Division Two Round-Up
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Paul Sturrock's Plymouth side stay at the top of the pile after a 3-0 home win over Rushden & Diamonds while QPR ground out a 2-1 triumph at home to Brighton.
Graham Coughlan put The Pilgrims ahead just after half time and Ian Stonebridge's 58th minute goal put the hosts in the comfort zone.
Rushden then had Marcus Bignot dismissed before Paul Wotton wrapped up the scoring in the final minute.
QPR overcame stubborn opposition from Brighton at Loftus Road to remain just two points behind Plymouth.
Martin Rowlands broke the deadlock on 20 minutes and Kevin Gallen (pictured) made it 2-0 in the 43rd minute. Danny Cullip pulled one back on the stroke of half time but Brighton could not fashion an equaliser in the second period.
Bristol City are the top two's nearest pursuers after they crushed struggling Chesterfield with a late salvo putting a flattering look on the scoreline.
Tommy Doherty's 44th minute goal was all that separated the sides until the final six minutes when The Robins scored three times.
Leroy Lita and Louis Carey scored in quick succession before Marc Goodfellow notched his second goal in consecutive appearances since moving from Stoke City.
At the opposite end of the table, Blackpool boss Steve McMahon put a turbulent week behind him at The Causeway Stadium and heaped further pressure on rookie manager Tony Adams.
McMahon withdrew his resignation earlier in the week and his players responded with a convincing 3-0 victory over the bottom club.
Danny Coid's 12th minute goal set the scene as the prolific Scott Taylor and Steve Davis added their names to the scoresheet.
Barnsley's push for promotion was checked at home to Bournemouth, who led for long periods at Oakwell.
James Hayter scored for the visitors on the half hour but Chris Lumsdon rescued a point for The Tykes with ten minutes remaining.
Port Vale cemented their spot in the play-off positions with an emphatic 5-1 thrashing of Grimsby Town.
Andreas Lipa's 18th minute goal was the signal for the floodgates to open as Sam Collins and Marc Bridge-Wilkinson netted before the 34th minute.
Grimsby quickly reduced the arrears through Phil Jevons but Billy Paynter and Bridge-Wilkinson settled the issue.
Swindon Town moved into the top six after a 2-0 home win over Colchester. Sam Parkin scored on 15 minutes with Tommy Mooney firing home just after the break.
Stockport County picked up a welcome point at Luton although Sammy McIlroy will have been disappointed his team did not take advantage of playing against ten men for the entire second half.
Simon Lynch scored first for the visitors but Danny Griffin levelled when he put through his own net. Luton's Adrian Forbes was then sent off five minutes before the interval.
Fraser McLachlan put Stockport back in front on 72 minutes but Steve Howard salvaged a draw for the hosts with five minutes left on the clock.
Notts County secured a much-needed three points as the on-loan Andy Parkinson grabbed the only goal at Wrexham.
Oldham leapfrogged Sheffield Wednesday as Scott Vernon's 17th minute goal proved to be the difference between the sides at Boundary Park.
Ronnie Bull's 75th minute sending off was the noteworthy incident of Brentford's 0-0 draw at Peterborough while it was the same score at Prenton Park as Tranmere and Hartlepool shared the spoils.
Click below for an individual match summary:
Barnsley 1-1 Bournemouth
Bristol City 4-0 Chesterfield
Luton 2-2 Stockport
Oldham 1-0 Sheff Wed
Peterborough 0-0 Brentford
Plymouth 3-0 Rushden & Diamonds
Port Vale 5-1 Grimsby
QPR 2-1 Brighton
Swindon 2-0 Colchester
Tranmere 0-0 Hartlepool
Wrexham 0-1 Notts County
Wycombe 0-3 Blackpool