HALIFAX CLINCH VITAL WIN BUT ARE STILL BOTTOM
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Shaymen bounced back from a 2-1 defeat at fellow strugglers York City on Saturday to extinguish the visitors` slim hopes of reaching the play-offs.
Craig Middleton slotted home the first on 15 minutes, and they never looked back as a brace of goals by top scorer Steve Kerrigan sealed the vital three points.
Lincoln City, who briefly went bottom due to Halifax`s earlier win, plunged Barnet into further relegation trouble, and went some way to keeping themselves in Division Three, with a 2-1 win at Sincil Bank.
Two goals in as many minutes by Peter Gain and Tony Battersby provided the home side with a cushion and, despite John Doolan replying on the hour, they were able to hold on for victory.
Torquay could only manage a 0-0 home draw with Shrewsbury, but the point was enough to keep them off the foot of the table.
At the top of the table, Cardiff and Chesterfield played out a 3-3 draw at Ninian Park.
Strikes by Steve Blatherwick, David Reeves and Luke Beckett looked to have sealed the victory for The Spireites, but a brace of goals by former Newcastle forward Paul Brayson and a late header by Kevin Evans meant the points were shared.
An amazing game at Scunthorpe saw The Iron run out comfortable 3-0 winners over Carlisle, who ended the game with eight men.
Matthew Sparrow, Martin Carruthers and Steve Torpey were the men on target for the home side, but all the headlines will be claimed by the antics of the visitors.
Referee Paul Alcock showed red cards to Tony Hopper, Mark Birch and Darren Carr, as well as Carlisle boss Ian Atkins.
The victory moves Scunthorpe into a play-off place, while Carlisle remain in deep relegation trouble.
Leyton Orient appear set to take valuable momentum into the play-offs, and they will be pleased with the 3-1 victory over Hartlepool.
Dean Smith opened the scoring, latching onto a fine cross to head home.
Steve Watts doubled the advantage with a fine solo effort and Carl Griffiths` volley sealed the win.
Tommy Miller scored his 18th of the season late on, but it proved nothing more than a consolation for the visitors.
Exeter are still perched precariously above the relegation zone, and their nerves will not have been improved by the 3-0 loss at Rochdale.
Paul Connor grabbed a pair of goals, and David Bayliss was the other man on target for the play-off chasing Spotland side.
Blackpool and Cheltenham are both battling for a play-off place, and they shared the points in a 2-2 draw at Bloomfield Road.
Charlie MacDonald grabbed a brace for the visitors, but his efforts only claimed a point as John Murphy and Brett Ormerod salvaged a draw for The Seasiders.
Hull maintained their play-off push, but were held to a 0-0 draw by York City.
Goals by Stewart Hadley, Neil McKenzie and Thomas Skovbjerg gave Kidderminster a comfortable 3-0 home win over Plymouth.
Already promoted Brighton continued their impressive form with a 2-0 win over struggling Darlington.
Two goals in a minute by Richard Carpenter and hot-shot Bobby Zamora meant The Quakers travelled all the way back up the A1 empty handed.
Southend`s clash with Mansfield was abandoned at half-time after referee Mike North collapsed.
To read a match report when available, click on a link below
Blackpool 2 Cheltenham Town 2
Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Darlington 0
Cardiff City 3 Chesterfield 3
Halifax Town 3 Macclesfield Town 0
Hull City 0 York City 0
Kidderminster Harriers 3 Plymouth Argyle 0
Leyton Orient 3 Hartlepool United 1
Lincoln City 2 Barnet 1
Rochdale 3 Exeter City 0
Scunthorpe United 3 Carlisle United 0
Torquay United 0 Shrewsbury Town 0