Sky Bet League Two leaders Lincoln returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory against Forest Green.
John Akinde’s eighth-minute opener was quickly cancelled out by Rovers midfielder Reece Brown, but Kellan Gordon struck the winner with 18 minutes left.
The Imps had gone three games without a win but their 11th victory of the campaign kept them two points ahead of in-form MK Dons, who thrashed Crawley 4-0.
Tranmere are up to fourth after an impressive 2-0 win against Exeter, who ended the game with 10 men after Dean Moxey’s late dismissal for two yellow cards.
James Norwood scored in each half for Rovers, who sit a point behind Colchester after the U’s beat Swindon 1-0 thanks to Sammie Szmodics’ strike.
Newport missed the chance to move into the top three as they were beaten 3-2 by Carlisle. Stevenage moved into the top seven after they came from behind twice to beat Oldham 3-2.
Bury remain two points behind Stevenage after they thrashed basement boys Macclesfield 4-1, with Neil Danns scoring twice in the opening 18 minutes before Jay O’Shea and Nicky Maynard also found the net.
Elsewhere, Cheltenham missed out on their first win in nine games as Tyler Walker’s stoppage-time equaliser earned Mansfield a 2-2 draw, while Cambridge secured a third straight victory after seeing off Grimsby 1-0.
Notts County ended their three-match losing run in the league but had to settle for a 2-2 draw at Port Vale, while Northampton were 2-0 winners against Crewe and Morecambe defeated Yeovil 2-1.
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