Bristol City took another step towards a return to the Sky Bet Championship with victory at relegation-threatened Crawley Town.The Robins retained their 10-point lead at the top of the League 1 table with a 2-1 win in West Sussex thanks to headed goals from Aden Flint and Luke Ayling.
Ayling, who also scored the winning goal in the reverse fixture at Ashton Gate in December, sealed a fourth straight success after Anthony Wordsworth had equalised for the hosts, who remain two points from safety and have lost no ground in the fight for survival.
The two teams immediately behind Bristol at the beginning of the day slugged it out at stadiummk as second-placed Preston North End inflicted a third successive defeat on MK Dons.
Quickfire goals from Callum Robinson and Joe Garner just before the midway point of the second half gave North End a 2-0 win and extended their unbeaten run to seven league games.
Defeat for the Dons saw them slip down to fourth in the table after Swindon Town leapfrogged the Milton Keynes club with a 3-0 home victory against Notts County, who had Liam Noble sent off with five minutes remaining.
All the goals at the County Ground came in the second half with John Swift, Andy Williams and Harry Toffolo on the score sheet for Mark Cooper's men.
There was a surprise home defeat for Sheffield United as Josh Morris and Nick Haughton netted in Fleetwood Town's 2-1 success at Bramall Lane. Matty Done reduced the Blades' deficit.
Doncaster Rovers were unable to capitalise on their Yorkshire rivals' slip up as they were held to a 1-1 draw at improving Gillingham. Harry Forrester's free-kick put Rovers in front but John Marquis headed the hosts level.
Barnsley and Peterborough United are both level on points with sixth-placed Doncaster after home victories.
Two goals from George Waring and another from Sam Winnall saw Barnsley beat Walsall 3-0 while a fortunate goal by Jon Taylor gave Peterborough, who had Marcus Maddison sent off in injury-time, a 1-0 win against struggling Leyton Orient.
Bottom club Yeovil Town were the only side to win any points in the bottom six after James Hayter's stoppage-time strike gave them a 2-1 win against Oldham Athletic, who had Brian Wilson sent off.
Colchester United remain in the bottom four after a 2-1 defeat at Rochdale. Rhys Bennett and Ian Henderson struck to put the hosts in control before Chris Porter reduced the U's arrears with a penalty.
Coventry City remain in trouble after a 3-2 home loss to Port Vale, who came from behind to keep their Play-Off hopes alive.
Jim O'Brien put the Sky Blues ahead but goals from Tom Pope and Mark Marshall turned the game on its head before half-time. Substitute Sanmi Odelusi equalised for the hosts but a Michael O'Connor free-kick won it for Vale.
Two goals in as many minutes from Greg Leigh and Marcus Haber shortly after half-time saw Crewe Alexandra beat Scunthorpe United 2-0 at Gresty Road.