Southend consolidated their place at the top of League One with two late goals, whilst Swansea were the victims of conceding at the death as they missed the chance to go joint second.
Steve Tilson's Southend side stole a march on rivals Colchester, as they prepared for an FA Cup tie with Chelsea, by edging out Chesterfield in a seven-goal thriller at Saltergate.
The home side took the lead through Colin Larkin (27), but their cause was not helped by Janos Kovacs' dismissal for deliberate handball on 51 minutes.
Freddy Eastwood scored from the spot and added a second four minutes later, although Chesterfield restored their advantage thanks to two goals in three minutes from Derek Niven (63) and Kevan Hurst (66).
However, Southend continued to fight and striker Shaun Goater (74) drew them level before Eastwood claimed his hat-trick, and all three points, when he scored with seven minutes to go.
Swansea were looking to maintain their promotion charge but fell at the last to draw 2-2 with Scunthorpe.
The Iron took the lead after just six minutes through Billy Sharp before The Swans hit back with a penalty from Andy Robinson (24) and a strike from Leon Knight (28).
It was left to Stephen Torpey to break the visitors' hearts as he scored two minutes into injury time to salvage a draw for the hosts.
Swansea's slip-up allowed Huddersfield to move into third after a resounding 5-0 win over bottom side MK Dons at The Galpharm Stadium.
Martin McIntosh (19), Gary Taylor-Fletcher (24), Jonathan Worthington (36), David Mirfin (77) and Michael Collins (90) were all on the scoresheet for Peter Jackson's side.
Barnsley moved to within two points of Brentford, who were away losing to Charlton in the FA Cup, after a Paul Heckingbottom strike gave them a 1-0 win at Tranmere.
Nottingham Forest started the post-Gary Megson era with a 2-0 win over Port Vale that lifts them to tenth in the league.
Kris Commons (40) grabbed the first for the visitors before Nathan Tyson struck deep into injury time to confirm the win for joint caretakers Ian McParland and Frank Barlow.
Fellow crisis club Rotherham shrugged off their dire financial situation to triumph 3-2 over Swindon.
A five-minute burst saw goals from Jamie Cureton (20) and Sean O'Hanlon (25) sandwich a strike from Martin Butler (22) for Alan Knill's men.
However, Rotherham kicked on and further strikes from Shaun Barker (31) and Butler again (49) gave them a valuable three points.
At the other end of the table Oldham moved into seventh place as goals from Luke Beckett (72) and Paul Warne (74) gave them a 2-0 win over Walsall at The Bescot Stadium.
Doncaster are still a further four points behind after strikes from on-loan Middlesbrough defender David Wheater (27) and a penalty from Ross McCormack (48) saw them triumph 2-0 over Gillingham.
Bradford could have drawn level with Nottingham Forest in tenth but drew 1-1 at home to Bristol City after defender David Wetherall (52) cancelled out Stephen Brooker's opener (16) for the visitors.
There was also a 1-1 draw at Dean Court as relegation threatened Blackpool responded to Brett Pitman's (4) goal for Bournemouth when John Murphy struck just after the hour mark.
Click below for individual match summaries:
Bournemouth 1-1 Blackpool
Bradford 1-1 Bristol City
Chesterfield 3-4 Southend
Doncaster 2-0 Gillingham
Huddersfield 5-0 MK Dons
Port Vale 0-2 Nottingham Forest
Scunthorpe 2-2 Swansea
Swindon 2-3 Rotherham
Tranmere 0-1 Barnsley
Walsall 0-2 Oldham