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League One roundup: Benik Afobe hat-trick inspires MK Dons win

Benik Afobe gets a hat-trick as MK Dons sweep aside Colchester United to close the gap on League One leaders Bristol City.

Benik Afobe scored a hat trick to guide MK Dons to a comfortable 6-0 win over Colchester United to boost their push for automatic promotion from League One.

Karl Robinson's men got in front through Dele Alli's 11th-minute strike before Afobe scored twice in eight minutes to all but wrap up the points for the hosts.

Afobe completed his hat trick just before the hour mark before Ben Reeves and Lee Hodson rounded off the scoring to pull the Dons to within five points of leaders Bristol City, who beat Peterborough United 3-0 on Friday.

Preston North End kept up their quest for an automatic promotion place after a hard-fought victory over Yeovil Town at Huish Park, thanks to goals from Paul Huntingdon and Paul Gallacher.

However, the Lilywhites were denied the chance to move into the top two when Ben Gladwin's late header gave Swindon Town a slender victory over Fleetwood Town at the County Ground.

Oldham Athletic move into the playoff places with a comfortable 3-0 win over fellow promotion chasers Rochdale at Spotland, with Daniel Johnson scoring twice for the Latics.

Bradford City scored twice in the dying minutes to condemn Leyton Orient to a 3-1 defeat at Valley Parade.

With the game level, Chris Dagnall was sent off for the visitors and they were made to pay when Billy Clarke and Jon Stead netted for the Bantams to leave the O's perilously close to the League One drop zone.

Gavin Tomlin's 70th-minute equaliser earned Crawley Town a share of the spoils against Chesterfield, but the Spireites remain in the top half of the table.

Gillingham looked set for a vital win in their quest to avoid relegation. However, Michael Brown's stoppage-time goal ensured that Port Vale took a point away from the Priestfield Stadium.

Crewe Alexandra's own survival hopes suffered a setback after James Coppinger's equaliser earned Doncaster Rovers a draw against the Railwaymen.

Scunthorpe United remain in the bottom four, but came from behind to beat Barnsley at Oakwell thanks to a brace from Paddy Madden.

Coventry City are 19th in the table after playing out a goalless draw with local rivals Walsall at the Ricoh Arena.

Results in full: Barnsley 1–2 Scunthorpe United, Bradford City 3–1 Leyton Orient, Coventry City 0–0 Walsall, Crawley Town 1–1 Chesterfield, Crewe Alexandra 1–1 Doncaster Rovers, Gillingham 2–2 Port Vale, MK Dons 6–0 Colchester United, Rochdale 0–3 Oldham Athletic, Swindon Town 1–0 Fleetwood, Yeovil Town 0–2 Preston North End

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Andy Williams of Swindon Town celebrates his goal during the npower League One match between Swindon Town and Tranmere Rovers at the County Ground on December 21, 2012
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