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2017/18 English League Two, Regular Season
  • Mark Hughes (9')

Hughes goal helps Accrington to sixth successive win

Accrington continued their march towards automatic Sky Bet League Two promotion as Mark Hughes' goal after only nine minutes gave them a 1-0 victory over Notts County.
Stanley maintained their three-point lead atop the league table after a sixth successive win and, perhaps more importantly, are now 11 points clear of fourth-placed Exeter.
County are also in contention for a top-three place but they fell behind early on, with defender Hughes stroking the ball home for his fourth goal of the season after latching on to Seamus Conneely's looping pass into the area.
County boss Kevin Nolan made seven changes from the side which drew 0-0 with Wycombe on Friday but his side were denied by the woodwork after 20 minutes as Jonathan Forte's header hit the underside of the crossbar, bounced down and was cleared.
Magpies goalkeeper Adam Collin did well to deny Kayden Jackson and Billy Kee as Stanley looked for a second before half-time.
The Reds looked the most likely side to score and Conneely's 52nd-minute shot was fumbled by Collin with Jackson unable to convert the follow-up, while Jordan Clark fired wide in a good position.
However, Matthew Virtue should have levelled for County on the hour as he was unmarked six yards out but sent his header wide.
Jackson came close to doubling Stanley's tally but was denied by Collin while Jorge Grant fired wide for County in a decent position with 10 minutes to go.

English League Two Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Milton Keynes Dons 18 +16 37
2 Lincoln City 17 +17 36
3 Newport County 18 -2 32
4 Colchester United 18 +13 31
5 Mansfield Town 18 +13 31
6 Exeter City 18 +9 30
7 Tranmere Rovers 18 +8 30
8 Bury 18 +14 29
9 Stevenage 18 +1 28
10 Forest Green Rovers 18 +8 27
11 Carlisle United 18 +1 26
12 Oldham Athletic 18 +5 24
13 Crawley Town 18 -6 23
14 Northampton Town 18 -1 22
15 Crewe Alexandra 18 -2 22
16 Port Vale 18 -5 22
17 Yeovil Town 16 +5 21
18 Swindon Town 18 -7 21
19 Morecambe 18 -11 20
20 Grimsby Town 18 -11 18
21 Cambridge United 18 -13 18
22 Cheltenham Town 17 -10 14
23 Notts County 18 -19 14
24 Macclesfield Town 18 -23 7