The leaders before the weekend, Walsall, fell to third place after falling to a shock 3-0 loss against Rochdale at the Banks’ Stadium.
A brace from Calvin Andrew and a strike by Andrew Henderson gave Sean O’Driscoll his first defeat in charge of the hosts.
Burton went top of League One with a 1-0 victory over Blackpool, despite being reduced to ten men when Robbie Weir was dismissed with his second booking before the break. Mark Duffy’s curling effort was enough for the hosts.
Gillingham also took advantage of Walsall’s loss, climbing to second as they won 3-0 against Bradford. Bradley Dack and Rory Donnelly put the hosts 2-0 up in the first ten minutes, before Doug Loft completed the scoring in the second half.
Coventry demolished bottom side Crewe 5-0 despite manager Tony Mowbray serving a one-match touchline ban. Adam Armstrong scored a first-half hat-trick which was added to by fellow Premier League loanee Jacob Murphy’s strike to put the Sky Blues 4-0 up at the interval. Murphy then grabbed his second with a simple finish five minutes from time.
Chesterfield climbed out of the relegation zone as they thrashed fellow strugglers Shrewsbury 7-1.
The hosts won their first game since October in convincing fashion. Goals from Lee Novak and a brace from Jay O’Shea, including a fine volley had put them 3-0 up at half-time. Zak Whitbread gave the visitors some hope, but a great effort by Rai Simons made it 4-1.
That was followed up by a Novak penalty, before Simons grabbed his second of the game. Novak completed his hat-trick to round off a fantastic day for Danny Wilson’s side.
Fleetwood won their first game in four attempts to move out of the relegation places with a 2-0 win over Bury. Ash Hunter opened the scoring with a low driven effort before Bobby Grant latched onto a fine cross by Antoni Sarcevic.
Colchester ended their nine-match losing streak with a late equaliser in the 1-1 draw with fellow strugglers Oldham. Rhys Murphy put the home side in the lead after a Mike Jones free-kick. But Chris Porter was on hand to notch the leveller in the 81st minute when David Cornell dropped the ball.
Peterborough beat Sheffield United 3-2 in a terrific match between the two play-off hopefuls. Conor Washington put the visitors ahead with his 14th of the season, but a Billy Sharp penalty made it 1-1 at the break. Erhun Oztumer restored Posh’s lead with a stunning long-range strike, before Jack Baldwin scored an own goal to make it 2-2. However, just a minute later, Martin Samuelsen made it 3-2 with another brilliant strike.
Doncaster won comfortably 3-0 at Southend. Strikes from Andy Williams, Nathan Tyson and Aaron Taylor-Sinclair sealed the three points as they closed the gap on the play-offs to just six points.
Barnsley won their second straight match with a 2-1 win over Millwall in a close encounter. Sam Winnall put the hosts in the lead with a fine header, but Steve Morison soon equalised for the Lions with a tap-in, before Adam Hammill skipped past two defenders and supplied a great finish.
Meanwhile, Scunthorpe and Wigan played out a 1-1 draw as the Latics remain in the play-offs. Luke Williams put the Iron ahead before Michael Jacobs equalised.
Player of the Weekend: Adam Armstrong (Coventry City)
Team of the Weekend: Chesterfield
Goal of the Weekend: Jay O’Shea (CHESTERFIELD vs Shrewsbury)