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League One: Ipswich held and Plymouth beaten in boost for chasing pack

Ipswich missed the chance to go top of League One after conceding an equaliser to Fleetwood in the sixth minute of added time at Portman Road. The Tractor Boys stay second behind Plymouth, who lost 2-0 at home to Port Vale.

The league leaders suffered their first home league defeat of the season courtesy of second-half goals from Tom Conlon and James Wilson, which lifted Port Vale up to ninth. Ipswich led from the second minute when Luke Woolfenden struck, but were denied victory by Cian Hayes’ equaliser deep into added time.

There was still time for Fleetwood’s Josh Earl to be shown a red card before the final whistle confirmed a result that, combined with Plymouth’s defeat, gives hope to the chasing pack. Third-placed Sheffield Wednesday visit Derby in a Saturday lunchtime game while Barnsley are up to fourth after they won 2-1 at Peterborough.

Luca Connell’s opener for the visitors at London Road was cancelled out by Jack Taylor’s 21st-minute header, but Adam Phillips scored Barnsley’s second-half winner as they climbed above Posh in the table. Dion Charles scored in stoppage time to earn Bolton a point at Bristol Rovers, who led through Josh Coburn’s early goal.

Alfie May’s 84th-minute goal gave Cheltenham a 1-0 victory in a mid-table battle at Charlton, while Morecambe’s winless run extended to a sixth match after a 1-1 draw at home to Exeter. Cole Stockton’s 34th-minute goal was cancelled out by Joshua Key just two minutes later to leave the Shrimps five points from safety.

Luca Connell (centre) celebrates after scoring for Barnsley at Peterborough. Photograph: Nigel French/PA

In League Two, Stevenage closed to within two points of leaders Leyton Orient with a 5-0 home win over fellow promotion chasers Barrow. Jake Reeves fired the hosts in front from distance after 18 minutes and Jamie Reid doubled their advantage five minutes into the second half.

Dan Sweeney nodded in a corner to make it three at the Lamex Stadium, before Luke Norris converted from the spot and Tyrell Warren’s late own goal thoroughly buried Barrow, who remain in fourth place but are now nine points behind Steve Evans’ side.

Walsall climbed to eighth with a 2-0 victory at Doncaster thanks to second half goals from Tom Knowles and Danny Johnson, while Newport produced a dramatic comeback to beat Crewe, with Offrande Zanzala getting the 85th-minute winner.

Birmingham takeover bid breaks down

Paul Richardson has said he is “gutted” after his takeover bid for Birmingham City collapsed. Businessman Richardson and his partner, the former Barcelona player Maxi Lopez, had been in talks with the current owners for five months.

After extensive due diligence, Richardson accepted it was not possible to continue. Maxco Capital, the company backing the duo, issued a statement saying it had been left with “no alternative. [We] are bitterly disappointed as we know what this club means to the community and the very loyal fanbase.”

“The club means a lot to me and I am gutted that we have not been able to complete the deal,” Richardson told Birmingham Live. “I feel for the loyal staff and supporters, as I have been a Blues fan since I was a young lad.”

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