MK Dons took full advantage of joint Sky Bet League 1 leaders Swindon Town and Bristol City not being in action by beating Barnsley 2-0 at stadiummk.Highly-rated teenager Dele Alli bagged his 12th goal of the season to give the Dons the lead, before Will Grigg doubled their advantage.
Due to the fourth round of the FA Cup, Notts County and Oldham Athletic were the only other teams from the top 10 in action. A win for either would have moved them up into the Play-Off places but neither could capitalise.
County lost 2-1 at home to Peterborough United, who won for only the second time in 13 league matches. Garry Thompson scored for the Magpies in between strikes from Marcus Maddison and Christian Burgess.
Oldham were also beaten 3-2 at Gillingham. Goals from Liam Kelly and Dominic Poleon saw the Latics fight back and draw level after a John Marquis double had put the hosts in control.
But the Gills won it courtesy of Bradley Dack's 70th-minute effort to move four points clear of the relegation zone.
Fleetwood Town succeeded where Notts County and Oldham failed as Antoni Sarcevic's free-kick just before half-time gave the Cod Army a 1-0 home win over Crawley Town and saw them climb up to sixth in the table.
Meanwhile, the result meant Crawley slipped to the bottom of the standings because of Yeovil Town's goalless draw with Coventry City at Huish Park, where home goalkeeper Jed Steer saved a Gary Madine penalty early in the second half.
The big game of the day at the bottom end of League 1 saw Colchester United win 2-0 against Leyton Orient thanks to goals from Gavin Massey and Kaspars Gorkss.
The U's finished the game with 10 men though after Elliott Hewitt was shown a straight red card in the 83rd minute.
Elsewhere, Crewe Alexandra climbed out of the bottom four at the expense of Orient with a 1-0 win at neighbours Port Vale.
Nicky Ajose saw a 25th-minute penalty saved by Vale goalkeeper Chris Neal but the striker made amends six minutes before half-time by scoring the only goal of the game to give the Railwaymen a valuable three points.