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Two goals in the space of three minutes meant a 1-1 draw for Exeter City at the Pirelli Stadium against Burton Albion. Ian Sharps’ own goal gave Exeter the lead – incredibly this means that each of the Grecians’ three goals in 2014 so far have been own goals, after both consolation goals at Bristol Rovers and AFC Wimbledon were scored by the opposition. Adam McGurk got the Brewers level just before the hour, the 25-year-old forward getting his ninth goal of the season.
“I think if you’d have said that we would have drawn the game before the game started I would have been disappointed,” Burton manager Gary Rowett told Brewers Player. “It was a big game for us today it would have given us some real impetus going into the next few, but after seeing how we’ve played and the conditions and how the game went I would have to say it was probably a point gained.”
Sam Morsy's first Chesterfield goal opened the scoring against Bristol Rovers
Sky Bet League 2 leaders Chesterfield went three points clear at the top with a 3-1 win over Bristol Rovers at the Proact Stadium. Sam Morsy’s first goal for the club put the Spireites in front after five minutes, before Lee Brown levelled things up. Oliver Banks restored Paul Cook’s side’s lead just before half-time, and Eoin Doyle made it three just after. “We didn’t look like we had the belief to win the game,” Rovers boss John Ward told BBC Radio Bristol. “That was evident from the beginning. We’ve been punished by a good team who are top of the league”.
Scunthorpe United held onto second spot despite a late Hartlepool United barrage in their blustery goalless draw at Victoria Park. “We were playing in really difficult conditions,” Scunny boss Russ Wilcox told The Iron Player. “I don’t think I’ve played in one quite as bad as that. Gary McSheffrey’s clearance inside their half ended with a corner for them, so credit to both sets of players.”
Oxford United moved up to third thanks to deadline day signing David Connolly, who got the winner in their 2-1 Kassam Stadium victory over AFC Wimbledon. Tom Newey headed Oxford in front and Connolly got number two, before Charlie Wyke got the Dons’ consolation – but the the U’s secured their first back-to-back home wins since early last season.
A Wes Fletcher effort was the winner as York beat Fleetwood
The win for Oxford sent them third in the table, owing to Fleetwood Town’s defeat at home to York City. Mikael Mandron looked to have rescued the Cod Army after Conor McLaughlin’s own goal at the end of the first half, but at the close of the second the Minstermen retook the lead via a Wes Fletcher flick. “The wind played a part in the first half and made it difficult for us to get out of the pressure towards our goal,” Fleetwood manager Graham Alexander told BBC Radio Lancashire, “but that’s no excuse for the goal we conceded. If the whistle had gone before the goal, I’d have been happy because I’d have been happy to keep a clean sheet against that wind”. Fifth-placed Southend United drew 0-0 with Newport County AFC on Friday night, leaving the gap between the Welsh side and the play-off positions at eight points.
Billy Bodin struck for Torquay to down Portsmouth
At the bottom, Chris Wilder managed a point in his first game as Northampton Town manager away at Cheltenham Town. Former Grecian Jamie Cureton put the Robins ahead in the second minute, the wind certainly playing a part in that goal. Matty Blair was the Cobblers’ saviour though; his first goal since October (and thus his first since joining on loan from Fleetwood) moving Northampton up to 23 points. However, there is now a six-point gap between them and Torquay United, who produced a 1-0 victory at Fratton Park against Portsmouth. Billy Bodin’s 23rd-minute goal was the difference, and the Gulls are now level with Wycombe Wanderers on the edge of the bottom two. The Chairboys were beaten at Gigg Lane by Bury, with Blackburn loanee Anton Forrester sending the Shakers up to 20th as it ended 1-0.
Accrington Stanley’s game with Morecambe was abandoned with the match goalless after 58 minutes, but not before Alex Kenyon had been sent off for the Shrimps for a two-footed tackle. Plymouth Argyle therefore had the chance to leapfrog Morecambe, but instead needed an injury-time equaliser to salvage a point at Home Park against Mansfield Town. Matt Rhead put the Stags in front late on, but Lewis Alessandra scored right at the end of the game to make it 1-1. Finally, Dagenham & Redbridge were victorious at Rochdale, with top scorer Rhys Murphy ensuring Dale did not return to the top three by netting the only goal in a 1-0 victory.