FORMER Oxford United players and staff were in the thick of the action in several of the weekend's Sky Bet League One games.

Although the U's clash with Crewe Alexandra did not go ahead, there were plenty of talking points across the division's other 11 fixtures.

Shrewsbury Town 1, Gillingham 1

Jordan Graham was hailed as a 'natural talent' after his 94th-minute equaliser rescued a point for Gillingham at Shrewsbury Town.

The 25-year-old, who had two spells with Oxford United, cancelled out Brad Walker's early strike to leave his boss Steve Evans purring.

“We need to get Jordan Graham working hard, he is a natural talent," he said.

“To have the composure to turn and bend the ball into the corner was a sublime finish."

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Jordan Graham in action for Oxford United in 2019 Picture: David Fleming

Shrewsbury manager Sam Ricketts, himself an ex-U's player, feels injuries and coronavirus-related absences have left his side playing with one hand tied behind their back.

He said: “We lost players before the game and Shaun Whalley at half-time.

"We didn’t have the options we wanted. We have lost players to injury and Covid.

“When you lose that amount of players it is hard and hard to change the game."

Read also: Oxford United players tested for coronavirus

Blackpool 2, Lincoln City 3

Michael Appleton was impressed with Lincoln City's character after they maintained their 100 per cent record with two late goals at Blackpool.

Demetri Mitchell’s strike gave Blackpool a 2-1 lead in the 83rd minute, but within seconds defender James Husband was sent off for a challenge in the penalty area and Banbury-born Jorge Grant equalised with his second spot-kick of the afternoon.

Lewis Montsma grabbed a winner two minutes from time to keep Lincoln top of the table and leave Appleton delighted.

The ex-United boss said: “We controlled the game, but they (the players) showed their character because they went behind twice and they’ve come back and won the game. That bodes well for the future.

“We showed grit, determination and character. We’re going to lose games this year, but it won’t be through a lack of endeavour and work rate.”

Blackpool had earlier led through CJ Hamilton, before Grant levelled the scores.

Peterborough United 3, Swindon Town 1

Swindon Town manager Richie Wellens felt referee Leigh Doughty made a "vital mistake" that changed the course of their clash with Peterborough United.

The visitors were 1-0 up, thanks to an early effort from former United midfielder Jack Payne, when Sammie Szmodics appeared to foul Paul Caddis in the box in the first half.

Doughty refused to award a penalty and Posh roared back after the restart with a double from Jonson Clarke-Harris and Ryan Broom's strike.

Wellens, who was sent off after full-time, said of the referee: “He made a vital mistake at 1-0 up where Paul Caddis is chopped down from behind. It’s a game-changing moment.

“We should be 4-0 up at half-time. We’ve had three one-on-ones and (should have had) a penalty and we were already 1-0 up."

He added: “I don’t know what the referee sees in that. Paul is probably going to shoot from six or seven yards out or pull it back and he’s just been hacked down from behind."

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Ex-Oxford United midfielder Jack Payne scored for Swindon Town on Saturday Picture: David Fleming

Bristol Rovers 2, Northampton Town 0

Bristol Rovers will be full of confidence heading into tomorrow's EFL Trophy clash with Oxford United, says boss Ben Garner.

Brandon Hanlon and Jack Baldwin netted second-half goals to down the Cobblers, who had defender Joe Martin sent off.

Garner said: “The whole team will take confidence from this result. The players have been working so hard, but things hadn’t gone our way until today.

“My only complaint is that we should have won by a lot more goals. But I will happily settle for the three points and the performance.

He added: “Now we can go to Oxford United on Tuesday full of self-belief and try to build on this result.”

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Burton Albion 2, Portsmouth 4

Kenny Jackett was delighted to see Portsmouth find their shooting boots as they claimed a first league win of the season at Burton Albion.

Hat-trick hero Marcus Harness scored after just 90 seconds, but Lucas Akins' equaliser and an own goal from skipper Tom Naylor saw the hosts lead at the break.

Harness took centre stage after the break, with Jack Whatmough adding a fourth.

Pompey boss Jackett said: "That will give everybody confidence having only scored one in the league before today.

“We haven’t got the combinations right so far this season but today we showed a bit more resolution and stuck to the plan and it worked for us.”

Read also: EFL will look into Crewe Alexandra postponement at Oxford United

Hull City 1, Plymouth Argyle 0

Hull City manager Grant McCann accepted Plymouth Argyle might feel a “wee bit aggrieved” after his side extended their perfect start to the season.

Hakeeb Adelakun’s terrific volley after 10 minutes proved enough for the hosts, who are yet to concede in League One.

But Plymouth's performance left an impression on McCann.

“I’m really pleased with the result. They’re a really good team and they’re not afraid to play through you," he said.

“They’re a good side and they’ll maybe feel a wee bit aggrieved that they didn’t come away with a draw.”

Argyle boss Ryan Lowe added: “We totally dominated Hull City and have gone toe-to-toe with them.

“I thought our performance was very, very good. I’m really disappointed we didn’t score a goal and take a point at least.

“I said to the lads beforehand that this was going to be a big test, and the players certainly passed it – football-wise. Unfortunately, we’ve conceded a sloppy goal after 10 minutes and that’s cost us.

“All my players have done exactly what was asked – apart from put the ball in the net and keep it out.”

Charlton Athletic 0, Sunderland 0

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Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson Picture: David Fleming

Phil Parkinson was frustrated that Sunderland did not leave The Valley with all three points - despite his side finishing the game with ten men.

Striker Danny Graham missed several first-half chances but the visitors were hanging on at the end after Tom Flanagan was sent off for a 73rd-minute trip on Conor Washington.

Black Cats boss Parkinson said: “It was a decent performance, but I’m frustrated we haven’t taken those chances.

"We had some gilt-edged ones and even with ten men we had the best chances.

“Some of our football and the way we switched the play was great. It’s exactly how we need to play with this system.

"We looked a lot more dynamic than last week, particularly with the ball

“Eight points from four games is a good platform to build on but we should be talking about a victory today."

MK Dons 1, Ipswich Town 1

Ipswich Town's resolve pleased boss Paul Lambert in the 1-1 draw at MK Dons.

Jon Nolan put the Tractor Boys ahead when he fired in from close range, but the Dons fought back in the second half and equalised through Daniel Harvie’s curled finish.

MK Dons were on top from that point on, but Lambert was delighted his side kept the hosts at bay - despite losing their 100 per cent record in the process.

He said: "They put us under a lot of pressure in the second half but that was up there for one of the best performances I have seen in terms of desire and being resolute.

“The guys have thrown their bodies on the line and we had to dig in and show real resilience.

"We are still undefeated and still in good form so I am really pleased with the way they have played today for different reasons."

Read also: Crewe boss says they did did 'right thing morally' after Covid case

Wigan Athletic 1, Doncaster Rovers 0

Doncaster Rovers boss Darren Moore bemoaned costly missed chances in his side’s defeat at Wigan Athletic.

James Coppinger and Jon Taylor were guilty of missing great chances in the first half, before Joe Garner made no mistake after the break to win it for the hosts.

“Probably the biggest factor today was not putting our chances away,” said Moore.

“We felt the game should have been out of sight at half-time.

“The only positive we felt Wigan had at half-time was still being in the game, because we’d created some glorious chances."

AFC Wimbledon 1, Accrington Stanley 2

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Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman Picture: Richard Parkes

John Coleman credited Sheffield United’s style as inspiration after his roaming defenders helped Accrington Stanley come from behind to beat AFC Wimbledon.

Ryan Longman had put the Dons ahead, but Stanley centre-back Ross Sykes and midfielder Matt Butcher turned the tide late in the first half.

And Coleman pointed to Chris Wilder’s side as a template for his defence after their attacking efforts contributed to a first away win of the campaign.

“I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t taken inspiration from Sheffield United and how they set up with their adventurous defenders,” the Accrington boss said.

“I’ve had plenty of duels with Chris (Wilder) over the years and what he is doing now is fantastic.

“On the way down we trained at Milton Keynes and a lot of the things we practiced before the game came to fruition today."

Rochdale 2, Fleetwood Town 1

Fabio Tavares scored a 90th-minute winner as Rochdale snatched all three points against Fleetwood Town.

Matty Lund's opener put the hosts in control early on, but the momentum changed after the break and Harry Saunders levelled with 12 minutes left.

The game looked to be heading for a draw, but Tavares popped up late on to leave Fleetwood boss Joey Barton calling for new recruits.

He said: “It’s really disappointing to lose in that manner but that is football – credit to Rochdale, they defended admirably to stay in the contest.

“It’s back to the drawing board and hopefully we can get some reinforcements in because I have been crying out for some for the best part of six to eight weeks. When we do, we’ll be able to field our strongest team."