The View Outside The Premier League: Helguson boosts Cardiff and Stevenage go second
There are exciting strikers who score spectacular goals and there are strikers who are efficient and score goals that won't appear in compilation videos. Heidar Helguson is very much the latter kind of player, but Cardiff City were grateful for his efforts at Ipswich on Saturday evening.
The Icelander has been a solid performer throughout his career in England (and now Wales), scoring at nearly one in every three games. He's always been excellent in the air and willing to put in the hard graft up front. Not a player to excite, but one that fans like to see in the team.
His brace against the Tractor Boys was typical Helguson. The first saw him react quickly to a keeper's error to tap in from inside the six yard box. For the second he arrived at the back post to bury a header - again from close range. Not pretty but very effective.
There are bigger name at Cardiff this season, not least Craig Bellamy, but the presence of a seasoned performer like the former QPR-man will be just as important to keeping the club on track for promotion.
These are heady times for Stevenage. One goal was enough to see off Scunthorpe United and take Mark Smith's squad into League One's second spot.
Along with the impressive progress on the park there is talk of a new stadium being built in the Herfordshire countryside. However, the arguments for a new ground will depend on the numbers through the turnstiles at the compact Lamex Stadium. Despite their excellent start to the campaign - which follows successive promotions - there were still only 2,953 paying customers on Saturday.
Its well documented that no team has yet managed to reach the Championship after being promoted from the Conference. Stevenage are in position to have a shot at breaking that record but how long could they sustain life in the second tier on the gates they are working from?
Tom Pope is the hot striker in League Two at the moment. He bagged two more on Saturday to give Port Vale all three points from the long trip to Exeter, which keeps the Midlanders tucked in behind leaders Gillingham.
Pope has 11 League goals now, including his four against old club Rotherham. The player is yet another graduate of the famous Crewe youth system and at Gresty Road there were hopes that he could play at a high level. His career stalled in South Yorkshire but Vale are now reaping the benefits of persevering with him.
Vale's local rivals Crewe picked up a welcome first win in five games, downing visitors Hartlepool. Pool are struggling this season but the young Alex side are acquitting themselves well in League One after their remarkable second half of last season.
At Christmas no-one would have predicted that Steve Davis would have been able to take his team up to League One but they reached the play-offs and sneaked through. Inevitably they had to sell their biggest asset - Nick Powell to Manchester United - but that's just a fact of life at Crewe.
The accent is still on youth. AJ Leitch-Smith and Luke Murphy for instance, are two of the lynchpins of the squad and both are still just 22. Midfielder Murphy already has 124 starts for the club.
In the Blue Square Premier Wrexham beat Forest Green Rovers to knock their visitors off the top. The Welsh club have moved into third and are showing every sign that they have put last season behind them.
With 98 points in 2011/12, Wrexham would normally have been champions but Fleetwood's exceptional season condemned them to the play-offs where their season foundered. This year Andy Morrell's side look determined to finish top of the pile and avoid the end of term lottery.