Brighton maintained their eight-point lead at the top of npower League One as two Ashley Barnes goals helped them to a 3-0 win at home to Exeter on Tuesday evening.
Adam El-Abd headed the opener in the seventh minute before a Barnes penalty on the half-hour mark gave them a two-goal cushion. And the 21-year-old summer signing from Plymouth sealed the points in the 77th minute with a cool finish.
Huddersfield won 2-0 at Sheffield Wednesday to remain Brighton's closest challengers in the second promotion spot. The Terriers also scored twice in the first half thanks to strikes from Graham Carey and Anthony Pilkington.
Colchester, Peterborough, Charlton and Southampton also recorded victories. Colchester came from two goals down to beat Leyton Orient 3-2 at home and stay third, level on points with Huddersfield.
An Alex Revell brace put Orient in control, but Matt Heath pulled one back and David Mooney levelled from the spot in the 32nd minute. Brian Wilson completed the turnaround with 10 minutes remaining.
Peterborough won 3-1 at Walsall with Ryan Bennett, Arron Davies and Kelvin Langmead on target to move up to fourth, while Charlton went fifth after also scoring three times away from home, goals from Johnnie Jackson, Joe Anyinsah and Paul Benson giving them a 3-0 win at Swindon.
Southampton moved into in the final play-off spot, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on target twice in their 4-0 win at home to struggling Dagenham and Redbridge.
Bournemouth dropped back to seventh, a point behind their south-coast rivals, as they were held 1-1 at Brentford.
Elsewhere, Carlisle won 2-0 at home to Tranmere, both sides missing penalties, Peter Leven's 87th-minute penalty earned MK Dons a 3-2 victory over Yeovil and Bradley Wright-Phillips scored twice as Plymouth defeated Bristol Rovers 3-1.
The matches between Hartlepool and Notts County and Rochdale and Oldham were abandoned because of water-logged pitches with both at 0-0.
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.