Leyton Orient 1-1 Port Vale
Port Vale had poached manager Darrell Clarke from local rivals Walsall, despite being seven places worse off in the division; the appointment may show that Clarke sees more long-term potential in Vale.
Leyton Orient had a wasted journey to Carlisle United last Saturday and missed out on two days of training for various reasons, so this is a difficult patch for Ross Embleton's side, who were four games without a win after a 0-0 draw with Colchester United last time out.
It only got worse for Orient, who fell behind just two minutes into the second half as David Worrall scored the first goal of Clarke’s reign at Vale.
Orient dominated the ball and found an equaliser they probably deserved through Daniel Kemp, with both teams picking up their sixth draw of the season as a result.
Mansfield Town 0-3 Cambridge United
Unfortunately, it was the same result again for The Stags; however, league-leaders Cambridge United were a little more emphatic as Paul Mullin’s 21st and 22nd goals of the season powered The U’s past Nigel Clough’s side.
Tranmere Rovers 2-2 Oldham Athletic
Still, an early lapse in concentration allowed Davis Keillor-Dunn to fire Oldham Athletic in front just two minutes in.
The absence of fans took the fire out of this derby fixture. Still, it remained a competitive fixture as Rovers replied to Oldham’s early goal with the equaliser on the cusp of half-time – Calum MacDonald, the scorer with a great finish from outside the area.
Both sides scored again in the second period to cancel each other out, with Dylan Bahamboula’s late strike rescuing a point for 10-man Oldham, who lost Coelho Jombati to a second yellow early in the half.
Stevenage 1-1 Walsall
Walsall had this week seen manager Clarke headhunted by local rivals Vale. Still, chairman Leigh Pomlett has promptly lifted the club with his honesty, transparency, and belief in replacement Brian Dutton's credentials.
That belief seemed to be warranted when the visitors made a dream start as Caolan Lavery gave them the lead against Stevenage inside the first minute with a powerful right-footed effort.
Walsall's Liam Kinsella was sent off 10 minutes after the restart; however, Stevenage got their reward for their persistent pressure with 20 minutes to go through Elliott List, who had been thwarted by Saddlers ‘keeper Liam Roberts all game.
Southend United 0-1 Bolton Wanderers
The Trotters travelled to Roots Hall to face Southend, a team they beat 3-0 in the reverse fixture; since that day, though, the Shrimpers had conceded just 15 goals in 14 games, with only six sides in the division having a better defensive record in that period.
The host's defensive solidity was on show once again in this game which looked set to heading for a goal-less stalemate before Shaun Miller scored late on to hand Bolton their third win on the bounce.
Scunthorpe United 3-1 Harrogate Town
Scunthorpe United, playing their first game since the beginning of the month after seeing numerous matches postponed, got off to a strong start through Devarn Green, who doubled his goal tally for the season with a cool finish.
Harrogate Town were in good form going into the game, having won three of their last four, after a 1-0 midweek victory over promotion contenders Carlisle. They eventually equalised from the penalty spot, as Josh March showed his composure to convert past Mark Howard.
The Iron retook the lead with the last kick of the first half, as Ryan Loft powered in his fourth goal in as many league outings.
Lewis Spence wrapped the game up on minute 90 as Scunthorpe recorded their fourth successive victory to move up to 16th.
Salford, the only team in England’s top four divisions to still be unbeaten at home this season, faced a tough test against Carlisle, who had some rustiness to shake off after suffering a catalogue of postponements.
Surprisingly, the visitors took the lead as George Tanner powered the ball into the bottom left corner from outside the box.
In search of an equaliser, Ammies boss Richie Wellens threw on Brandon Thomas-Asante and James Wilson, with the pair combining for the equaliser 11 minutes from time to preserve Salford’s unbeaten home record.
Barrow 1-2 Morecambe
Morecambe had dropped out of the top seven after going four games without a win, following a 2-1 defeat at Bradford City last time out, but they scored first against strugglers Barrow – Aaron Wildig grabbing his fifth of the season in all competitions.
Barrow striker Scott Quigley scored his sixth goal in 10 games to level the scores, but less than a minute later, Cole Stockton got his second assist of the day, setting up Kelvin Mellor to restore Morecambe’s lead which they held to the final whistle.
The win restored Morecambe’s promotion ambitions while leaving Barrow in the drop zone, a point adrift from safety.
This was a meeting of the two of the league’s in-form teams, with just one defeat between them in their last six games each.
Crawley Town 1-0 Colchester United
Crawley Town had gone four games without a win after a 1-0 home loss to Stevenage; the Red Devils had 62% possession in that game but created nothing in a disappointing defeat last time out.
Meanwhile, Colchester thanked January recruit Frank Nouble for a point against Mansfield last time out after the physical forward - starting his second stint with The U's - scored a late equalizer in a 2-2 draw.
However, this time Colchester were undone by a late goal as substitute James Tilley struck a 93rd-minute winner to end his side’s poor run of form, which had seen them go nine games without a home win.
Newport County 0-2 Forest Green Rovers
Matt converted from the penalty spot after setting up Josh Davison for the first goal as Rovers powered through to their third away win on the bounce, while also retaining the best PPG ratio in the division.
Newport managed to finish the game with 11 men, something they had not done in their last two games against Grimsby and Exeter, but unlike those outings, County came away empty-handed against Mark Cooper's side.