Port Vale stuck five past Stockport at Edgeley Park to move back to the summit of npower League Two as previous leaders Chesterfield slumped to a surprise defeat at home to Oxford.
Marc Richards scored a pair of penalties and further goals came from Sean Rigg, Jake Speight and Justin Richards as Vale eased to a 5-0 win over struggling County, who had Mansour Assoumani sent off for conceding the first spot-kick.
Meanwhile the Spireites were stunned by their lowly visitors, who ended a run of five consecutive defeats to steal a 2-1 win. Goals from Tom Craddock and Steven MacLean cancelled out an early effort from Ian Morris.
Bury matched Vale in the goalscoring stakes as they stayed third with an identical 5-0 thrashing of Lincoln at Sincil Bank. Nicholas Ajose and Ryan Lowe each hit a brace after Andy Haworth began the rout with his 10th-minute opener.
And fourth-placed Shrewsbury also went to town with a 4-0 win over rock-bottom Hereford, Mark Wright leading the way with a hat-trick and Shane Cansdell-Sherriff also scoring. The Bulls had defender Ryan Green sent off late on.
Second from bottom Barnet missed the chance to wriggle out of the drop zone despite Kevin Gallen's 31st-minute opener against fellow strugglers Gillingham. Chris Whelpdale and Charlie Lee scored as the Gills bounced back for a 2-1 win.
Rotherham lost ground on the pace-setters after a frustrating 2-2 home draw with lowly Northampton. Ryan Taylor and Marcus Marshall gave the Millers a 2-0 lead inside 19 minutes but Abdul Osman and Andrew Holt struck back quickly.
Nicky Wroe scored twice for Torquay, who were impressive 3-1 winners at Wycombe despite falling behind to Stuart Beavon's seventh-minute opener. Elliot Benyon secured the Gulls' win two minutes from time.
Joshua Low and Brian Smikle scored in Cheltenham's 2-0 win at Macclesfield but Stevenage missed the chance to gain ground as Barry Corr struck an 84th-minute equaliser for Southend in a 1-1 draw. Southend's Peter Gilbert was dismissed in the last minute.
Two goals from Wade Small helped Aldershot to a 2-1 win at Burton Albion while Bradford and Accrington Stanley drew 1-1 after Bantams forward Jason Price cancelled out Phil Edwards' penalty.
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