1. The bubble has burst for Bolton
BOLTON made a superb start under new boss Phil Parkinson. Despite a takeover, relegation from the Championship and a transfer embargo, the Trotters were the early pacesetters in League One, winning their first four league games. Then they drew their next three and on Saturday, despite playing against 10 men for over an hour, their unbeaten start came to an end with a 1-0 defeat at Walsall. That allowed Scunthorpe to replace them at the top and now local rivals Bury are just a point behind in third. This is the first speed bump Bolton have hit this season so now we’ll see what they’re really made of.
2. Hallam Hope is back to his best
Oldham were good value for their 1-0 win at BURY on August 20 but Saturday’s 2-1 win at Swindon means the Shakers have since drawn one and won four, scoring 15 in the process. Boss David Flitcroft had to do without striker James Vaughan on Saturday as his new signing suspended, but Hallam Hope filled the void emphatically. In the 4-1 win over Port Vale, Hope came off the bench to score his first league goal for Bury since April 2014. And the former Everton trainee showed he is back to his best with a first-half brace at Swindon. Better still, it gives Flitcroft a welcome selection dilemma for Saturday’s visit of Chesterfield, when they could go top of League One.
3. Goal-shy Oldham need to start finding the net
In stark contrast, OLDHAM have failed to win since beating Bury, losing three and claiming three draws. Saturday’s trip to Coventry saw their second successive goalless draw, which demonstrates why it’s just not been happening for new boss Steve Robinson. While only fourth-placed Bradford have conceded less goals than Oldham in League One, only rock-bottom Coventry have scored less. Luck hasn’t been on their side. Lee Erwin has repeatedly hit the woodwork and did so again at Coventry. But Robinson will be reluctant to point to poor fortune. They must start hitting the net to avoid a relegation battle.
4. Rochdale are up and running
ROCHDALE have begun their bid to get away from trouble, finally claiming their first league win at home to Fleetwood. Matty Lund headed home the opener before ex-Dale striker Bobby Grant converted a penalty – just. But Steve Davies came off the bench to win it with five minutes left, scoring his first Dale goal. That lifted them off the bottom and got the monkey off their back, which they needed because their next three games are against Millwall, Bolton and Charlton.
5. Macclesfield momentum halted
MACCLESFIELD continue to punch above their weight in the Vanarama National League and went into Saturday’s home game against Eastleigh fifth in the table. The Silkmen were chasing a fourth straight win and went close to breaking the deadlock in the first half, only for Eastleigh’s Luke Coulson to score the game’s only goal on 50 minutes. The only pressure on Macc to stay in promotion contention is likely to come from themselves but if they are to do it then they need to build longer unbeaten runs than they have been doing.