We look back at the action as 81 strikes graced the 28 games from the Championship, League One and League Two in our extensive round up of every single fixture
Following Tuesday’s 1-1 draw between the top two, Southampton moved ahead of West Ham at the Championship summit after an emphatic 4-0 drubbing of Derby, Japan international Tadanari Lee scoring his first goal in English football to take the Saints two points clear. The Hammers have two games in hand, though, the first of which will be played on Tuesday night away to Blackpool.
Reading, meanwhile, leapfrogged three rivals to move third, Jason Roberts’ curler the decisive strike on Friday evening as the Royals saw off Burnley. They were let in as Cardiff slumped to a surprising 3-0 defeat at Portman Road, a Lee Martin double wrapping up a big win for Ipswich. Success away at Barnsley on Tuesday, however, could elevate Birmingham back to third, Chris Hughton’s side distracted by the FA Cup over the weekend.
New Leeds manager Neil Warnock watched his adopted club pull off a sensational comeback at Elland Road, the hosts going 2-0 down to Doncaster before turning things around, Luciano Becchio nicking a winner nine minutes into stoppage time. Two out-of-form sides in Crystal Palace and Peterborough, meanwhile, regained some momentum, the former registering their first league victory of 2012 in a comprehensive 4-0 thrashing of Watford, while the latter won for the first time in eight games, dominating from start to finish as they dispatched Bristol City 3-0 at home.
Portsmouth, docked 10 points for going into administration, had their bad week compounded by Barnsley, whose 2-0 triumph at Oakwell dropped the south coast club unceremoniously into the relegation places. They replaced Nottingham Forest in the drop-zone as Steve Cotterill’s side left it late to secure a vital win over fellow strugglers Coventry, their first three points at home since November.
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Relegation strugglers Chesterfield pulled off the upset of the weekend in League One with a victory over third-placed Sheffield Wednesday thanks to a Dean Morgan penalty.
Wednesday's defeat allowed Sheffield United to strengthen their hold on the second automatic promotion place as they defeated Preston 2-1 and closed the gap on leaders Charlton to six points after Chris Powell's side drew with Tranmere.
MK Dons were the biggest winners of the weekend as they recorded an emphatic 5-0 win against Oldham to consolidate their place in the play-offs, while Brentford and Hartlepool kept their hopes of a top-six finish alive with convincing victories over Carlisle and Notts County, who sacked Martin Allen after their 3-0 defeat.
At the bottom, Rochdale remain in the relegation places despite a victory over Bournemouth, while Scunthorpe and Exeter stay above the drop zone after wins against Leyton Orient and Bury respectively.
Wycombe remain at the bottom of the table having suffered a 2-0 defeat to Walsall, who are now just a point away from safety in 21st
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Southend remain at the League Two summit after Bilel Mohsni grabbed a second-half winner for the Shrimpers to down a spirited Crewe side at Roots Hall.
The table-toppers are on level points and goal difference with Mark Yates’ Cheltenham, who hammered Dagenham and Redbridge 5-0 to leave the east Londoners rooted to the foot of the Football League.
Paolo di Canio’s Swindon take up the last of the automatic qualification places after securing an impressive win away to Hereford, who are only 3 points above the relegation zone.
Shrewsbury’s promotion chase is also well on track with after Graham Turner’s men picked up a 2-1 win over Barnet, while Torquay slipped up with a loss to Bradford but remain in the playoff places.
Oxford make up the rest of the top seven but also had a disappointing weekend, only managing a goalless draw with Bristol Rovers.
Elsewhere in the division, Plymouth pulled off a 4-0 hammering of Accrington at the Crown Ground while Port Vale boosted their playoff chances with a 2-1 win at home to Gillingham.
Rotherham lost ground on the Valiants after a 1-1 tie with Burton while in mid-table, Aldershot beat Macclesfield 1-0 and AFC Wimbledon came from a goal down to draw with Morecambe.