RECAP: WEEKEND ENGLISH ACTION
Frank Simek and Carlisle United dropped their opener to Notts County while Jemal Johnson and Southend United picked up three points in a home win over Hereford United
Carlisle United 0 - 3 Notts County
Frank Simek and Carlisle United began the year on a sour note losing convincingly to Notts County at home.
Frank Simek started at right back but was subbed out in the 41st minute after the 26-year-old fell and landed awkwardly. Midfielder Liam Noble was called on to replace Simek while Tom Taiwo shifted over to fill in at the right back position.
Notts County had opened up the scoring in rather controversial fashion in the 13th minute when Lee Hughes appeared to give Peter Murphy a shove, pushing the Carlisle defender to the ground and freeing Lee Hughes to make an unmarked run down the right wing.
Of course Lee Hughes then received the ball in plenty of space allowing him to chip a perfectly weighted cross to the far post, just out of reach of the finger tips of a diving Adam Collins. The cross found Jeff Hughes who was unimpeded on his run to the back post and with Collins out of position the midfielder was able to convert an easy tap in.
The Magpies doubled their lead in the 32nd minute when Alan Sheehan sent a curling free kick from deep, Carisle attacker François Zoko attempted to clear but the ball skimmed off his head and into the back of his own net leaving Collins utterly helpless.
Things went from bad to worse for Carlisle just before the end of the half when Taiwo made an errant back pass. Lee Hughes pounced on it and was in on goal before the Carlisle back line could react. Lee Hughes took a skillful touch to his left to beat Collins before calmly slotting home the Magpies third and final goal of the afternoon in added time.
Referee Gary Sutton issued three cautions on the day, all to Notts County players as Lee Hughes, Jeff Hughes, and Julian Kelly were all carded.
Carlisle next travel to take on Oldham Athletic in Tuesday's League Cup match up.
Southend United 1 - 0 Hereford United
Jemal Johnson and Southend United kicked of the League Two season with a victory at home on Saturday afternoon, Johnson started on the wing and went 70 minutes for Southend picking up a yellow card in the 40th minute.
Bilel Mohsni scored the only goal of the afternoon, the defender towered over his marker to beat Hereford goalkeeper with a powerful downward header to the near post in the 14th minute.
Johnson nearly doubled Southend's lead just before halftime when Neil Harri's cross was deflected and fell to Johnson's feet. Johnson attempted to toe poke the ball past goalkeeper Adam Bartlett from a tight angle but ended up beating both the keeper and the post.
In addition to Johnson, Southend's Ryan Hall was booked while Hereford saw Joe Heath, Joe Colbeck, and Stuart Fleetwood carded.
Southend United will have just a few days rest before they take on Leyton Orient on Tuesday in the League Cup.
Neither newly arrived Jonathan Spector or Connor Doyle made the bench as Derby County handed Birmingham City a 2 - 1 loss at Pride Park Stadium.
Robbie Findley surprised many when he didn't even make the bench as Nottingham Forest and Barnsley each earned a point in a scoreless draw on Saturday.
Jon-Paul Pittman was subbed on in the 68th minute as Oxford United lost 1 - 0 on the road to Rotherham United.
Anton Peterlin made the bench but did not see action in Wallsall F.C.s 1 - 0 victory over Leyton Orient.
Mike Grella did not make the bench for Leeds United's 3 - 1 defeat at the hands of Southampton.