Jack Bonham helped Bristol Rovers secure an important three points on the road as they beat Southend United 2-1 at Roots Hall to move out of the Sky Bet League One drop zone. All three goals came before the break as Liam Sercombe and Gavin Reilly fired The Gas into a 2-0 advantage. Simon Cox pulled one back on the stroke of half-time but that was how it stayed in Essex as Rovers climbed to 20th. The appearance was Jack’s 30th of a season which has seen him keep 12 clean sheets and concede just 26 goals in all competitions. Saturday sees a huge clash at the bottom of League One with Graham Coughlan’s side hosting 23rd-placed Shrewsbury Town.
Also in the third tier, Josh Clarke played the full 90 minutes as ten-man Burton Albion laboured to a point at home to struggling Oxford United. The Brewers played almost 80 minutes a man light after John Brayford’s dismissal for a professional foul. Oxford racked up 22 shots to Burton’s two but couldn’t find a way to breach the Albion rear-guard as Nigel Clough’s side held on for a point. 13th-placed Burton head to bottom-of-the-table AFC Wimbledon on Saturday for their next league outing.
Reece Cole made his first league start, and third appearance in total, for Macclesfield Town on Saturday but he couldn’t prevent to Silkmen falling to defeat at high-flying Mansfield Town. Jorge Grant gave the home side an eighth-minute lead but Macclesfield hit back to go in level through Callum Evans. Krystian Pearce restored The Stags’ advantage shortly after the restart with Tyler Walker making the game safe late on. Defeat means Town remain 23rd ahead of this weekend’s trip to Crewe Alexandra.
None of our other three players out on loan were involved for their clubs over the weekend. Neither Canice Carroll’s Swindon Town nor Justin Shaibu and Boreham Wood had a fixture while Jarvis Edobor wasn’t in the 18 for Maidstone United’s 1-1 FA Trophy draw at Salford City last night. This weekend’s matches see Boreham Wood travel to Maidenhead United and Maidstone host Fylde in the National League while Swindon Town head to Play-Off chasing MK Dons in League Two.