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League One roundup: Five-star Preston North thrash Crewe Alexandra

Preston North End close the gap on runaway leaders Bristol City with a 5-1 win over Crewe Alexandra.

Preston North End have tightened their grip on second place in League One after a thumping 5-1 win against Crewe Alexandra.

Four of the Lilywhites' five goals came from the in-form Joe Garner, while Jermaine Beckford added a late fifth at Deepdale.

Preston remain 11 points behind Bristol City, but Simon Grayson's men still have two games in hand on the leaders.

The league pacesetters endured a frustrating afternoon as they were held to a goalless draw by Gillingham at Ashton Gate, but Swindon Town enjoyed a better day after Raphael Branco's early goal helped the Wiltshire club to victory at Port Vale.

MK Dons lost further ground on their automatic promotion rivals with a 1-1 draw against Walsall. Will Grigg's 32nd-minute strike cancelled out Tom Bradshaw's early opener at Bescot Stadium.

Barnsley's resurgence under new manager Lee Johnson continued as he guided the Tykes to victory against his former club Oldham Athletic. Two goals from Lewin Nyatanga and one from Conor Hourinhane were enough for the Yorkshire men to register a sixth consecutive win.

Peterborough United are behind Barnsley on goals scored after Luke James and Conor Washington scored for Posh in a 2-0 win at Doncaster Rovers, their fourth straight victory since the dismissal of Darren Ferguson as manager last month.

Both Barnsley and Peterborough are a point behind Sheffield United, who retain fifth place despite being held to a draw by lowly Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park.

Fleetwood Town are up into eighth in a congested playoff picture after a Josh Morris strike was enough to beat local rivals Rochdale at Highbury Stadium.

At the bottom of the table, Leyton Orient's bid for survival was boosted by a 3-0 win against fellow strugglers Yeovil Town, with Chris Dagnall, Ryan Hedges and Jobi McAnuff getting on the scoresheet for the O's.

However, Orient were denied the opportunity to move out of the bottom four when Frank Nouble's strike gave Coventry City their first victory under new manager Tony Mowbray at playoff-chasing Chesterfield.

Izale McLeod's late penalty saw Crawley Town edge a five-goal thriller against second-bottom Colchester United, which keeps the Sussex club firmly in touch with the sides outside the relegation places.

Notts County are only five points above the drop zone after they could only manage a draw with Bradford City, who face an FA Cup sixth-round replay with Fulham on Monday.

Results in full: Bristol City 0–0 Gillingham, Chesterfield 2–3 Coventry City, Colchester United 2–3 Crawley Town, Doncaster Rovers 0–2 Peterborough United, Fleetwood Town 1–0 Rochdale, Leyton Orient 3–0 Yeovil Town, Notts County 1–1 Bradford City, Oldham Athletic 1–3 Barnsley, Port Vale 0–1 Swindon Town, Preston North End 5–1 Crewe Alexandra, Scunthorpe United 1–1 Sheffield United, Walsall 1–1 MK Dons


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