Sheffield Wednesday boosted their hopes of an immediate return to the Championship with an impressive 4-1 win over Cheltenham at Hillsborough.
Darren Moore’s side knew victory would lift them above Sunderland and back into the top six, but the hosts made the worst possible start as Alfie May fired mid-table Cheltenham in front with four minutes on the clock. Massimo Luongo levelled from a corner just three minutes later, and the game stayed 1-1 until the break.
Lee Gregory put the hosts in front for the first time in the 58th minute as he found the bottom corner from distance, and Wednesday pulled away late on. Jack Hunt volleyed home in the 83rd minute and George Byers completed the scoring four minutes later, beating his marker before firing home from close range.
Plymouth missed the chance to move closer to the top two as their six-game winning run was ended by Ipswich. Sam Morsy’s close-range finish in the first half – the first goal Argyle had conceded in seven games – proved to be enough for the ninth-placed hosts, who kept their hopes of a late surge into the playoffs alive.
At the other end of the table, Gillingham held on for a 2-1 victory at Accrington to move four points clear of the relegation zone. Charlie Kelman opened the scoring after Vadaine Oliver’s shot had been saved by Stanley goalkeeper Liam Isherwood, with Oliver then beating Isherwood to a high ball to double the lead. Colby Bishop scored a late consolation from the penalty spot.
AFC Wimbledon stay in the bottom four after Adam May struck a superb winner for Cambridge early in the second half at Plough Lane. Doncaster are in even deeper trouble, four points from safety with six games to play, after Jayden Stockley secured a 1-0 win for Charlton at the Keepmoat Stadium. Shrewsbury continued their climb into mid-table security thanks to Daniel Udoh’s late winner at home to Lincoln.
Exeter edged out lowly Stevenage at St James Park, winning 2-1 to go just four points behind leaders Forest Green, who were not in action. Sam Stubbs’ first-half double proved enough to earn victory, while Northampton stay in third after Sam Hoskins’ early goal set up a 2-0 home win over mid-table Hartlepool.
James Wilson and Jamie Proctor were on target as Port Vale beat Sutton 2-0 to go fourth in the table. Newport drew 0-0 at Bradford while Bristol Rovers and Tranmere both lost by the odd goal. Kristian Dennis got the winner as Paul Simpson’s Carlisle revival continued against the Pirates, while Junior Tchamadeu’s fine stoppage-time finish earned struggling Colchester a priceless win.
That late winner was bad news for Oldham, who slumped to another stoppage-time defeat at Boundary Park. Davis Keillor-Dunn had put the hosts in front but Mansfield rallied through Rhys Oates before George Lapslie’s last-minute winner. Barrow remain in the relegation mix as they lost 2-0 at Leyton Orient in Phil Brown’s first game in charge.
Rock-bottom Scunthorpe look doomed to the drop, still 10 points from safety after losing 3-0 at home to Harrogate, with Will Smith’s double ending Town’s seven-game winless run. Elsewhere, Salford came from behind to beat Walsall 2-1 and Ashley Nadesan got the winner as Crawley beat Rochdale 1-0.
Wrexham and Dover produced one of the games of the season on Non-League Day. The promotion-chasing hosts took a 2-0 lead, only to fall 5-2 behind against opponents who have already been relegated. Michael Gyasi struck a 12-minute hat-trick for the visitors early in the second half, but Ollie Palmer’s quick double gave Wrexham new hope at 5-4 down.
Dover held on until the 91st minute when Jordan Davies levelled, and Dan Jarvis made it Wrexham 6-5 Dover with virtually the last kick of the game. “Bury me in Wales,” tweeted the co-chairman, Ryan Reynolds, after the final whistle. Wrexham move up to second in the table, 11 points behind leaders Stockport, who took another step towards a Football League return with a 2-0 win at Eastleigh.