NORTHERN SECTION

Bradford City remain in all three cup competitions after two second-half goals sent them into the Northern Area semi-finals of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy with a 2-0 victory at Port Vale.

Bradford scored just 47 seconds after the interval when fine play by Garry Thompson set up Ritchie Jones to side-foot a perfect shot low inside Chris Neal's left-hand post from 16 yards. The Bantams' lead was doubled when Craig Forsyth tucked a 14-yard shot inside Neal's right-hand post following more excellent work by Thompson just two minutes later.

Robbie Blake missed from the penalty spot as Doncaster Rover crashed out of their second cup competition in the space of four days, losing 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out following a 1-1 draw against Crewe Alexandra.

Chris Brown's last-gasp goal cancelled out Mathias Pogba's first-half strike to take 10-man Crewe to penalties. But Blake smacked the crossbar with his spot-kick as the Alex held their nerve and tucked away every penalty.

Coventry City clinched a place in the semi-finals with a 4-1 win on penalties against Sheffield United after the match finished 1-1 in normal time.

In a tightly-fought contest at the Ricoh Arena, it took a Harry Maguire own goal in the 57th minute to break the deadlock, but United drew level in the 80th minute through David McAllister.

Maguire's night got even worse when it came to penalties as he saw his spot-kick saved by goalkeeper Joe Murphy and then Ryan Flynn blasted over, allowing John Fleck to send Coventry through.

SOUTHERN SECTION

Southend United surged into the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Southern Area semi-finals with a shock 2-1 win over npower League 1 Brentford at Roots Hall.

The Shrimpers withstood an early spell of pressure from the Bees but fought back to open the scoring in the 27th minute, with Tamika Mkandawire scoring for the first time since August 2011.

The on-loan Millwall midfielder, who was being watched by Lions boss Kenny Jackett in the stands, collected a half cleared right-wing cross from Kevan Hurst before bringing the ball back on to his left foot and firing a deflected 20-yard shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

Southend then doubled their lead in the 40th minute as Hurst's stunning 25-yard effort arrowed in to the top left-hand corner. After the break, Barry Corr hit the crossbar from 12 yards before the Bees bagged a late consolation when Paul Hayes raced on to a long ball forward from Lee Hodson and fired past Paul Smith.

Oxford United 'keeper Ryan Clarke saved two penalties as the Us advanced 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Plymouth Argyle.

Alex MacDonald, who will now return to Burnley following the end of his loan stay in Devon, curled in a scorching free-kick from the left-hand touchline in the 20th minute to give the home side the lead.

Oxford equalised in the 62nd minute through target man James Constable after home keeper Rene Gilmartin flapped away a cross under pressure from Sean Rigg. Plymouth were reduced to 10 men when Durrell Berry received his second yellow card with six minutes to go before the shoot-out ensued.

The visitors slotted in all three of their penalties with Rigg, Adam Chapman and then Liam Davis finding the back of the net. But after Rhys Griffiths scored the first spot-kick of the shoot-out, Argyle trio Andres Gurrieri, Jamie Lowry and finally Maxime Blanchard all failed to convert from 12 yards.

Finally, Yeovil Town eased past 10-man Wycombe Wanderers 2-0.

First-half goals from Ed Upson and Sam Foley ensured Gary Johnson's side avoided an upset against the npower League 2 Chairboys, who had Matt Spring sent off in the 27th minute.