All the action from the weekend's fixtures
Exeter City’s trip to Newport County AFC on Sunday rounded off the weekend in Sky Bet League 2, and two goals within two minutes settled the game at 1-1. Harry Worley opened the scoring at the wrong end as he diverted Tom Nichols’ dangerous cross into his own net, but the Exiles were back on terms moments later as Lee Minshull stabbed in.
On Saturday, however, there was an otherwise-full League 2 schedule. The pick of the results came at the Proact Stadium, where league leaders Chesterfield blew away nine-man play-off hopefuls Oxford United by a 3-0 scoreline. Ollie Banks scored eight minutes in before the lead was doubled by a Gary Roberts penalty. And things went from bad to worse for the U’s in the final ten minutes, as they had two men sent off – Tom Newey was shown a straight red before Michael Raynes was shown a second yellow card. Roberts grabbed his second and the Spireites’ third in injury-time and is now Chesterfield’s top scorer this campaign with 11 goals.
Jake Cole turned into his own net in stoppage time as Plymouth lost 2-0 to Scunthorpe
Despite their win, Chesterfield remain only a point clear at the top after second-placed Scunthorpe United managed a good victory in their trip to Plymouth Argyle. The Pilgrims slipped to eighth after their 2-0 defeat, but were in the match until the 79th minute, when Dave Syers gave the Iron the lead after Lewis Alessandra had twice hit the post for the Home Park side. The result was sealed when Jake Cole found his own net in stoppage time. “It’s a big win,” Scunthorpe manager Russ Wilcox told BBC Radio Humberside, “they’re all big wins now. It was well-deserved today and we played some outstanding football. To get a clean sheet today against a team who are in fantastic form, who’ve won four out five, is a great achievement.”
A big win for Hartlepool United saw them move up into tenth. Marlon Harewood got the first goal of the day in the Football League when he netted in their home game against Bristol Rovers after just two minutes, before Bradley Walker curled in on 16. Harewood was involved again as he won a second-half penalty for Simon Walton to convert the third, and Jon Franks sealed a 4-0 win in injury-time. “That’s the first time I’ve felt like that in the long time I’ve been here, in around 14 or 15 months,” Rovers boss John Ward told BBC Radio Bristol. “We went under a little bit tamely today and that’s not something we’ve ever done before. We’ve always fought it out, we’ve always been hard to beat, but not today. We’ve been beaten by a good team; don’t get me wrong, they’ve got some very good players.”
Matt Richards got the game's only goal as Cheltenham beat Torquay
The doom and gloom around bottom club Torquay United continued as they were beaten 1-0 by Cheltenham Town at Whaddon Road as Matt Richards scored the only goal of the game with 15 minutes left. Northampton Town followed up their win at St James Park in midweek with a 1-1 draw against Mansfield Town at Sixfields. It was captain Darren Carter who equalised for the Cobblers from the spot, with Darryl Westlake sent off for the handball that forced referee Andy Haines to award the penalty. Oliver Palmer had earlier put the Stags in front.
Billy Kee got his 13th of the season in Burton Albion’s 1-1 draw with AFC Wimbledon. Gary Rowett’s side had looked good money for the three points after taking the lead in the 22nd minute, but Darren Jones got an injury-time equaliser just one of many League 2 sides that saved a goal until the added time on Saturday. Another late equaliser came at Victoria Road, as Dagenham & Redbridge came agonisingly close to three points against Morecambe. Medy Elito scored a penalty for the Daggers to go in front, but Shrimps captain Mark Hughes levelled it with one minute to go. “We’ve conceded late on twice in less than two weeks and we have to address that,” Daggers manager Wayne Burnett told BBC London 94.9. “It’s disappointing because we’ve come so far, they’ve scored so late on and there’s not a lot we can do about it, but we haven’t been as clinical or as effective at home as we were at the start of the season.”
Fleetwood's Antoni Sarcevic got their second in a 3-1 win against Portsmouth from the spot
Jon Parkin sent Fleetwood Town on their way to a 3-1 win over Portsmouth when he scored in the 16th minute of their Highbury clash. An Antoni Sarcevic penalty and another from Jamille Matt gave the Cod Army a three-goal cushion, so comfortable that Jed Wallace’s consolation counted for nothing. “We needed to make sure we got three points to make the draws we’ve had positive results,” Fleetwood manager Graham Alexander told BBC Radio Lancashire. “We started really well and played some great football, created some opportunities and took them.” Pompey boss Richie Barker was disappointed with the penalty decision that went against his side, saying, “I don’t even know if Dan Alfei knew that the lad was there. I think they’ve pretty much ran into each other. You see them sort of 15 times a game really and if that was the case every time, then you know, so obviously that made it tougher.”
Matty Lund’s double saw Rochdale seal a 2-1 come-from-behind victory at home against Accrington Stanley, who had been in front through Piero Mingoia. A 0-0 draw between Southend United and Bury saw former Grecian Barry Corr sent off after coming on as a substitute, while finally, a Ryan Bowman penalty and a second from Josh Carson earned York City a 2-0 win over Wycombe Wanderers.