Football

Late strikes lift Rochdale

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Two goals in the final seven minutes helped Coca-Cola League Two leaders Rochdale stretch their advantage at the top of the table to five points.

Gary Jones and Chris O'Grady helped Rochdale to a 3-1 victory over Dagenham & Redbridge, who were without manager John Still through illness, at Spotland.

The visitors were on course for a point after holding on from the 10th minute when John Scott swiftly equalised Temitope Obadeyi's opener, only for the leaders to produce their late salvo.

Second-placed Bury were without a game, but third-placed Bournemouth failed to fully capitalise as they were held to a 1-1 draw at the Fitness First Stadium by Macclesfield. Nat Brown put the Silkmen in front in the 62nd minute, but substitute Alan Connell kept the Cherries in the promotion hunt with an 85th-minute equaliser.

Bottom-of-the-table Darlington conceded three goals in the final 10 minutes at home to Chesterfield to further compound their relegation fears. The Quakers were on course for victory thanks to a double from Tadgh Purcell either side of the break, only to then collapse in dramatic fashion as strikes from Simon Whaley, Drew Talbot and an own goal from Ritchie Byrne lifted the Spireites up to fourth.

Darlington are eight points adrift of second-bottom Grimsby after the Mariners managed a 2-2 draw with Lincoln at Blundell Park. On-loan Lee Peacock's double was not enough for Grimsby as Lincoln, who had taken a fourth-minute lead through Chris Herd, grabbed a point thanks to Brian Gilmour's equaliser on the hour.

Accrington Stanley maintained their play-off hopes with a 2-0 home win over Bradford thanks to a brace from John Miles which moves them to within a point of seventh-placed Notts County, who were held to a 1-1 draw at Aldershot. The Magpies left it late, with Ben Davies scoring the equaliser in the first minute of injury-time after Oliver Bozanic had given Aldershot the lead.

Cheltenham eased their relegation worries, moving seven points clear of the relegation zone with a 2-0 win over play-off hopefuls Morecambe with goals from Julian Alsop and Matt Thornhill while Aldershot's draw and Morecambe's defeat allowed Burton to move up to ninth and within two points of the play-off positions after a 4-3 win at Hereford.

Barnet ended a run of 10 successive away defeats with a 2-0 win at Port Vale thanks to two goals from John O'Flynn who took his tally for the season to 14.

Northampton suffered their first away defeat since November, losing 3-2 at Crewe for whom Ashley Westwood was twice on target prior to Simon Walton scoring the 69th-minute winner.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Oliver Bozanic
Crewe Alexandra
Ashley Westwood
Temitope Obadeyi
Lee Peacock
Dagenham & Redbridge
Football
Chris Herd
Bournemouth
Alan Connell
Simon Whaley
Ashley Westwood
Hereford United
John O'Flynn
Port Vale
Cheltenham Town
Chesterfield
Newcastle United
Ben Davies
Bradford City
Julian Alsop
Chris O'Grady
John Miles
Gary Jones
League Two
Rochdale
Simon Walton
Macclesfield Town
Morecambe
Alan Connell
Barnet
Simon Whaley
Drew Talbot
Matt Thornhill
Accrington Stanley
Nat Brown
Notts County
Ashley Westwood
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