MARTIN LING: Steve Evans does tend to win promotion far more often than others
IT WASN'T LONG ago that Gillingham seemed to be running away with League Two.
They were several points clear, the most consistent team in the division and we were feeling a bit chuffed with ourselves that we were one of only a couple of teams to have beaten them.
Things are looking a bit different now.
Micky Adams' Port Vale have gone top of the table after a great run, although Martin Allen's Gills do have a game in hand.
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I've made no secret of fancying Southend United to push for the title, especially after the way they beat us 4-1 at Plainmoor in November.
And the fact that they've managed to keep their loan striker Assombalonga from Watford until the end of the season will have been a big boost for them.
So, who will win League Two this season?
I may be proved wrong, but I don't think that Cheltenham Town will be quite strong enough to win it, although they are a good bet for the Play-Offs again.
My shortlist for the title are Port Vale, Gillingham and Southend – not much credit for that – but I still think that Rotherham United could come up on the rails and 'do' everyone.
Steve Evans texted me the other day – he always does it that way – with a list of four players he's prepared to let go.
And you know from that news that he's planning to go into the transfer market again in January.
I know Steve isn't everyone's favourite person, and he and I have had the odd 'moment' over the years, but on the whole I've got on with him OK.
I think the fact that he always seems to end up at clubs with money gets up a few noses.
And he's usually been a headline waiting to be written.
But you have to be a certain sort of person to operate like that, because it does bring extra pressure.
Steve is one of those people who thrives on pressure like that. He doesn't do quiet and peaceful.
But he does tend to win promotion more often than not, especially with a few bob behind him.
He's got that again at Rotherham, where his chairman is desperate to get back up the League and don't write them off for a crack at the title over the second half of the season.
They were only six points off Port Vale going into the New Year's Day games.
I MENTIONED in this column a couple of weeks ago that I had finally got my driving licence back after a six-month speeding ban.
Well, last Saturday I couldn't help wondering whether it was really worth it.
I set out with my son Sam at 12.15pm from our home in Hertfordshire to drive to south-west London to see AFC Wimbledon play Oxford United.
We live near Junction 25 of the M25.
Just under two hours later we'd only got to J16, which is the M40 turn-off.
My mate Andy Scott, who played under me at Leyton Orient and then managed Brentford and Rotherham, does a lot of scouting for me and he was going to the Wimbledon game anyway, so I rang and asked him if he could 'do' it for me.
Sam and I turned round, struggled back the other way on the M25 and got home at 3.15pm – nearly three hours in the car for absolutely sweet nothing.
I sat down, watched Soccer Saturday instead and enjoyed Jeff Stelling going wild as his beloved Hartlepool, bottom of League One, beat Sheffield United 3-2 at Bramall Lane.
I bet that result was the biggest 'coupon buster' of the season so far.
Talking of which, I'm sorry for anyone – and I know a few did it – who backed all the Boxing Day lunchtime kick-offs for away wins.
Ipswich won at Charlton, Southend won at Dagenham, Barnet beat Gillingham and those punters would have cleaned up if we'd won at Plymouth.
Argyle's last-minute equaliser must have been as painful for them as it was for us!