Alan sets stage for Robins win

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CHELTENHAM closed the gap on League Two leaders Crawley Town to a single point with a 2-1 away win over Port Vale.

With Crawley being held 1-1 at Oxford United, Cheltenham took full advantage as Alan Bennett headed them in front in the 63rd minute and Brian Smikle headed in a second 10 minutes later. Sean Rigg pulled one back for Vale but the Robins move to 49 points.

Crawley kept themselves narrowly in front with a last-minute equaliser from Tyrone Barnett, having trailed to a 55th minute goal from substitute JP Pittman, who used his first touch to charge down a clearance from goalkeeper Scott Shearer and his second to roll the ball into the net.

Southend are four points off the top, with a game in hand, after a 1-1 draw at home to Dagenham and Redbridge, who got an 87th minute equaliser from Brian Woodall. Michael Timlin volleyed the Shrimpers ahead eight minutes before half-time.

Swindon beat AFC Wimbledon 2-0 to climb to fourth place, leading when Paul Caddis’ free-kick went in off the post in the 58th minute before Lander Gabilondo set up Alan Connell for a decisive second 15 minutes from time.

They move above Shrewsbury, who were held to a 1-1 home draw by Northampton.

The visitors led when Lewis Young’s fine pass set up Akwasi Asante who mis-hit his shot but was then relieved to see Saido Berahino slide in to turn it home. Matthew Richards then levelled 12 minutes later with a shot from the edge of the area.

Danny Jackman scored just seconds into the second half to give Gillingham a 1-0 win over Aldershot that puts them sixth, one point above Burton Albion who suffered a miserable day, having a man sent off and losing 2-0 at home to Hereford despite a missed penalty against them.

Debutant Will Evans beat three players to open the scoring in the 23rd minute. Burton’s Andrew Corbett saw red in the 64th minute, his second booking coming as he conceded a penalty for a foul on Tom Barkhuizen.

Barkhuizen missed the spot-kick, but Yoann Arquin wrapped up the points with a second 12 minutes from time.

Accrington Stanley are just one point further back after enjoying a 4-0 rout of Morecambe with goals from Craig Lindfield, Kevin Long, Micah Evans and Andrew Procter.

Barnet moved five points clear of the drop zone with a 2-0 home win over Bristol Rovers, with Izale McLeod opening the scoring with his 19th goal of the season before Clovis Kamdjo added a second 10 minutes from time.

Bottom side Plymouth suffered another defeat as they lost 2-1 at Torquay, who led through Billy Bodin in the 58th minute and then Lee Mansell before Luke Young got a late goal back.