Stags up, Diamonds and Pool in Play-offs
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Mansfield have now climbed out of the lowest division in England, after a nine year stint in Division Three.
Cheltenham had started the game in third place, but they always feared that a trip to Home Park would be too much and so it proved for Steve Cotterill's side.
Canadian international Jason Bent had opened the scoring for Plymouth as early as the fourth minute and Graham Coughlan's second just 20 minutes later meant that Cheltenham would be relying on lowly Carlisle to cause an upset at Field Mill.
Unfortunately for The Robins, Mansfield put their recent bad form behind them and secured a 2-0 win to seal promotion to the Second Division.
Wayne Corden opened the scoring after five minutes and Andy White sealed Town's promotion with a second on the half-hour.
Rochdale maintained their form and fourth place with a 2-1 home win over Bristol Rovers. The Pirates had taken the lead after 29 minutes through loanee James Thomas, but goals from Paul Simpson (63) and Alan McLoughlin (89 pen) gave John Hollins's side victory.
With Halfiax already relegated and Mansfield sealing promotion, the only other outstanding issues was the last two play-off spots.
Rushden & Diamonds secured sixth place and the first spot with a comfortable 4-2 win at relegated Halifax.
Paul Harsley (23 pen) has given Town the lead, but four goals in 30 minutes sealed a play-off spot for The Diamonds as Onandi Lowe (46 & 49), Stuart Wardley (62) and Paul Hall (76) all found the net.
Ian Fitzpatrick scored a consolation with just five minutes left, with what will turn out to be Town's last league goal for at least 18 months.
The game was marred by two red cards with Town's player-coach Neil Redfearn (55) and Rushden's Andy Burgess (87) both receiving their marching orders.
Shrewsbury started the game in the final play-off spot in seventh, but a 2-0 defeat from promoted Luton Town (Greg Rioch own goal 36 & Steve Howard 90) meant that Hartlepool had the chance to overtake the Shropshire side.
The Teessiders travelled to Exeter and Graham Turner's men made no mistake with a 2-0 victory at St James's Park.
Gordon Watson opened the scoring after nine minutes and Eifion Williams sealed the win and play-off berth with his goal just before the hour mark.
Scunthorpe managed a 1-0 win over York, after Martin Carruthers grabbed a last minute winner - but Brian Laws's side missed stayed two points behind Hartlepool in eighth spot, with Shrewsbury dropping down two places to finish in ninth.
Hull and Lincoln played out a 1-1 draw at Boothferry Park with Lawrie Duffield's 45th minute goal equalising Jason Barnett's (12) opener.
Leyton Orient managed a 1-0 win at Aggborough over Kidderminster, with Dean Smith's (7) goal enough to seal the win.
Darlington finished over the season in good style with a 2-1 win at Oxford.
Jamie Brooks had opened the scoring after 57 minutes, but two goals in five minutes from Glenn Naylor (72) and Mark Sherran (77) gave The Quakers all three points.
Darlington's day was marred by the sending off of Mark Ford with ten minutes left.
Swansea squandered a 2-0 lead at The Vetch Field as Torquay came from behind to seal a draw.
Andrew Mumford opened the scoring after just 60 seconds and Kristian O'Leary doubled their advantage 16 minutes later.
However, Marcus Richardson (27) and Tony Bedeau (72) struck to give Torquay a share of the spoils.
The final game of the day and of the season saw a 0-0 at Moss Rose between 12th placed Southend and 13th placed Macclesfield.
The only noteworthy incident of the day in Cheshire was the sending off of Town's David Ridler after 45 minutes.
Click below for match summaries:
Exeter 0-2 Hartlepool
Halifax 2-4 Rushden
Hull 1-1 Lincoln
Kidderminster 0-1 Leyton Orient
Macclesfield 0-0 Southend
Mansfield 2-0 Carlisle
Oxford 1-2 Darlington
Plymouth 2-0 Cheltenham
Rochdale 2-1 Bristol Rovers
Scunthorpe 1-0 York
Shrewsbury 0-2 Luton
Swansea 2-2 Torquay