Promotion hopefuls Luton Town kept the pressure on Sky Bet League 2 leaders Wycombe Wanderers with a 3-0 win over Mansfield Town.Two goals from Shaun Whalley and one from veteran striker Paul Benson at Kenilworth Road ensured the Hatters continued their blistering run of form, climbing to second place.
Leaders Wycombe were equally keen to issue their own statement of intent as they breezed past strugglers Hartlepool United 3-1 at Victoria Park.
Neil Austin missed a penalty for the hosts while Marlon Harewood's late strike was a mere consolation in reply to efforts from Paris Cowan-Hall, Matt Bloomfield and Alfie Mawson.
Tranmere Rovers, who complete the bottom two along with Hartlepool, showed plenty of fighting spirit though as they recorded a surprise 3-1 win over Portsmouth. Shamir Fenelon, James Rowe and Max Power were all on target as Rovers moved to within three points of safety.
Bury slipped out of the top six in another shock after they went down 2-0 at home to Dagenham & Redbridge. Goals from Alex Jakubiak and Jamie Cureton gave Dagenham a much-needed boost and left the Shakers a point adrift of the Play-Off places.
Two goals in the final five minutes ensured an entertaining finish at Brunton Park where Newport County beat Carlisle United 3-2. Newport's Shaun Jeffers looked to have added further gloss for the visitors by nudging them 3-1 clear, before David Amoo's later strike set up the tense finish.
Yan Klukowski and Ismail Yakubu were earlier on target for Newport, with Brad Potts scoring for Carlisle.
Jake Hyde's stoppage-time equaliser rescued a valuable point for York City in their 1-1 draw at Plymouth Argyle, while another late equaliser from Morecambe's Padraig Amond ensured the same scoreline in their meeting with Stevenage.
Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro scored the only goal of the game as Shrewsbury Town edged out fellow promotion hopefuls Burton Albion at New Meadow.
Southend United also strengthened their position in the top six with a 2-0 win at home to 10-man Northampton Town. A Barry Corr spot-kick and an effort from David Worrall were enough for the Shrimpers.
Tyrone Barnett rescued a point for Oxford United in their 1-1 draw at Cheltenham Town, while goals from Kwesi Appiah and Liam Hughes cancelled out Matt Tubbs' opener as Cambridge United edged past AFC Wimbledon 2-1 at Kingsmeadow.