ROVERS MOVE CLEAR AT TOP
By Peter O`Rourke. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
BRISTOL ROVERS moved clear at the top of Division Three with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Luton Town in the top of the table clash at The Memorial Ground on Saturday afternoon.
Top scorer Nathan Ellington (pictured) had given the home side the perfect start with the opening goal after 30 minutes, but Matthew Taylor equalised for the visitors three minutes before the break.
Former Arsenal star David Hillier restored the home side's lead after 64 minutes and Kevin Gall gave them a two goal advantage with the third strike 15 minutes from time.
Lee Mansell pulled one back for The Hatters nine minutes from time, but it was not enough to stop Joe Kinnear's men going down their first defeat as Rovers maintained their 100 percent record to the start of the season.
Darlington had to come from a goal behind to beat Hartlepool 2-1 in a fiercely contested North East derby at the Victoria Park.
Mark Tinkler had fired the home side in front after 15 minutes but former Sunderland ace Brian Atkinson drew the sides level in the 35th minute.
Danny Mellanby fired the winer for The Quakers three minutes before the break.
A last-minute penalty from Tony Bird gave Kidderminster a 1-0 win over bottom of the table Torquay and left The Gulls still looking for their first point of the season.
Scunthorpe broke their duck in fine style with a 4-0 thumping over Exeter City at St James Park.
Veteran striker Martin Carruthers grabbed two goals (14, 67) in the rout while Kim Grant (45) and Carl Bradshaw (61) notched the others.
Southend recorded an impressive 4-1 victory over Halifax at Roots Hall to move into second spot.
Tony Richards struck twice for the home side after 43 minutes and right on the stroke of full time while Leon Johnson and manager David Webb's son Daniel grabbed the others.
Neil Redfearn notched a consolation for the visitors from the penalty spot after 66 minutes.
Rochdale moved into third spot with a hard-fought 2-1 win away to Plymouth Argyle.
Gary Jones opened the scoring for the visitors after 13 minutes but the home side drew level with an unfortunate own goal from Simon Coleman.
Paul Connor grabbed the all-important winner for Rochdale 13 minutes from time to leave The Pilgrims still looking for their first win of the season.
Wayne Corden's last-minute goal gave Mansfield all three points after Cheltenham had battled back from two goals behind and looked like earning a draw.
A double strike from Craig Disley either side of half time had put Mansfield in control but a quick fire brace from Julian Alsop in the 62nd and 66th minute brought Cheltenham level.
It looked like the home side might hold on for a point until Corden's last gasp strike. Oxford are still looking for the first win of the season after going down 1-0 at home to Shrewsbury.
Paul Tait was sent-off for the home side before Nigel Jemson grabbed the winner for the visitors after 67 minutes.
Lincoln recorded a superb 3-0 win over Swansea at Sincill Bank.
Lee Thorpe struck twice for the home side after 49 minutes and 66 minutes and a penalty from Steve Holmes ensured victory for Alan Buckley's men.
Carlisle grabbed their second point of the season with an impressive draw with big-spending Hull City at Brunton Park. York City recorded a hard-fought 2-1 win at home over last season's play-off finalists Leyton Orient.
Veteran striker Lee Nogan fired the home side in front four minutes before the break and on-loan signing Michael Proctor doubled the lead on the hour.
Aaron McLean pulled one back for the visitors on 75 minutes but it was not enough to prevent York getting their second win of the campaign.
League new boys Rushden & Diamonds picked up another fine point with a dour 0-0 draw with Macclesfield Town.
Click below for the relevant report:
Bristol Rovers 3-2 Luton
Carlisle 0-0 Hull
Cheltenham 2-3 Mansfield
Exeter 0-4 Scunthorpe
Hartlepool 1-2 Darlington
Kidderminster 1-0 Torquay
Lincoln 3-0 Swansea
Macclesfield 0-0 Rushden & Diamonds
Oxford 0-1 Shrewsbury
Plymouth 1-2 Rochdale
Southend 4-1 Halifax
York City 2-1 Leyton Orient
Click here for the Third Division table