RECAP: MIDWEEK ENGLISH ACTION
Frank Simek and Carlisle United put on a clinic at Hartlepool as the visitors won in style, while Jemal Johnson played the majority of the second half as Port Vale put themselves on top of League One.
Hartlepool 0 - 4 Carlisle United
Frank Simek had little to do as Carlisle United put on a clinic at Hartlepool.
Lubo Michalik opened the scoring just eight minutes in as the big defender arrowed in a 40 yard free kick that caught Jake Kean out.
Already on the front foot, Gary Madine went on a scoring rampage that would last the rest of the game, getting his first after 26 minutes.
Being slotted in by Ben Marshall, the midfielder picked his spot and finished low past Kean. His second came 10 minutes later when Francois Zoko's shot was deflected, and the midfielder tapped in his second of the night off of the rebound.
Madine finally got his hat trick in the 71st minute with a quality shot from outside the box, leaving Kean little chance.
Madine picked up a yellow card to join teammate Tom Taiwo in the book, while Armann Bjornsson and Joe Gamble were both booked for Pools.
The win finds them one point adrift second place, and next face Peterboro at home on Saturday.
Port Vale 1 - 0 Shrewsbury
Jemal Johnson came on in the 66th minute as Port Vale won at home against Shrewsbury.
Lee Collins was a stand out player for Vale, stopping Lionel Ainsworth from stamping his name on the game.
Collins eventually sprung the attack in the 73rd minute, sending Gary Roberts into space as the midfielder unleashed a 25 yard rocket past of Chris Neal.
The victory moves Port Vale four points clear on top of League One making this their fifth win in a row.
There were no cards in the lively affair, as Vale move on to take on Oxford United at The Kassam Stadium on Saturday.
Mike Grella did not make the bench as Leeds lost a 6-4 thriller at home to Preston North End.
Conor Doyle remained on the bench as Derby County won 3-1 at home to Middlesbrough.
Zak Whitbread was not selected in Norwich's 4-3 edging of Leicester City.
Anton Peterlin was unselected as Plymouth won 3-2 away form home at Swindon.
Seb Harris remained on the bench as Northampton gave up a first half lead as they lost 2-1 at home to Chesterfield.
Jon-Paul Pittman is out injured as Wycombe won 4-2 at home to Barnet.