MK Dons Champions? Notts County Relegated? The League Two Table Since The Start Of 2024

With just over a month to go until the end of the season, we’ve now reached the sharp of the year where every result well and truly matters.

A select few still retain title chances, and the fight for promotion via both the automatic places as well as the play-offs are still wide open. Looking at the relegation fight, that can also go any way with the recent improvements seen by both Sutton United and Forest Green Rovers making things very interesting.

Even the teams who are destined for mid-table obscurity can still play a part in stopping other from achieving their goals. At this time of the season, players will also be playing for future contracts and no team will be giving up with that in mind.

It’s been a turbulent season in the fourth tier which has seen some pre-season favourites falter and likewise some sides who were brushed aside last summer go very well. Bar potentially Mansfield and Stockport County, it is hard to argue that any other side has been consistent throughout the season, with every team having at least one tough spell or ‘wobble’.

Looking at the league table since the beginning of 2024 makes things only the more interesting and directional trends of teams can be easily seen. The table since New Year’s Day is very different to the current one and there are certainly a few surprises.

Here’s what the League Two table would look like based off results since New Year’s Day.

Champions

MK Dons are the team who have picked up the most points since the turn of the New Year. Although they have played the most games in the calendar year so far, they are deserving of their position and sit a whole four points ahead of second place.

Mike Williamson’s side are making a late tilt for automatic promotion this season and that has largely been down to their form in 2024. Since the new manager took the helm, the squad has come on leaps and bounds and they may secure an immediate return to the third tier.

Automatic Promotion

It is no surprise to see Mansfield Town take the second spot given their consistency throughout the season. The current league leaders look in a strong position at the minute to secure promotion to League One and their form in 2024 has certainly helped their chances. Only three points separate second and tenth, and their positive goal difference of 17 in just 2024 alone gives them the bragging rights behind MK Dons.

Surprisingly Newport County sit in third place, quite the improvement given they currently sit 11th in the actual League Two table. Averaging just under two points a game this calendar year, Graham Coughlan’s side have given themselves an outside chance of making the play-offs but those chances do seem rather slim.

Play-Off Positions

Current promotion hopefuls Crewe Alexandra take fourth spot, a minor improvement on the fifth place in which they currently sit in the table. There’s a bit more of a major improvement for Salford City who are the fifth best performing side in 2024. They have seen some quite frankly incredible improvements since Karl Robinson took charge in early January and have moved themselves away from the relegation fight and up to 19th in the process.

Crawley Town, a side who have surpassed all pre-season expectations sit in sixth, and with a great chance of making the post-season this year, they’ll be hoping to finish 2024 strongly. Taking the final play-off spot is Phil Parkinson’s Wrexham, who have actually only taken three points less than Mansfield. They’ve perhaps not been as consistent as they may have liked to be this year, but still look in a strong position to gain automatic promotion.

Chasing Pack

Having lost just once in their last seven games, Doncaster Rovers sit just out of the theoretical play-offs with Gillingham and Morecambe directly behind them, but with inferior goal difference.

Stockport County, who sit second in the actual table do not even make the top ten in 2024, but haven’t lost too much ground in the title race and have only played 12 matches this year. Dave Challinor’s side have drawn plenty this season but did seem as if they were back to their best after trouncing promotion hopefuls MK Dons 5-0.

Mid-Table Obscurity

A few play-off hopefuls are all grouped together in mid-table after enjoying what can only be said as a solid yet fairly unremarkable calendar year. Walsall operate in the mid-point of the table, closely followed by Harrogate Town, Barrow and AFC Wimbledon . Significantly, both Walsall and Barrow have only played 13 games, and perhaps would be slightly higher if they’d played the same as the likes of Gillingham and Morecambe above them.

Bradford City, who looked to be putting a play-off charge together at one point, have fallen off in recent weeks and their 16th place in the 2024 table represents that. Likewise, Tranmere Rovers, who sit just behind haven’t been able to continue their prior momentum.

Both of the current bottom two, Forest Green Rovers and Sutton United have enjoyed somewhat of a successful year based off of the table but that is mainly attributed to improvements in recent weeks. Having picked up 16 and 15 points respectively in 2024, they’d most likely survive if able to put those numbers up throughout the season, and each have given themselves a chance of survival.

Relegation Scrap

The bottom five teams are all averaging one point or less per game this calendar year and are separated by just three points. Grimsby Town, who sit 21st in the actual table and are still in the relegation fight haven’t really seen any improvements in 2024 and sit in 20th. Accrington Stanley have lost all chances of a spot in the play-offs this season and sacked John Coleman as a result. That decision can be attributed to their poor form this year but they haven’t exactly improved since his dismissal.

Swindon Town are just out of the relegation places in the theoretical table, many would’ve predicted them to struggle after Jake Young and Dan Kemp were recalled by their parent clubs in January and that is easy to see now. They’ll be looking to rebuild next season but do have some lingering off-field troubles.

Colchester United based off of their form in 2024 would go down. After the announcement of Danny Cowley as their new manager, they were expected to improve but that hasn’t exactly been the case. With just one win this year and now sat just one point off of the relegation zone, improvements are needed if they want to stay afloat. They are however not the worst team this calendar year.

Only one side is yet to reach a double-digit points tally this year, and they were also one of the pre-season favourites for promotion. That is of course Notts County, who have had their promotion chances well and truly de-railed as a result of a poor 2024. It’s a bit of a shock given they sit in 14th in the actual table but also emphasises how big of a loss Luke Williams was.

Their defence has however been extremely shaky all season though, and they were perhaps punching above their weight originally based off of that.

Conclusion

It’s quite interesting to try and map out various teams form over time and gives an indication of the direction that they’re going in at the minute. Although it is not a level playing field, as teams have played various different amounts of games this season, trends can still be shown.

Given this takes up almost a third of the season it would also be worth monitoring how teams have done in their final 15 games once the season is finished to see how the likes of Sutton United, Doncaster Rovers and Crawley continue their recent turn of form.

If anything, the table shows that the cream does always rise to the top, with the likes of Mansfield rightly in the position that they are. It also shows that Notts County have a lot of work to do this summer…

Final Table

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