Hartlepool and Rushden promoted
By James Pearson
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Rushden ensured the Cherries' result was academic as they secured a 2-1 win over Carlisle United at Brunton Park.
Strikes from Stuart Wardley and Andy Edwards (pictured) put the visitors in control though Stuart Green pulled a goal back, but their chances of rescuing a point were ended following Mark Summerbell's dismissal.
Hartlepool were thankful The Tigers overcame Bournemouth at the KC Stadium as they crashed to a 4-0 defeat to Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park.
Pool have been out-of-sorts of late, and fell behind to a first-half goal from Paul Hayes just after the half hour mark.
With the visitors reeling, a late brace from Martin Carruthers and another from Alex Calvo-Garcia ensured an emphatic home victory for The Iron.
The day had begun so well for Bournemouth when Steve Fletcher fired them ahead after just five minutes, though it was one-way traffic the remainder of the way.
Jonathan Walters levelled matters after 21 minutes, and just moments later Stuart Elliott put the home side ahead.
Any hopes the visitors had of getting themselves back in the contest were extinguished when Elliott grabbed his second of the game second shortly after the interval.
Scunthorpe's victory was made even sweeter as the result moved them into the play-off places thanks to Torquay and York's losses to Southend and Lincoln City respectively.
A first-half Mark Rawle brace had The Gulls on the back foot, whilst a late Neil Jenkins effort ensured The Shrimpers earned maximum points in a 3-0 win.
York slipped out of the play-off picture following a 1-0 defeat against 10-man City at Sincil Bank.
Ben Futcher had the home side ahead just before the break, though they had to weather the dismissal of Chris Cornelly.
Bristol Rovers enhanced their chances of avoiding the drop with an impressive 3-1 victory over Cambridge United at the Memorial Ground.
Andy Rammell put The Gas in the driving seat with a brace with a late Vitalijs Astafjevs sealing the points, though there was still time for Dave Kitson to net a consolation from the penalty spot.
Exeter City will be ruing missed opportunities after being held at home by Oxford United in a result that does them little favours.
The Grecians bounced back from an Andy Crosby penalty to take a 2-1 first-half lead thanks to goals from Sean Devine and Justin Walker.
Just when the home faithful were starting to dream about three crucial points Andrew Scott popped up and netted Oxford a share of the spoils.
Wrexham moved four points clear of Bournemouth following a 2-0 win over Kidderminster Harriers in blustery conditions at Aggborough.
With the scores level in the first-half the match had to be stopped after part of the stadium roof blew off and landed on the pitch.
Once the damage was repaired Lee Trundle inflicted his own on the home side as his brace handed The Red Dragons the vital three points.
Leyton Orient ended their poor run of form with an impressive 3-1 triumph against Swansea City at Brisbane Road.
James Thomas had The Swans ahead early, though a brace from Chris Tate and another from Michael Turner ensured Orient secured the win.
A solitary Danny Whitaker goal after just 13 minutes was enough to lift Macclesfield over Darlington at Moss Rose.
Boston United virtually guaranteed Third Division survival following a crucial 2-1 against fellow strugglers Shrewsbury at Gay Meadow.
Goals either side of half-time from Peter Duffield and Neil Redfearn put The Pilgrims in control, though they were made to sweat on the points when Ryan Lowe pulled one back.
Thankfully for Boston that was the end of the scoring, and the three points moves them two places up to 19th and four points clear of The Shrews.
Click here for Nationwide Division Three match summaries:
Bristol Rovers 3-1 Cambridge United
Carlisle United 1-2 Rushden & Diamonds
Exeter City 2-2 Oxford United
Hull City 3-1 Bournemouth
Kidderminster Harriers 0-2 Wrexham
Leyton Orient 3-1 Swansea City
Lincoln City 1-0 York City
Macclesfield Town 1-0 Darlington
Scunthorpe United 4-0 Hartlepool United
Shrewsbury Town 1-2 Boston United
Southend United 3-0 Torquay United
Click here for the latest Third Division table.