Pope powers Vale, Brown denied

Tom Pope's hat-trick helped Port Vale beat Cheltenham 3-2, while Bradford fought back to deny Phil Brown's Southend in a 2-2 draw.

Last Updated: 29/03/13 at 22:01

Tom Pope: Hit a hat-trick for Valiants

Tom Pope: Hit a hat-trick for Valiants

With league leaders Gillingham not in action, Micky Adams' side had a chance to move to within five points of the top of the npower League Two table.

But they did not have things all their own way at Vale Park, with Pope's hat-trick only just proving enough to secure the win.

Pope, who has now scored 30 goals this season but had failed to find the back of the net in almost 16 hours of football, opened the scoring with a first-half header.

But Cheltenham fought back and were 2-1 ahead less than 10 minutes after the interval as Kaid Mohamed and Paul Benson struck for the visitors.

Pope then struck twice, with a smart volley and a chip over Cheltenham goalkeeper Scott Brown, to grab the points for second-placed Vale.

The result left Cheltenham fifth in the table and Rotherham took advantage of their defeat to move within a point of Mark Yates' side with a 1-0 win at home to Wimbledon.

Rotherham had the better of the play but had to wait until the 76th minute for Alex Revell to score the only goal of the game.

Aldershot moved off the foot of the table after drawing 1-1 at Rochdale, with York taking their place.

George Donnelly gave Rochdale the lead before Adam Mekki levelled from close range to earn Aldershot a share of the spoils and move within two points of safety.

Phil Brown's first match in charge of Southend looked set to be a memorable occasion for the former Preston boss until Bradford hit back to earn a 2-2 draw at Valley Parade.

Gavin Tomlin and Britt Assombalonga scored within a minute to give Brown's side a 2-0 lead after 11 minutes but Capital One Cup finalists Bradford came back into the game with Zavon Hines scoring early in the second half and James Hanson heading the hosts level late on.

A last-minute Lee Molyneux goal gave Accrington a crucial 1-0 win at Wycombe to move Leam Richardson's side five points clear of the drop zone.

Strugglers Barnet secured a point with a goalless draw at home to Dagenham although Edgar Davids' side finished with 10 men after substitute Kyle De Silva was sent off late on.

Oxford and Morecambe also shared a point as an injury-time Jack Redshaw goal earned the visitors a 1-1 draw at the Kassam Stadium following Alfie Potter's opener for United.

In Friday evening's game, Roy O'Donovan grabbed a late winner as Northampton moved into the automatic promotion places with a 1-0 victory over Torquay.

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S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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