Southend boost promotion push

PA Sport
Neil Harris

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Neil Harris

Southend came from behind to beat 10-man AFC Wimbledon 4-1 and reduce the gap to second-placed Cheltenham to one point in npower League Two.

Shrimpers striker Neil Harris missed a penalty in the second minute before Wimbledon took the lead thanks to Jack Midson's seventh-minute strike. However, Ryan Hall equalised after half an hour and the momentum swung Southend's way when Dons midfielder Christian Jolley saw red on the stroke of half-time for a foul on Michael Timlin.

The Shrimpers made the most of their one-man advantage after the break when Jamie Stuart scored an own goal before Mark Phillips and Harris found the back of the net.

Crewe beat Bristol Rovers 5-2 at the Memorial Stadium to consign the Pirates to their third consecutive defeat. Ajay Leitch-Smith put Crewe ahead in the second minute and, though Matt Harrold levelled soon after, Cian Bolger's own goal and further strikes from Nick Powell and David Artell gave the Railwaymen a commanding 4-1 lead at the break.

Rovers hit back through Scott McGleish's close-range strike in the 48th minute but they struggled to make further chances, with Powell's second in the 90th minute sealing the win for Crewe.

Macclesfield claimed their first league win in eight games with a 2-1 victory over Port Vale. Vale goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson handed Macclesfield the lead in the 37th minute with an own goal and, though Marc Richards levelled, George Donnelly restored the lead in the 71st minute to seal the win.

Bradford beat Shrewsbury 3-1 despite being reduced to 10 men at Valley Parade. Swindon were also victorious as they beat Northampton 2-1 with a stoppage-time goal at Sixfields despite having a man sent off.

The Cobblers took the lead in the 22nd minute when Michael Jacobs scored from the penalty spot after he was brought down in the area by Swindon midfielder Matt Ritchie.

Alan Connell levelled for the visitors in the 67th minute before Robins midfielder Oliver Risser was sent off for a bad challenge on John Johnson. The game looked to be heading towards a draw but Alan McCormack scored the winner from close range in the third minute of stoppage time to snatch the win.

Elsewhere, Morecambe and Burton Albion drew 2-2 at the Globe Arena. Torquay drew 0-0 against Oxford Utd and it was also goalless in the game between Aldershot and Plymouth.

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