Northampton maintained their 13-point lead at the top of League Two, and extended their unbeaten run to 17 matches, despite being held to a 2-2 draw away at Mansfield Town.
Matt Green’s brace put the hosts 2-0 ahead after just over 15 minutes played, but a Ricky Holmes penalty and a well taken finish by John Marquis saw the two sides earn a point apiece.
Second-placed Oxford United are now just three points ahead of fourth-placed Accrington Stanley after they were held to a goalless draw away at play-off hopefuls Cambridge United.
Plymouth moved up to third place after a narrow 3-2 victory over York to move back into the automatic promotion places, despite a late comeback by the visitors. The Pilgrims raced into a three-goal lead in the first half through Jamille Matt, Reuben Reid and a Will Boyle own goal. The Ministermen’s late resurgence came from Russell Penn and a Luke Summerfield penalty.
Accrington are now up to fourth after a 2-0 win at Newport with Billy Kee opened the scoring with a calm finish, before Josh Windass’ low drive doubled their lead before half-time. The visitors are now just one point from the automatic promotion places and have a game in hand on Oxford.
Carlisle are now just four points off of the play-offs after a dramatic 3-2 win over Bristol Rovers. The Cumbrians went ahead twice through Jack Stacey’s 20-yard strike and Charlie Wyke, but were pegged back by Billy Bodin and Matty Taylor. Jason Kennedy’s 85th minute winner saw the Cumbrians take the spoils as the Pirates drop to fifth.
Barnet scored a stoppage-time winner to see off Luton 2-1 at home with late drama from both sides. Luke Gambin put the Bees in front with a curling effort, before Cameron McGeehan equalised for the Hatters with just five minutes left to play, but John Akinde tucked home a penalty to give the hosts all three points.
Hartlepool ran out 2-0 winners at play-off chasing Leyton Orient to stretch their unbeaten run to six league matches. Billy Paynter opened the scoring as he latched onto the end of Jake Carroll’s cross before Nathan Thomas doubled the visitors’ lead.
Exeter kept their play-off ambitions going with a 2-0 win at Crawley with goals from Jake Taylor and Ollie Watkins, who scored his fourth goal in six games with a powerful header 15 minutes from time. The Grecians are now just five points adrift of the top seven with the Devon derby to look forward to this weekend.
Meanwhile, Notts County and Wycombe also finished goalless after neither side managed to provide any real chances, while the matches between AFC Wimbledon and Portsmouth, and Stevenage and Yeovil Town, were postponed due to waterlogged pitches.
Player of the Day: Matt Green (Mansfield Town)
Team of the Day: Carlisle United
Goal of the Day: Nathan Thomas (Leyton Orient vs HARTLEPOOL UNITED)