There were 10 games and 48 goals in what was another action-packed week in the Final Third Development League, including a 7-4 thriller between Scunthorpe United and Hartlepool United.Final Third Development League - West Division
Morecambe set the tone for the week with a 5-1 rout of Port Vale on Monday afternoon.
The Valiants were looking to close the gap on leaders Wigan Athletic and they made a bright start, going ahead thanks to Enoch Andoh. However, the hosts responded through Jack Sampson, and the two sides went into half-time level.
Morecambe dominated the second period though, with Padraig Amond and Sampson giving the Shrimps a two-goal cushion. Sampson turned provider for Shay Finney to make it 4-1, before completing his hat-trick on 82 minutes.
Following Vale’s defeat, Wigan had to chance to wrap up the West Division on Tuesday afternoon, when they visited Walsall. The Saddlers had other ideas though, as goals from Luke Delaney (2) and Matt Preston gave the home side a 3-0 win.
Wrexham and Tranmere shared six goals in the division’s other game on Wednesday, with the Welsh side fighting back three times.
Rovers led through Iain Hume, Liam Davies, and Hume again, but the Robins responded on each occasion to secure a point.
Final Third Development League - South Division
Luton Town cruised to a 3-0 success over AFC Wimbledon on Monday night, putting them in a strong position to lift the South Division crown.
Ricky Miller struck a brace to put the Hatters in control, before Leeroy Magaraushe fired home from 30 yards to secure the victory.
Portsmouth remain in the hunt for the title thanks to a 3-1 win at home to Leyton Orient. Paul McCallum was the hat-trick hero for Pompey, while Sam Ling scores the O’s only goal.
Elsewhere, AFC Bournemouth and Gillingham drew 2-2 on Tuesday afternoon after a thrilling final few minutes in Hampshire.
Brennan Dickenson’s header had put the Gills in front and, despite Josh Pritchard’s red card, they went 2-0 up thanks to a late strike from Antonio German.
However, Bournemouth were awarded a penalty in injury-time, which was converted by Josh Carmichael, and the hosts struck again through Ben Whitfield, earning them a point with almost the last kick of the game.
Final Third Development League - East Division
Three East Division games this week saw 20 goals scored, with 11 of them coming at Glanford Park where Scunthorpe United hosted Hartlepool United.
It was a proud day for the Trialist family, as all seven brothers turned out for the Iron. However, they couldn’t mark the occasion with victory and were on the end of a 7-4 defeat.
Ebby Nelson-Addy and Marvin Morgan put Hartlepool two goals to the good, but Dave Syers marked his comeback from injury with a quick-fire brace to level the scores.
Pools went back in front through Lewis Hawkins to lead at half-time, and the two-goal lead was restored by Nelson-Addy shortly after the break.
Scunthorpe fought back again though – a Tommy Miller own goal and a Noel Burdett penalty restored parity, before the visitors ran away with it late on.
Morgan added a fifth, Chris Lester made it six, and then A. Trialist diverted the ball past his own goalkeeper to make it 7-4.
Gateshead and Doncaster Rovers’ five-goal affair pales in comparison, but the Heed’s impressive 3-2 win leaves them in a strong position in the East Division.
Jake Orrell bagged a first-half double, before Kevin Sainte-Luce’s fine solo goal put the home side in control.
A Harry Middleton brace made the Tynesiders sweat, but the Heed held on to close the gap on Hull City and Rovers, with three games in-hand on both.
A young Mansfield Town side secured an impressive three points at Rotherham United on Tuesday, with Alex Fisher scoring twice.
Connor Newton had put the Millers in front but the Stags, who named seven teenagers in the team, fought back when Fisher levelled less than two minutes later.
Fisher got his second with a fine header seven minutes from full-time to turn the game around and secure the win.
Final Third Development Cup – Southern Group B
Plymouth Argyle lost their first game of the season, at Cheltenham Town’s Quat Goose Lane, falling 3-0 to the Robins on Tuesday afternoon.
The two teams battled out a goalless first period, but second-half strikes from Jordan Wynter, Mathieu Manset and Omari Sterling-James ensured a comfortable victory for the home side.
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