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LOWER LEAGUE LOOK: Swindon fight back under Ling as son of a gun Windass stars for Accrington

Lower league football is often overlooked despite filling English supporters with plenty of joy on a weekly basis.

have opted to take an inside look at what is happening in the lesser talked about competitions in the UK including League One, League Two and the National League.

Here are the most significant performers for November:

League One

Team of the Month:Swindon Town

After their 5-1 defeat at the hand of Fleetwood Town three days earlier, newly-appointed boss Martin Ling must have been dreading Swindon's next fixture at home to Walsall, who were undefeated in their last five and were sitting just one point behind the automatic promotion spots in thirrd.

The Robins took the lead in 17th minute through Jonathan Obika, before the visitors equalised when Tom Bradshaw struck midway through the second half. Despite Dean Smith's Saddlers side having 19 shots throughout the course of the 90 minutes, Swindon held firm and scored a dramatic late winner as Louis Thompson's shot found its way into the net to give them a memorable result.

This spirited victory was followed by a crushing 4-0 win away at Chesterfield on the 28th.

It has been some impact from Mr Ling, who took over at the County Ground after battling depression, with Swindon lying deep in relegation trouble. They are now in 17th at the start of December and certainly on the way up having saluted three times in their past four league outings.

Player of the month:Nicky Ajose (Swindon Town)

The former Manchester United trainee has found his feet at Swindon, and has been rejuvenated under Ling. After a disappointing spell at Leeds United, the 24-year-old has turned in nine goals for the Robins this term including five in the month of November.

Ajose looks set to be an important figure for Ling as the half-way point approaches as Swindon look to consolidate their place in the division.

Talking point:

With Dean Smith's departure from Walsall to Brentford, can the Saddlers keep their remarkable start to the season going?

Their next appointment is vital in sustaining the club's stability and the chairman does not want to make the wrong choice at the wrong time with the club flying so high in the league. They must carefully choose who is the right person that fits in with their plans, and hopefully can still challenge for promotion. It shouldn't be too difficult for the new manager coming in with the players on a high, but he must ensure the harmonious atmosphere is not disrupted.

John Ward has been tasked with the caretaker role for the time being in a bid to keep things flowing at the Banks's Stadium.

League Two

Team of the month:Northampton Town

For all their financial worries and off-field problems, Chris Wilder and his players have not let it affect them. They went unbeaten in November, incredibly winning all four of their League Two games, including an injection of cash with an impressive 2-1 away victory at Coventry City in the FA Cup. At the time of me writing this, the news has filtered through that the players have now been paid. Despite the boardroom being in tatters, it seems that the Cobblers players and staff have only been inspired by the events.

If they keep up this form throughout the season, the debt-ridden Northampton could defy the odds and secure promotion, with the club currently 40 points and joint-top of the table alongside Oxford United and Plymouth Argyle.

Player of the Month: Josh Windass (Accrington Stanley)

The son of former Hull City hot-shot Dean scored in three out of the four games in November for Accrington. His goals for the team, not just only for this month, have been crucial in propelling the small outfit up the league. He is their top scorer with 11 goals (10 in the league) and is the one of the main reasons why they are sitting firmly in the play-off places.

The old phrase: 'Accrington Stanley who are they'? will be heard no more if Windass continues his fine goalscoring form.

Talking point:

If there was a player of the day, if would undoubtedly go to Oliver McBurnie, who came on as a second half substitute for Newport County to brush aside Luton Town with a hat-trick in their 3-0 win. After such a terrible start to the campaign, his performances, and more importantly goals, could be crucial in helping the Welsh side steer away from the relegation zone.

National League

Team of the month:FC Halifax Town

Halifax have made progress this month with their win away at Gateshead on the 21st their first victory in the league since late August. Their caretaker boss Jim Harvey masterminded this victory as well as a 4-2 home win over Dover, to give them two victories and a loss in the month of November. They are still six points from safety but with the board yet to make an appointment, if they keep up this form going into December coupled with their high-scoring victories, Harvey may well make a case for the permanent manager position.

Player of the month:Kristian Dennis (Macclesfield Town)

The league's top scorer with 17 goals, Dennis has been in scintillating form for Macclesfield. He has scored in every game in November, including a hat-trick in the Silkmen's 5-2 win over Woking. It is rumoured that a number of Football League clubs have been seen to watch on-loan Stockport striker. But with an agreement in place with the National League North side to keep him until the end of the season, potential suitors will have to wait until they get their man. In the meantime he is a sure bet to keep scoring and help fire Town towards promotion.

Talking point:

Who will win the race for the title?

It is sure to be a enthralling battle between Forest Green Rovers and Cheltenham Town, two local Gloucester rivals who are both in with a strong chance of sealing automatic promotion and along with it, the title. With the Robins now four points ahead of Rovers, both sides will be hoping the other one slips up from now until May as the pressure begins to mount.

By Joe Baker

About the author

Tribal Football Staff

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