L2 Team of the Week
Last Updated: February 5, 2013 2:29pm
Team of the week
Paul Smith - Southend United
An experienced goalkeeper who has spent much of his career competing on the upper rungs of the League ladder, Smith is showing his class in the fourth tier. He helped Southend to a clean sheet against Oxford on Saturday, with a narrow 1-0 win cementing the Shrimpers' play-off standing. Smith is the only man in this week's XI to have not been among the goals over the weekend.
Keith Lowe - Cheltenham Town
With that in mind, we move on to the first of our goal-scoring defenders. Lowe is currently enjoying the most productive season of his career in the final third, with the 27-year-old having already found the target on four occasions. The latest of those efforts arrived in a 2-1 victory over Torquay, with three hard-fought points lifting Cheltenham back into the automatic promotion places.
Darren Purse - Port Vale
Purse is fast closing in on his 36th birthday, but is offering no indication that he is ready to call it quits. Purse has linked up with Port Vale following his release by Plymouth, and has hit the ground running with his new employers. His first goal for the club arrived on Saturday, with his home debut seeing Vale secure a 3-0 victory over Accrington Stanley to keep them at the top of the division.
Ryan Leonard - Southend United
Leonard may not have been among the more obvious standout performers in League Two over the weekend, with the 20-year-old having taken in just nine minutes of action. He was, however, able to make a crucial impact upon stepping off the bench towards the end of Southend's home date with Oxford. Leonard ended up grabbing his first goal of the season just four minutes after entering the fray, earning his side what could prove to be a crucial victory.
Ryan Dickson - Bradford City
Another who started on the bench for his side on Saturday, but stepped off it to make quite an impact, Dickson was introduced four minutes before the interval as Bradford locked horns with Fleetwood. On 52 minutes he was celebrating his first goal for the Bantams, in just his second appearance. The Southampton full-back, on loan at Valley Parade until the end of the season, will be hoping there are a few more to come, as his effort on Saturday was cancelled out in a 2-2 draw.
Ben Pringle - Rotherham United
Rotherham began the weekend on the outside of the play-off places, but ended it perched in sixth spot. A 3-1 victory over Northampton - a side that sat fifth at kick-off - carried the Millers back into the promotion-chasing pack. Pringle grabbed the second goal on an afternoon which had Rotherham fans sweating on the outcome until the closing stages.
David Noble - Rotherham United
Noble was the man to finally ease the tension at New York Stadium, as he netted Rotherham's third against Northampton. His effort came with just 11 minutes left on the clock, giving the visitors no time in which to stage a recovery. Noble has experience of competing at a higher level and will hope to play a leading role in guiding Rotherham back into League One this season.
Jay O'Shea - Chesterfield
Deemed surplus to requirements by MK Dons, their loss has been Chesterfield's gain. O'Shea completed a permanent move to the Spireites in January, and has carried on where his loan deal left off. He was on target again on Saturday, with his second-half effort putting Chesterfield in front during their 1-1 draw with Rochdale.
Lee Hughes - Port Vale
Another of Port Vale's new boys who made his home bow over the weekend, and one who marked the occasion with a goal. In fact, Hughes went one better than team-mate Purse as he bagged a brace in a comfortable victory over Accrington. The much-travelled frontman has now found the target three times in as many games for a club that sits proudly at the League Two summit.
Ryan Brunt - Bristol Rovers
Scoring a stoppage-time winner on your home debut is some way to announce yourself to the locals and to get a new set of supporters firmly on your side. That feat was achieved by Brunt on Friday, as he snatched three vital points for Bristol Rovers in their basement battle with fellow strugglers Barnet. The 19-year-old former Stoke forward is now up and running for the Pirates and will be looking to fire them further clear of trouble over the coming weeks.
Jack Redshaw - Morecambe
The third 'substitute' within our ranks, Redshaw is selected on the back of a 20-minute run-out for Morecambe at York City. Other strikers may have played better than him, but forwards will always be judged on the goals they scored. The fact that Redshaw bagged two sees him make the grade, with his late efforts helping to end any hope York had of taking anything from the game.