Chesterfield go top
A review of Friday night's action in Sky Bet League Two, as Chesterfield beat Exeter 2-0 to go top.
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Chesterfield moved to the top of Sky Bet League Two with a comfortable 2-0 win at Exeter.
Midfielder Olli Banks headed the visitors into a 48th-minute lead and Marc Richards doubled their advantage in the 78th minute.
The visitors had the advantage of a strong wind in their favour in the first half, but rarely tested Exeter goalkeeper Artur Krysiak.
The one time they did was early in the game, but Tendayi Darikwa's long-range shot was pushed round the post.
Exeter's efforts were coming from distance with David Wheeler and Liam Sercombe both off target and they fell behind early in the second half when Banks rose to power in Callum McFadzean's corner.
The Grecians lost their way after that - they were poor throughout the second half - and just seconds after a double substitution, Chesterfield struck a second after a neat passing move ended with Richards waltzing through and side-footing into the corner.
Exeter gave it plenty of huff and puff after that, but were poor in the final third and managed only one effort on target throughout game.
Arron Davies missed their best chance when he dragged wide of goal from eight yards, while Chesterfield were happy to play out the game and assume pole position ahead of the weekend fixtures.
In the night's other game, Kevan Hurst's eighth goal of the season secured Southend a 1-1 draw against fellow play-off chasers Rochdale at Roots Hall.
The in-form Shrimpers winger lashed home a well-struck 16-yard shot on the stroke of half-time to ensure a mostly uneventful encounter ended all-square.
Rochdale opened the scoring after 14 minutes when Jamie Allen reacted sharply to Ian Henderson's blocked shot and fired a well-struck effort in to the top corner of the net via the underside of the crossbar.
A stunning double goal-line clearance from Luke Prosser then stopped Rochdale making it 2-0 as the defender somehow kept out efforts from both Scott Hogan and Henderson in quick succession.
Southend made the most of the let-off by equalising in the 45th minute when Hurst collected a pass from Michael Timlin and fired home from inside the penalty area.
The Shrimpers then came close to winning the game eight minutes from time when Barry Corr headed a left-wing cross from Timlin against the top of the crossbar.