Shrewsbury Town surrendered pole position in the Sky Bet League 2 table as Southend United became just the third visiting club to take a point from Shropshire this season.Only Newport County and Wycombe Wanderers had taken anything at Shrewsbury this term and the Shrimpers looked like joining Chelsea as the only side to win at the Greenhous Meadow when Jack Payne put them ahead.
And although Tyrone Barnett came off the bench to preserve their unbeaten record with an equaliser five minutes from time, the 1-1 draw meant Micky Mellon's side slipped down into third.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's Burton Albion are the new league leaders as they ran out comfortable 3-1 victors over Cheltenham Town, with Stuart Beavon, Adam McGurk and Phil Edwards all on target inside the opening 50 minutes.
Wycombe moved above Shrewsbury too as Hogan Ephraim's second-half strike proved to be the difference in a 1-0 win at Cambridge United, who had Cameron McGeehan sent off.
Newport started life without manager Justin Edinburgh with a 2-0 defeat at AFC Wimbledon.
Edinburgh's departure for Gillingham was confirmed hours before kick-off and Adebayo Akinfenwa's double compounded the misery for the south Wales outfit, who finished with 10 men when Kevin Feely was dismissed.
They were the only side in the top six to lose, though, as both John Still's Luton and David Flitcroft's Bury picked up a point.
The Hatters did so on the road by recording a 1-1 draw at Oxford, which was the same score Exeter recorded at Bury, who had to come from behind with a goal from Daniel Nardiello, a former Grecians forward, on the stroke of half-time.
Plymouth gained ground on those in the Play-Off spots thanks to a 1-0 victory over Accrington Stanley.
The Pilgrims had gone seven games without a victory but they finally claimed all three points in a 2015 game as Lewis Alessandra scored the contest's solitary goal three minutes before the interval.
York City dropped into the bottom-two spots after veteran striker Jamie Cureton moved into double figures for the season with a brace in resurgent Dagenham & Redbridge’s 2-0 success.
Ronnie Moore's Hartlepool are nine points from safety following a 1-0 reverse at Portsmouth, for whom Matt Tubbs opened his account with.
A former Pools loanee made a big contribution for another struggling side as Charlie Wyke's double gave Carlisle a 2-0 victory over Tranmere, who slipped below Keith Curle's side as a result.
Elsewhere, both Northampton Town and Mansfield were able to come out on top in their respective home clashes.
Joel Byrom scored inside 26 seconds for the Cobblers, yet they needed a further strike from the prolific Marc Richards, his 16th of the season, to beat Morecambe 2-1 for their fifth successive triumph.
Mansfield kept their second home clean sheet in a row and half-time substitute Reggie Lambe found the back of the net within six minutes of coming on in their 1-0 win over Stevenage.