Northampton Town equalled a 56-year-old club record to move eight points clear at the top of League Two after defeating automatic promotion rivals Oxford United 1-0 at the Kassam Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Cobblers sealed all three points thanks to Marc Richards’ second-half spot kick, after U’s defender Johnny Mullins handled in the box, to give Chris Wilder’s visitors their eight successive league victory.
Northampton are now eight points clear of second-placed Plymouth Argyle, 12 clear of Oxford in third and a very comfortable 18 points ahead of Accrington Stanley in fourth spot.
Stanley also featured last night; but they failed to capitalise on Oxford’s slip-up as they were pinned back to a 1-1 draw at home to Carlisle United at the Crown Ground.
However the stalemate was not short of entertainment; as firstly Cumbrian striker Jabo Ibehre was sent off inside just 60 seconds following his lunge on Matty Pearson, although the ten-man visitors still took advantage and fired in the opening goal of the game thanks to Hallam Hope’s effort after 17 minutes.
Nine minutes into the second-half, the numerical advantage for Accrington was overturned when defender Adam Buxton was dismissed for his second yellow card of the match, although they also scored with a man light due to substitute Terry Gornell’s equaliser just moments later.
Accrington move level on points with fifth-placed Wycombe Wanderers, but climb one place above them due to their better goal difference, meanwhile Carlisle stay 12th.
Notts County piled more misery on relegation threatened Hartlepool United last night after walking away from Victoria Park with all three points following their thrilling 3-2 away victory.
Jon Stead opened the scoring, before midfielder Liam Noble doubled County’s advantage with just 14 minutes on the clock after meeting Elliott Hewitt’s pinpoint delivery.
However United came roaring back after the interval, with Jake Gray and Billy Paynter bringing the hosts level with just ten minutes remaining.
But that left just enough time for former Premier League forward Stead to net his second goal of the game, latching onto Noble’s corner expertly, to lift Notts County up to 14th in the standings.
On the other hand, a third league defeat in their last four outings sees Hartlepool move within just three points of the drop zone in 21st spot.
And finally; York City soared out of the bottom two after loanee Bradley Fewster scored twice to seal a valuable 2-0 victory over Exeter City at Bootham Crescent.
The Middlesbrough forward netted either side of half-time to help the Minstermen record back-to-back league wins and leap two points clear of the dreaded dotted line.