There were plenty of goals scored in League Two on the opening weekend of the 2018-19 season, with only one goalless draw. Tranmere’s first game back in the EFL resulted in a 2-2 draw away against Stevenage with a brace from James Norwood (unless you speak to Ritchie Sutton!).
Rovers’ opening clash at the Lamex Stadium was an entertaining affair. After a few early chances for the visitors, it was Stevenage who took the lead on 20 minutes when James Ball picked the ball up on the edge of the area and slammed a low shot past Scott Davies.
It was 2-0 soon after as the hosts capitalised on a bit of lapse defending by the Rovers rearguard, Joel Byrom this time firing home from 20 yards to double the hosts’ lead.
But Micky Mellon’s men showed that the famous team spirit, which was on show none more so than in the play-off final last season, and pulled their way back into the game before half time.
After Stephen McNulty won a chanllenge just inside his own half, Rovers played some lovely slick first time passing football, resulting in Ollie Banks delivering the perfectly weighted through ball to James Norwood who raced through and slid the ball past the despairing dive of the home side’s goalkeeper.
Rovers drew the game level 10 minutes after the restart. A Jonny Smith free kick was sent into the penalty area, Ritchie Sutton won the header and sent the ball towards goal and Norwood was on hand to make sure the ball went into the back of the net ahead of a couple of defenders.
Rovers pushed for a winner and were aided by a second yellow card for Stevenage full-back Johnny Hunt leaving them to play the final 20 minutes with 10 men.
But despite some good chances and excellent defending, it wasn’t to be and the points were shared.
Result of the weekend came at Gresty Road where Crewe Alexandra thrashed Morecambe 6-0 to top the table after one match.
Forest Green Rovers, Port Vale and Mansfield Town sit next in the standings after wins by a three-goal margin.
Forest Green made the most of poor defending by Grimsby Town, including a comical own goal well worth watching on YouTube or skysports.com, to win 4-1 at Blundell Park. Mansfield enjoyed a 3-0 home victory over Newport County while Port Vale defeated Cambridge United 3-0 at Vale Park.
There was late drama involving fellow promoted side Macclesfield Town. 2-1 up deep into injury time, Macc conceded two penalties which were both converted by Michael Doughty as Swindon Town turned it around to win 3-2 at the County Ground.
Three points were also collected by Bury (1-0 over Yeovil Town), Crawley Town (winning 1-0 at Cheltenham Town), Exeter City (3-1 winners at home to Carlisle United) and Lincoln City (1-0 away at Northampton Town).
Notts County and Colchester United played out a 0-0 draw at Meadow Lane.