The Promotion Race Hots Up
Scunthorpe's 1-0 victory against Yeovil on Friday leaves them six points clear at the top after second-placed Bristol City were held to a goalless draw against Swansea at Ashton Gate yesterday.
City boss Gary Johnson was sent to the stands for the first time in his career during that game for tackling Swans defender Izzy Iriekpen as he tried to retrieve the ball on the sideline.
Johnson joked: 'That's the first time Ive been sent off for making a good tackle. The lad was taking a long time to give us the ball back but I admit I was in the wrong and I apologise. I will take whatever fine is handed to me for I know I shouldn't have gone on the pitch and got myself involved.'
On the face of it, City's draw was a disappointing result but Nottingham Forest's surprise 1-0 defeat at Millwall means the West Country outfit now have a five-point buffer between themselves and Forest and a win at Gillingham today would take Johnson's men a step closer to promotion.
Neil Harris netted the only goal of the game at the New Den and Forest boss Colin Calderwood admitted his side got what they deserved. 'That was a tough game, a hard fought contest, and we've got to take our hats off to Millwall because over the 90 minutes they were the better team,' he said.
Andy Morrell scored the winner for Blackpool after a 3-2 victory against nine-man Tranmere. On 52 minutes Rovers had John Mullin dismissed for hacking down Claus Jorgensen and the ensuing melee Jason McAteer was also shown a red card.
The Seasiders had twice taken the lead through Keigan Parker and Wes Hoolahan, only for Calvin Zola to level each time. But, after the visitors were reduced to nine men, Morrell took advantage to snatch the winner on 73 minutes.
Sean O'Driscoll's Doncaster kept their outside hopes of a play-off place alive after a 2-0 win at Brighton. Rovers, fresh from their success in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final, went in front through Graeme Lee on 28 minutes and Danny Cadamarteri doubled the leads two minutes after the interval.
Carlisle are another side who haven't given up on a top six finish and Neil McDonald's side claimed their third win on the bounce following a 2-0 victory at Port Vale, with Danny Graham and Joe Garner grabbing the goals for the Cumbrians.
McDonald said: 'It's great to get another win and great to get another clean sheet. It makes everyone above us nervous because we'll be right up there if they slip up.'
Oldham were held to a 1-1 draw by Huddersfield at Boundary Park and it was same scoreline at Dean Court, where substitute Spencer Weir-Daley grabbed a late equaliser for Bradford at Bournemouth.
Cheltenham boosted their survival hopes with a 2-0 victory at Brentford and John Ward's side face another relegation six-pointer when they entertain fellow strugglers Chesterfield today. JJ Melligan and Steven Gillespie did the damage for the Robins and Ward was delighted with his players efforts.
'The players were magnificent. The spirit and attitude is tremendous but we need to maintain that. We deserve to be where we are but we are certainly not out of the woods yet,' said Ward.
In the remaining matches, a late winner from Marc Newsham gave Rotherham a survival lifeline following a 3-2 victory against Gillingham, while Chesterfield were another side to boost their survival hopes after Paul Shaw grabbed the winning goal in the 2-1 victory against Crewe.
Finally to Brisbane Road, where Northampton moved a stop closer to safety after goals from Simon Cox and an Aiden Parker own goal earned the Cobblers to 2-0 win at Leyton Orient.
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