Cauley Woodrow helped Southend United to a 1-1 draw at home to Bristol Rovers in Sky Bet League Two on Friday night.
The Shrimpers were a goal down to Matt Harold’s strike when Woodrow entered the action as a 54th-minute replacement for Freddy Eastwood, with the equaliser arriving just under a quarter of an hour later through Kevan Hurst.
Woodrow went close to winning the game for the Essex side late on, but his left-footed curler flew narrowly over the bar.
Two free-kicks were Birmingham City and Dan Burn’s undoing in the Championship the next day as Danny Guthrie’s brace condemned them to a 2-0 defeat at Reading.
Former Fulham striker Pavel Pogrebnyak had gone close to breaking the deadlock before Guthrie did so shortly after the half-hour mark when his set-piece somehow found its way into the net through a host of bodies from a wide position.
Pogrebnyak’s one-time Whites colleague Chris Baird almost doubled the Royals’ lead with a header from a corner, but it was left to Guthrie to make sure of the points when he planted his free-kick in via the near post after Burn had felled Hal Robson-Kanu on the edge of the area with 15 minutes remaining.
Back in League Two and there was a first senior goal for Ryan Williams as he helped Oxford United to a 3-1 away win over Hartlepool United. The Australia youth international opened the scoring for the U’s with five minutes gone when he collected the ball in the area before curling home a low strike with his weaker left foot.
Luke James equalised for Pool shortly after half-time, but the visitors were back in front in the 67th minute when Deane Smalley finished off a counter attack, with Williams replaced by James Constable moments later. A red card for Steve Howard made a second comeback all the more unlikely for Hartlepool, with Asa Hall making sure from the penalty spot in stoppage time.
Elsewhere in the division, Marcus Bettinelli kept a clean sheet as Accrington Stanley ended their run of straight defeats with a goalless draw at Plymouth Argyle. The goalkeeper was on hand to make four key saves to double Stanley’s point tally for the season, securing their first shutout of the campaign in the process.
On Sunday in League One, Marcello Trotta was an unused substitute as Brentford secured an impressive 2-0 win over Coventry City at Sixfields – Clayton Donaldson and Martin Taylor netting for the Bees.
Over in Norway, Tromso almost staged a heroic fightback at home to IK Start, but couldn’t find an equaliser after coming back from three goals down to lose 3-2. Josh Pritchard played the first half as Espen Hoff gave the visitors the lead, with Bismark Acosta doubling their advantage three minutes after the interval.
Matthias Vilhjalmsson looked to have ended the game as a contest with his effort on 62 minutes, but strikes from Zdenek Ondrasek and Steffen Nystrom got Tromso back into contention, although they later proved to be consolation goals.