goals from Anthony Cook, Donovan Simmonds and Jamie Slabber helped the Blue Square Bet South outfit to a 3-1 victory On Saturday and they will travel to Broadfield Stadium with a third-round place at stake.

Hereford upset Shrewsbury on Saturday and will next travel to Cheltenham, currently third in League Two, with the clashes set to be played on the weekend of December 1 and 2.

Macclesfield were shock winners over Swindon and they have been drawn to face either Guiseley or Barrow, while Blue Square North team Harrogate upset League Two Torquay and will relish the chance to play the Isthmian Premier Division side Hastings United.

Slough Town, the lowest-ranked side left in the competition, must beat Mansfield in their replay to set up an away clash with Lincoln or Walsall.

Former Sheffield United boss Micky Adams will take his Port Vale side to Bramall Lane in one of the more intriguing ties, League Two leaders Gillingham travel to Preston and Bury welcome Southend.

Carlisle host Bournemouth and Oldham entertain Doncaster in the two League One ties, Crewe await the winner of Burton and Altrincham and Notts County visit Rotherham.

Northampton will welcome Bradford or Brentford, Oxford must travel to Accrington and Fleetwood host Aldershot.

Gloucester City and Leyton Orient's clash as well as Braintree's encounter with League One leaders Tranmere were both postponed and Alfreton and Chesterfield await the respective winners.

Coventry will wait for Morecambe or Rochdale and Dorchester Town will travel to Luton Town or Nuneaton Town.

League Two round-up: Rochdale hand Gillingham first loss of season

League Two round-up: Rochdale hand Gillingham first loss of season

|

UPDATED:

18:57 GMT, 29 September 2012

Happy manager: Rochdale's John Coleman

Happy manager: Rochdale's John Coleman

Goals from Andrew Tutte and Bobby Grant either side of half-time helped Rochdale end 10-man Gillingham's unbeaten npower League Two record this season with a 2-1 victory at Priestfield.

The leaders headed into the game having won their last four but were behind after 15 minutes when Tutte collected a short corner on the left and his inswinging cross evaded everyone and nestled in the far corner.

Gills encountered a further setback
in the 33rd minute when Danny Jackman was shown a straight red card for
lunging in on Tutte, and it got worse after the break when Grant slotted
home a second.

Danny Kedwell got the 10 men back in contention with a
74th-minute penalty, but they could not find an equaliser against John Coleman's men.

The result allowed second-placed Port
Vale to close to within three points of the leaders with a 1-0 success
over fellow high-flyers Bradford at Valley Parade.

The winner came against the run of
play in the 37th minute when Vale's leading scorer Tom Pope intercepted a
headed back-pass from Bantams skipper Gary Jones, beating goalkeeper
Jon McLaughlin with a left-footed shot from just inside the penalty area
to end the hosts' perfect home record.

Fleetwood and Accrington moved within
five points of the Gills thanks to 2-1 wins over 10-man Barnet and at
AFC Wimbledon, respectively.

Barnet keeper Graham Stack saw red as
his side gave up an early lead, David Ball's penalty and Tom
Barkhuizen's 78th-minute winner turning things around after Jake Hyde
had bundled in an early opener.

Peter Murphy and Padraig Amond were
the men on target for Stanley, with Luke Moore's stoppage-time effort
scant consolation for Wimbledon as Simon Bassey slipped to his first
defeat as their caretaker manager.

Elsewhere in League Two, Matty Blair
and Jason Walker struck early in the second half to end York's
four-match winless streak with a 2-0 victory at Aldershot.

Dagenham & Redbridge clinched
their first win of the campaign in emphatic style – 3-0 at home to
second-bottom Wycombe thanks to goals from Dwight Gayle, Michael
Spillane (penalty) and Billy Bingham.

Skipper Kelvin Langmead scored at both ends as Northampton fought out a thrilling 3-3 draw at Burton.

Tommy Wright maintained his unbeaten run as Chesterfield caretaker boss as his side drew 1-1 with Torquay at the Proact Stadium.

Bristol Rovers picked up their first
victory of the season with a 2-1 win at Exeter, Rotherham were 3-1
winners against Oxford and Plymouth's clash with Southend ended 1-1.

League Two round-up: Swindon promoted

League Two round-up: Swindon promoted but Shews must wait

By
Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED:

17:32 GMT, 21 April 2012

|

UPDATED:

20:49 GMT, 21 April 2012

Swindon were promoted to npower League One despite going down 3-1 at Gillingham on Saturday.

Paolo Di Canio's side will have been
disappointed not to have secured their own promotion – which was
confirmed courtesy of Torquay's defeat – but they remain four points
clear in the title race with two to play.

Paolo promoted: Di Canio will now look to secure the title for Swindon

Paolo promoted: Di Canio will now look to secure the title for Swindon

‘We have to focus on the title now,’ said Di Canio. ‘The last two performances are due to a long season, but I am happy for the players and the fans because after 10 months we can celebrate promotion.

‘Only one team can be called the champions, and I want us to be that team because I am a greedy man.

‘We have this in our hands, we are four points clear so we need to win on Saturday. I will do everything I can.’

Chris Whelpdale scored twice for Gills – who maintain a notional play-off hope of their own – with Danny Kedwell kicking off the scoring and Alan McCormack grabbing Swindon's goal.

Second-placed Shrewsbury missed the opportunity to join the Robins in booking a place in League One as they drew 1-1 with Accrington.

Going up: Swindon players celebrate their promotion

Going up: Swindon players celebrate their promotion

Terry Gornell and Bryan Hughes were the scorers.

Torquay slipped to fourth after goals from Rashid Yussuf and George Moncur condemned them to defeat at AFC Wimbledon.

That allowed Crawley to replace them in the final automatic promotion place after a 1-1 draw at Dagenham.

Scarf ace: Di Canio gives his scarf to a young fan as a momento

Scarf ace: Di Canio gives his scarf to a young fan as a momento

Charlie Wassmer put Crawley ahead only for the equaliser to arrive via Billy Bingham just before the interval.

Crewe extended their unbeaten run to 14 games to move into the final play-off place, David Artell scoring the only goal against sixth-placed Cheltenham.

Salute: Di Canio

Punch the air: Swindon's Alan McCormack netted his side's only goal

Salute: Di Canio (left) saw Alan McCormack (right) net Swindon's only goal

Oxford were the side to make way for Alexandra after their 1-1 draw at Plymouth, Asa Hall equalising for United following Robbie Williams' early opener.

At the wrong end of the table Macclesfield slipped behind Hereford to go bottom.

They lost 1-0 at Bradford, with James Hanson the match-winner. Hereford claimed a point courtesy of a goalless draw against Northampton.

Riding high: Alan Connell after Swindon learned of their promotion

Riding high: Alan Connell after Swindon learned of their promotion

The only other side involved in the relegation battle are Barnet, who sit two points above the Bulls.

Elsewhere Aldershot drubbed hosts Burton 4-0, with goals from Peter Vincenti, Wilko Risser and two from Guy Madjo.

Port Vale beat 10-man Bristol Rovers 1-0, Marc Richards on target in the 23rd minute and Tom Parkes seeing red 16 minutes later.

Lewis Grabban was the last-gasp hero as Rotherham beat Morecambe 3-2, scoring the match-winner – and his second of the game – in added time. By that point the Millers were down a man following Ryan Cresswell's second caution.

Jason Taylor scored the Rotherham's second goal, with Jordan Burrow and Jack Redshaw netting for the visitors.

Arsenal flop Park targeted by Belgian outfit Anderlecht

Arsenal flop Park targeted by Belgian side Anderlecht

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UPDATED:

22:28 GMT, 16 March 2012

Anderlecht want Arsenal striker Park Chu-young, who was demoted to the reserves after scoring one goal in six appearances.

Arsenal are expected to listen to offers for the striker in the summer with Fulham and Monaco also interested.

Out of favour: Arsenal striker Park

Out of favour: Arsenal striker Park

Park has had his compulsory military service in South Korea delayed for 10 years.

The South Korea's Military Manpower Administration said on Friday that Park's 10-year residency visa from Monaco means he can put off his service until 2022.

In loan deals, West Ham have signed Portsmouth keeper Stephen Henderson,.

Wigan defender Rob Kiernan has joined Accrington and Leicester's Franck Moussa has signed for Chesterfield.