Football League: Luton extend unbeaten run as Portsmouth go third

League One

Table-topping Luton Town took another step towards the Championship after breezing past Doncaster to preserve the longest unbeaten league run in England’s top four tiers. The substitute Luke Berry capped a 4-0 win at Kenilworth Road.

Mick Harford’s side, who have not tasted defeat for 26 matches, since slipping up at second-placed Barnsley in October, remain five points clear at the summit.

Portsmouth jumped into third above Sunderland – who return to action in the Checkatrade Trophy final at Wembley next Sunday – after Brett Pitman sealed victory for Kenny Jackett’s side at Shrewsbury. Among the crowd at New Meadow was Marcus Rashford, with the Manchester United and England striker lending his support to the defender Ro-Shaun Williams, who is on loan from Old Trafford.

Daniel Stendel’s Barnsley snatched victory with 60 seconds of second-half stoppage-time remaining to extend their own unbeaten streak to 19 matches. Jacob Brown swept home inside the box after Walsall’s George Dobson made a brilliant block to deny his first effort. “There are seven games to go and it is not decided,” Stendel said.

Burton rallied from two goals down at home to Accrington to complete a remarkable comeback victory, with Lucas Akins twice scoring from the penalty spot.

Peterborough climbed into the top six with a 2-0 win over struggling Southend. Marcus Maddison scored a stunning 30-yard free-kick to get the ball rolling for manager Darren Ferguson, who signed a three-year contract with Posh in midweek.

The 13-way fight to avoid relegation heightened as Rochdale moved to within a point of safety after a crucial win over Scunthorpe, with the 39-year-old Aaron Wilbraham at the double.

AFC Wimbledon’s three-game winning streak came to an abrupt end at home to Gillingham, while Oxford hoisted themselves into mid-table with a 1-0 win at play-off chasing Coventry. Elsewhere, Gavin Reilly struck a 92nd-minute equaliser for Bristol Rovers on manager Graham Coughlan’s return to Plymouth.

Walsall 0-1 Barnsley, Bradford City 1-4 Blackpool, Burton Albion 5-2 Accrington, Coventry 0-1 Oxford Utd, Luton 4-0 Doncaster, Peterborough 2-0 Southend, Plymouth 2-2 Bristol Rovers, Rochdale 3-1 Scunthorpe, Shrewsbury 0-2 Portsmouth , Wimbledon 2-4 Gillingham

Marcus Rashford takes in Shrewsbury 0-2 Portsmouth.

Marcus Rashford takes in Shrewsbury 0-2 Portsmouth. Photograph: James Baylis – AMA/Getty Images

League Two

Lincoln City extended their lead at the summit to eight points after recording victory at Crawley as Bury were held to a goalless draw at Grimsby. Bruno Andrade’s 10th goal of the season opened the scoring before Shay McCartan and Cian Bolger sealed three points.

MK Dons maintained pace at the top after the former Arsenal midfielder Chuks Aneke struck his 18th goal of the season in a routine win over lowly Yeovil, but Mansfield dropped out of the automatic promotion places after slipping up at home to Crewe; Callum Ainley scored twice off the bench for the visitors.

Forest Green won 2-0 at Port Vale, where home supporters vented their anger at owner Norman Smurthwaite before kick-off. A fundraising page set up by the Vale supporters’ club to pay for further protests has generated in excess of £3,000 in 24 hours. Smurthwaite says the campaign has caused “irreversible damage” to the club.

Reece Brown struck twice for Forest Green who stay sixth, level on points with Exeter, who snatched a 93rd-minute victory at Notts County despite playing for more than an hour with 10 men. Swindon continued their play-off push by thumping Morecambe 4-0 as Richie Wellens’s side earned a first win in four matches.

At the bottom, Macclesfield gained ground on Yeovil as Danny Whitaker rescued a point against Stevenage. Sol Campbell’s side are two points from safety but have a game in hand on the Glovers, who have lost seven of their past nine matches.

Elsewhere, Luke Varney rolled back the years as he scored twice to help Cheltenham to a 3-1 win over Northampton.


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