DALE STAY TOP AS LUTON FALTER
By Nic Evans & Stephen Bateman
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Michael Oliver got the opening goal in the 11th minute and Clive Platt (pictured) doubled the visitors advantage less than 60 seconds later.
In the second period, the home side showed plenty of spirit, which was rewarded by Jonathan Allan's strike ten minutes from time. This got the Brunton Park crowd on their feet but, despite late pressure, the home side could not find the equaliser.
Leyton Orient managed a 2-1 win over Southend, despite being reduced to ten men, mid-way though the second half.
Leo Constantine gave the visitors the perfect start with a goal inside two minutes, but Phil Whelan equalised four minutes into the second period. Southend will feel they should have gone on to win when David McGhee was sent off for a 66th minute foul, but they could not find the killer punch.
Dean Smith then took advantage of United's profligacy, popping up with the winner eleven minutes from time to give Orient a fine win.
Macclesfield edged a seven-goal thriller against Scunthorpe with Dick Tracey grabbing an 85th minute winner - his second of the game - to seal the points.
Mark Jackson opened the scoring for the visitors, but the former Carlisle man put The Silkmen back on level terms after 13 minutes. Martin Carruthers and Gareth Sheldon each netted for The Iron, but their efforts were cancelled out by two strikes from Macclesfield's Lee Glover.
Two late goals from Duane Darby were not enough to prevent Rushden & Diamonds from slipping to their second successive league defeat against Oxford United.
The U's had raced into a 3-0 lead courtesy of second-half goals from Dean Whitehead, Martin Thomas and Phil Bolland, as they looked to be cruising to their first home victory of the season, while The Diamonds have now shipped an alarming six goals in their last two matches.
And their defensive woes will not have been helped by the dismissal of centre half Jim Rodwell, who was given his marching orders after receiving a straight red card for delivering a forearm smash to Oxford striker Phil Gray.
Mark Yates struck late to earn Cheltenham a share of the spoils against Torquay after summer signing Alex Russell and David Graham had given The Gulls a two-goal cushion.
Russell Milton clawed one back nine minutes before the break and Yates netted with just two minutes of the game remaining to make the final score 2-2.
Exeter, who remain rooted to the foot of the table, will feel that they dropped two points at home to second-placed Luton, who were reduced to ten men following the dismissal of midfielder Paul Hughes shortly after the interval.
Former Cardiff City marksman Steve Flack fired City into a 29th minute lead before Matthew Taylor struck to level the scores six minutes later. Hughes was shown a straight red on 46 minutes, but that did not stop Taylor from snaring his second goal of the game shortly afterwards. The Grecians eventually drew level thanks to an own goal from Lee Mansell.
Summer signing Mark Blake struck in the second-half to salvage a point for Kidderminster after Chris Greenacre had given Mansfield a 27th minute lead at Aggborough.
A goal from on-loan Sunderland striker Michael Proctor snatched the points for York City against managerless Halifax Town, while Lincoln and Darlington drew 1-1 after goals from David Cameron and Mark Ford respectively.
Hartlepool and Hull played out a goalless draw at Victoria Park, while the clash between high-flying Bristol Rovers and Shrewsbury also finished 0-0.
Click below for a full report on the game when available:
Bristol Rovers 0 Shrewsbury 0
Carlisle 1 Rochdale 2
Cheltenham 2 Torquay 2
Exeter City 2 Luton Town 2
Kidderminster 1 Mansfield 1
Lincoln 1 Darlington 1
Macclesfield 4 Scunthorpe 3
Oxford 3 Rushden & Diamonds 2
Southend 1 Leyton Orient 2
York 1 Halifax 0