Football League: your thoughts

Michael Appleton fell to defeat in his first game in charge of Blackburn, Tranmere stayed top of League One with a 2-1 win over Brentford as only three games were played in League Two


• All eyes were on Ewood Park where Blackburn's club-hopping new manager, Michael Appleton, was hoping to get off to a good start at the one-time Premier League champions. They didn't get off to a good start, though, with Dale Stephens hitting a fine half-volley after 26 minutes to put Charlton in the lead. Only Martin Olsson's goalline clearance prevented them falling further behind before half-time. However, Appleton was able to fire up his team sufficiently at half-time for them to equalise through Jordan Rhodes's diving header just three minutes into the second half. Alas, it wasn't to be for Blackburn. With owners Venky's watching from the stands, Yann Kermorgant gave Charlton a decisive lead, with a 64th-minute header, allowing Chris Powell's side to leapfrog Blackburn and send them down to 14th in the table. The one bright spot, as often this season, was Rhodes, with his 15th goal since joining the club. Should anyone come calling before the end of the month there may well be an interesting conversation about loyalty in the new manager's office.

• Hull City were unable to jump above Leicester and into the automatic promotion places as they were held to a 1-1 draw at relegation-threatened Peterborough. The Tigers have been in a rich vein of form, creeping up the table ahead of more favoured rivals, but despite Steve Bruce's side taking the lead through a Joe Newell own goal, they couldn't hold on. In the 79th minute, Tommy Rowe was brought down in the area by James Chester and Grant McCann snatched the ball from the in-form Dwight Gayle to fire the home side level from the penalty spot.

• Nikola Zigic earned a point for Birmingham City with some help from a howler by Brighton's former Manchester United goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak. The Blues had taken the lead after 18 minutes through Steven Caldwell, only to see visitors Brighton hit back and take a 2-1 lead at half-time with goals from Ashley Barnes and David López. However, with the clock ticking Marlon King put the ball into the box and the giant Serbian headed towards goal. Kuszczak seemed to have it covered but was left embarrassed when the ball crept through his hands to gift Birmingham a last-gasp equaliser.

• Elsewhere, Dougie Freedman returned to Crystal Palace with Bolton and received a cool reception from the some of the home fans, the match doing little to stir the spirits with the teams drawing 0-0 at Selhurst Park. The Midlands derby was also a stalemate. Forest took the lead, but Derby's returning Jamie Ward cancelled out Chris Cohen's opener, with a 52nd-minute equaliser. Cardiff maintained their lead at the top with a 2-1 win at Blackpool, while Watford enjoyed the best result of the day, a 4-0 victory at home to Huddersfield keeping the Hornets in play-off contention.

League One

• Tranmere stayed top of the table thanks to a 2-1 victory at Brentford which ended the home side's 13-match unbeaten run. Rovers took the lead just before half-time through an Andy Robinson penalty, after Harlee Dean took down David Amoo in the box. But the young defender made amends for his error after 50 minutes when he reached Jake Bidwell's free-kick first, to put Brentford level. This followed some unplanned half-time entertainment, when the home fans bombarded the Tranmere keeper Owain Fon Williams with snowballs – ending only when Brentford manager Uwe Rösler approached the stands to implore that they to stop the barrage so that the second half could begin. Tranmere were pleased they did, as despite an early setback in the second period when Dean levelled, the game was won by a fantastic Adam McGurk goal after 56 minutes, weaving past two defenders to slot past Simon Moore. Brentford rallied, but despite the late pressure the visitors held on for an important win.

• Doncaster kept up the pressure on the leaders with a comfortable 2-0 win at home to Leyton Orient. Rob Jones celebrated his first game as Brian Flynn's assistant manager with a goal, the player/coach heading home powerfully from David Cotterill's 18th-minute corner. The points were secured early in the second period, when Chris Brown slotted home between the legs of Orient goalkeeper Jamie Jones. Doncaster stay second in the table, level on points with Tranmere but with a game in hand.

• Sheffield United extended their winless run in the league to four games. A goal up after just two minutes through Harry Maguire, they also had a man advantage from the 25th minute, when Francois Zoko received a stupid second yellow for arguing with referee Mark Haywood over the award of a free-kick. However, Notts County were not to be denied and earned a 1-1 draw, Alan Judge levelling the match after 80 minutes.

• Elsewhere in the division, only half of the scheduled games survived the weather. But they played at Walsall, where the home side maintained their 100% record in 2013, with a 3-1 win over Bournemouth. Their final goal is sure to feature on a future bloopers DVD, Bournemouth's Eunan O'Kane picking up the ball in his own penalty area thinking that a free-kick had been awarded, only to see a penalty given against him, which Will Grigg dispatched. At the Ricoh, Coventry beat Oldham 2-1, despite Matt Smith's 89th-minute equaliser; James Bailey struck even later a fine volley in the fifth minute of stoppage time securing the points and delighting manager Mark Robins. "The overriding emotion was one of relief at the end, because with a minute on the clock left we conceded a shocking goal that would have felt like a defeat."

League Two

• Only three games beat the snow, with Accrington Stanley v AFC Wimbledon, Barnet v Fleetwood, Bristol Rovers v Exeter City, Oxford v Rotherham, Port Vale v Bradford City, Rochdale v Gillingham, Southend v Plymouth and Torquay v Chesterfield all postponed.

• Northampton moved into the play-off places with a 1-0 win at home to fellow promotion-chasers Burton Albion. Adebayo Akinfenwa, who hit the woodwork in the first half, settled the match in the 69th minute when he met Ben Tozer's cross to loop a header into the Albion net. It was enough for Northampton to leapfrog their opponents, level on 42 points with a game in hand. "I was disappointed, because I just felt we'd dealt with what they were going to do," said Burton manager Gary Rowett. "We had three or four opportunities where balls were put in the box where you just need someone to go and get a toe end on it, but we couldn't do that."

• Elsewhere, Aldershot strengthened their hopes of Football League survival by grinding out a 0-0 draw at mid-table York City. Craig Reid had the best chance of the match for the visitors, but he shot over the bar to leave the match tied. Wycombe Wanderers moved 10 points clear of the relegation zone thanks to a 1-0 win over Dagenham & Redbridge, Sam Wood's 32nd-minute goal the difference - he cut in from the left and shot past Chris Lewington, to give Gareth Ainsworth's side all three points.

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