Note: The plan early in the season is to update these standings about every five weeks or so until much later in the season. We’ll try to highlight the important game that most impact the promotion and relegation zones in these pieces, but also take a look at how teams got to that point in the table.
We are now a little over 25% into the League Two season, so here’s our second look at who would be moving up – and down – if the season were to end today. There have been some slight changes from when we did this the first time, but a lot of those clubs that got out to a fast start last time remain near the top of the table.
In League Two, the top three teams are automatically promoted to League One, with the fourth- through seventh-place teams competing for promotion via a playoff. As a reminder, after the 2017-2018 season, Accrington Stanley (1st), Luton Town (2nd), Wycombe Wanderers (3rd) and Coventry City (playoff winner) earned promotion.
The top of the league table currently looks like this:
Eight of the ten clubs listed here were in top box last time as well, and Lincoln City has maintained their grasp on the top thanks to an impressive 5-0-2 record over the past few weeks. They are tied with the MK Dons in goals allowed, as well as having scored the third-most goals (behind Colchester United and Exeter City). FiveThirtyEight has them as the current favorite to win the league, so their early season form has impressed more than just me.
If Forest Green Rovers can hang on and win promotion, it would be their first time above Tier 4 in their history. This is only their second season ever in League Two, and they barely avoided relegation last season, finishing in 21st place with only 47 points, which was one point clear of relegation. Their early season form, as the only club in the league without a loss, has served them well thus far, though they probably want to start exchanging some of those draws for wins.
On the other end of things, only two teams face relegation to the National League. Last year, Barnet (because of point differential) and Chesterfield went down to the National League. Barnet is holding their own, currently in 11th, while Chesterfield sits two points outside the relegation zone.
The bottom of the League Two table currently looks like this:
Macclesfield Town has had a rough go of things lately. Not only are they struggling in league play – they are 0-2-5 since our first go around – but they were embarrassed 8-0 by West Ham United in the EFL Cup playoffs. Granted, that kind of result should be expected when playing up three tiers, but it was just an exclamation point on what has been a horrible season thus far.
As for Cambridge United, they were in this box last time as well, though it was three points clear of the bottom with a record of 1-1-3. Going 1-1-5 hasn’t helped, but they are still four points clear of Macclesfield Town. Nevertheless, they currently have the worst point differential in the league, which won’t help them should they need to go to a tiebreaker with anyone, but their next two matches are against MK Dons and Lincoln City, two clubs in the top four, so it might not be until November until they pick up another point.
Until next time…
As of matches played through 7 October 2018
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