With 16 games completed, the Football League is officially over a third of the way through the 2016-17 season. And if the rest of it is set to follow the pattern we’ve seen thus far, life in League Two is going to prove extraordinarily close.
Plymouth Argyle may be waltzing away at the top with a seven-point lead, but after that it gets pretty intense.
Portsmouth and Luton sit comfortably in fourth and fifth, but amazingly they’re each as many points away from the relegation zone as they are close to the Pilgrims in first.
But that’s nothing compared to sixth and below.
Three sides – Crewe, Grimsby and Notts County – each sit on 22 points, with the former pair in the remaining play-off positions.
But just eight points behind them lie Newport County. The side bottom of the table.
A play-off spot is less than three wins away from the relegation zone, and even before Christmas, that’s pretty surprising.
The level of competition is further showcased when you note that just one side has a negative goal difference greater than five.
And staggeringly, outside the top quintet, Blackpool are the only side to boast a positive goal difference.
Want more? OK, Exeter are second bottom yet they’ve won as many games as Crewe in sixth.
Sticking with the Grecians, along with Leyton Orient they’ve lost seven of their eight games at home, but on the road both sides have picked up 15 points – more than every top-seven side except Plymouth.
So when you see those results coming in every Saturday night, remember just how important every single goal, save, win and draw will prove.
There’s absolutely nothing in it in League Two this season, and that was no more evident than second-placed Carlisle’s unbeaten run finally coming to an end last time out.
Who managed to consign them to defeat? Yep. 24th-placed Newport.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing