Jack in box cuts deficit for Crewe

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The Independent Online

The runaway Nationwide Second Division leaders, Wigan Athletic, aren't running away with it quite so quickly after suffering only their second home defeat of the season when Marino Keith's 35th-minute strike earned Plymouth Argyle a 1-0 win at the J J B Stadium.

The runaway Nationwide Second Division leaders, Wigan Athletic, aren't running away with it quite so quickly after suffering only their second home defeat of the season when Marino Keith's 35th-minute strike earned Plymouth Argyle a 1-0 win at the J J B Stadium.

The setback was compounded when Rodney Jack scored a late goal at Gresty Road to give second-placed Crewe a win by the same score over Stockport County. Crewe trail Wigan by nine points and have a four-point lead over third-placed Cardiff who have two games in hand.

In the play-off places, Oldham Athletic slipped to fifth after being held to a 1-1 draw at Boundary Park by Port Vale and Bristol City, who beat Barnsley 2-0, moved above them, to fourth. Richard Langley, the Queen's Park Rangers striker, scored at hat-trick at Blackpool as Ian Holloway's men consolidated sixth place.

In the relegation places, none of the bottom four won but Peterborough United moved away from danger with a thumping 5-1 win at Mansfield Town. Bottom of the table Huddersfield Town were denied a point at Notts County by Mark Stallard's 90th-minute penalty, his second success from the spot in the 3-2 win.

A similar wobbly feeling at the top of the Third Division where the leaders, Hartlepool United, were held to a goalless draw by visitors Bournemouth as a strike by Rushden & Diamonds' Duane Darby proved enough to beat bottom of the table Exeter City at Nene Park. Rushden move within three points of Hartlepool. The point Bournemouth earned wasn't enough to hold on to the third automatic promotion place. York City, performing grandly while awaiting finalisation of the supporters' association rescue package, beat Southend United, who sacked manager Rob Newman last week, 2-0 to take over the third spot.

Elsewhere in the play-off places, Scunthorpe were held 1-1 at Cambridge and slipped to sixth, while Lincoln City's 2-1 defeat of Bristol Rovers lifted them to fifth. Torquay crept back into the frame despite a 1-1 home draw with Boston.

The FA Vase final this year will be between AFC Sudbury, who beat Maldon 3-0 on aggregate, and Brigg Town, 3-1 aggregate winners over Oadby Town.

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