10-man Luton Town scored three times against Plymouth Argyle to top the early 2016-17 Sky Bet League Two table.
Despite having less possession that the Pilgrims, Danny Hylton put Luton ahead after 50 minutes, before Jack Marriott doubled their lead 20 minutes later. Last season’s play-off finalists were given a glimmer of hope late on as Dan Potts was given a second yellow card, but Jon Smith scored in the 96th minute to secure the points for the Hatters, who will be looking for promotion this season.
Accrington Stanley, who lost out to AFC Wimbledon in last year’s play-off semi-finals, also scored three against recently-relegated Doncaster Rovers, in a 3-2 victory at the Wham Stadium.
Rovers had a penalty saved in the very first minute, Aaron Chapman redeeming himself by diving low to his right to save Andy Williams’ penalty after he bundled over Matty Blair. Thinks went from bad to worse for Darren Ferguson as Rommy Boco gave Accrington the lead just seven minutes later.
However, it wasn’t long before Tommy Rowe equalised in the 12th minute, but defender Matty Pearson put the Reds back into the lead on 29 minutes, which would last until the 82nd. Williams equalised for Doncaster, but Sean McConville won the game in stoppage time for Accrington.
Doncaster are one of the favourites for promotion this season after some great business in the transfer market, but will be hoping for a bit more luck between now and May after edging the possession stat.
Mansfield Town were the third team to score three goals on Saturday, with a victory by the same scoreline at Newport County thanks to another stoppage time winner. Matt Green scored the opener for the Stags early on, before Jack Compton equalised six minutes later. Danny Rose put the visitors back in front just after the hour mark, but Joss Labadie equalised again for the Exiles 12 minutes from time.
Unfortunately for Warren Feeney’s side, that wasn’t to be the end of the scoring, as Kevan Hurst’s 20-yard strike in the 93rd minute gave all three points to Mansfield.
Grimsby Town took all three points in their first game back in the Football League, with a 2-0 victory over Morecambe at Blundell Park.
Kayden Jackson was the scorer after six minutes to signal the perfect start to their campaign, and it could have got even better seconds later as Scott Vernon beat ‘keeper Barry Roche, only for Alex Whitmore to clear in excellent style.
Ben Davies scored a free-kick with 27 minutes to go to round off the scoring, before Josh Gowling was sent off for the hosts. They managed to hang on for the victory, buoyed by the ambition to follow in Bristol Rovers’ footsteps and win promotion to League One a season after winning the National League play-offs.
Grimsby’s fellow-promoted side Cheltenham Town couldn’t get off to the perfect start, but nevertheless held promotion contenders Leyton Orient to a 1-1 draw at home.
It was a nightmare start, however, as Gavin Massey put the Brisbane Road-club ahead after just three minutes. Billy Waters scored the equaliser 12 minutes from time, and Gary Johnson will likely be reasonably pleased with his side’s opening result in its return to League Two.
Also tipped again for promotion this season is Portsmouth, who opened up with a frustraing 1-1 draw at home to 10-man Carlisle United. Reggie Lambe opened up Carlisle’s account shortly before the 15-minute mark, before Jamie Devitt got sent of for the Cumbrians just 14 minutes later.
Playing for over an hour against 10-men, Pompey could only get a single goal back, that coming from Carl Baker on his debut. Paul Cook will be hoping that his team can go up automatically this season, after losing to Plymouth in the play-offs.
Blackpool had a winning start on their return to League Two, a 2-0 victory over Exeter City at Bloomfield Road. Kyle Vassell put the Seasiders ahead before a Troy Brown own goals rounded up the scoring and condemned the Devon side to defeat.
Unlike their counterparts, Colchester United couldn’t win on their first game after relegation, drawing 1-1 away at Hartlepool United. Tom Eastman did put them ahead, however, but Billy Paynter scored a penalty after 27 minutes to confirm that the points would be shared.
Things were better for Crewe Alexandra, however, as they claimed all three points thanks to a 2-1 win over Stevenage at Broadhall Way. Ryan Lowe and Alex Kiwomya scored the goals for the Railwayman, before Charlie Lee claimed a stoppage time consolation.
Yeovil Town were also victorious, with a 2-0 win over Notts County. Kevin Dawson and Otis Khan scored the goals at Huish Park in Somerset as the scoring was over within 23 minutes.
The Glovers never looked out of control, and will hope to push back up the table this season: they narrowly avoided the drop in 2015-16 following two successive relegations.
Cambridge United and Barnet shared the spoils at Abbey Stadium as debutant Alex Nicholls scored on his Barnet debut to rescue his side a point. It was Piero Mingoia who put United ahead after 61 minutes.
Finally, there was a slightly surprising result at Broadfield Stadium as last season’s strugglers Crawley Town beat Wycombe Wanderers 1-0 thanks to a Jimmy Smith goal. Andre Blackman was dismissed late on for the Reds after two bookable offences.
League Two fans, what was the game of the day? Are you any more confident or less confident of your teams chances after their opening result? Let us know below!