Brighton, Northampton & McBurnie - things you may have missed

Stuart Sinclair
Bristol Rovers midfielder Stuart Sinclair celebrates scoring in the rain against Exeter in League Two

The nights are drawing in, the shops are teeming with desperate bargain-hunters and children will shortly be disappointed by the quality of their advent calendar chocolate.

We are nearly entering the final month of 2015 and, while the weather cools down, the Football League action heats up. Here are some of Saturday's best bits.

Weekend at McBurnie's

The phrase 'dream debut' might never be more applicable than for Oliver McBurnie's first appearance in a Newport County shirt.

The 19-year-old striker, who joined John Sheridan's side from Swansea just before Thursday's loan deadline passed, came off the bench as a 58th-minute substitute with the game against Luton in League Two goalless. What happened next was remarkable.

Oliver McBurnie celebrates his hat-trick with the match ball
Oliver McBurnie played for Bradford in the Football League before joining Swansea

McBurnie found the net three times in the space of 23 minutes to give his side a 3-0 victory over the Hatters, having never previously scored in the Football League.

"I scored a couple of hat-tricks at youth-team level when I was at Bradford, but they didn't let me keep the matchball," McBurnie told BBC Radio Wales.

"I think there was a little bit of an argument about whether I was allowed to keep it or not. I was going to have to pay for it at one point, but there's no taking this off me."

The Lamex Thriller

At this time of year, everyone is seeking value for money - something fans at Stevenage's League Two match against Morecambe got in abundance.

The 2,415 spectators - including 66 who had made the trip from Lancashire - saw seven goals and three penalties, two of which were missed, on a thrilling afternoon in Hertfordshire.

Chris Whelpdale
Chris Whelpdale has now scored nine goals in all competitions this season

After Ben Kennedy had a spot-kick saved by Shrimps keeper Barry Roche, Chris Whelpdale went on to score a hat-trick to make it 4-1 - despite having his own penalty effort kept out by Roche.

And there was late drama to come as Paul Mullin showed Stevenage how to do it from 12 yards and Kevin Ellison pulled the visitors back to 4-3, but Teddy Sheringham's men held on to go five matches unbeaten.

Sheringham told BBC Three Counties Radio: "I wouldn't say we got lucky but we were fortunate there wasn't another five minutes after their third goal."

Seagulls flying

Solly March
Solly March celebrates scoring Brighton's opener against Birmingham on Saturday

You would think that by the time the chilly nights of December come around most teams would have had at least one off day in the league and found themselves on the losing side.

Not Brighton. The Seagulls are still yet to taste defeat in their 18 league matches so far this campaign, with their only loss in 2015-16 coming against Walsall in the League Cup.

Chris Hughton's side finished 20th in the Championship last season, but head the table now after goals from March and Bobby Zamora gave them a 2-1 victory over promotion hopefuls Birmingham City.

Renewed Cobblers

A winding-up petition, an administration petition, a long-winded takeover, a stand still waiting to be developed and players and staff not being paid by the club.

Marc Richards
Marc Richards celebrates scoring Northampton's second goal against Yeovil

That barely scratches the surface of everything that has happened at Northampton Town in the last few months. But, while off the field has been almost chaotic, on the pitch Chris Wilder's side have been storming up League Two.

Saturday's home match against Yeovil marked the first under the ownership of Kelvin Thomas - and the Cobblers extended their unbeaten run to eight matches with a 2-0 victory at Sixfields to go second in the table.

Colchester's woes continue

When a manager leaves his post, quite often you will see a team have a resurgence in form. Not with League One side Colchester United on Saturday.

Tony Humes left by mutual consent on Thursday as - according to chairman Robbie Cowling - "he felt that his presence at the club now was detrimental to the club".

Tony Humes
Tony Humes left Colchester 15 months after replacing Joe Dunne at the helm

His old side had the worst defensive record in the Football League going into Saturday's match against Burton, and that record did not improve.

The U's, under the caretaker charge of Richard Hall and John McGreal, lost resoundingly 5-1 at Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's Albion.

Despite the defeat, Cowling told BBC Essex he is "looking internally first before going external" for a new manager.

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