Pompey’s chances of finishing runners-up in League Two were delivered a blow with second-placed Plymouth winning 1-0 at leaders Doncaster.
The Blues’ 2-1 defeat of Newport County yesterday cut the gap between themselves and the Pilgrims to just four points for a short while.
But Plymouth produced a superb display to scalp Doncaster’s unbeaten home record this season on Sunday.
Sonny Bradley’s 50th minute header from six yards was enough to seal the three points for the visitors.
It restored the Pilgrims seven-point advantage over Pompey with seven games left.
Derek Adams’ men also closed the gap at the summit to just three points.
Stevenage, who beat Pompey 3-0 last weekend, slipped six points behind Paul Cook’s team with a goalless draw at Cambridge as none of the sides in the play-off places won.
Luton lost 2-1 at Colchester with Chris Porter scoring both goals for the hosts before Isaac Vassell replied in injury time. The Essex side are now just two points shy of the top seven.
Carlisle’s loss of form continued with a 2-0 home defeat to Crewe.
Callum Cooke and Jordan Bowery netted either side of Shaun Miller’s 51st-minute red card for the hosts, whose winless streak now consists of six defeats in seven matches.
Their miserable run has now seen the Cumbrians drop out of the play-off spots after Exeter’s thrilling comeback in a 3-3 draw with derby rivals Yeovil, who led 3-0 with 88 minutes on the clock courtesy of goals from Francois Zoko, Shayon Harrison and Alex Lacey.
However, David Wheeler’s strike and injury time efforts from Reuben Reid and Troy Brown rescued an unlikely point for the Grecians.
Blackpool capitalised on a bad day for the play-off contenders by moving up to fifth with a 2-1 home win over Hartlepool.
Lewis Alessandra put Pools ahead but Bright Samuel and Kyle Vassell turned the game around.
Mansfield are just a point outside the play-off places after winning 3-1 at Morecambe.
Danny Rose scored either side of Paul Mullin’s equaliser for the hosts before Ben Whiteman gave the Stags a two-goal cushion before half-time.
At the other end of the table, Leyton Orient stay bottom after losing 3-0 at Crawley.
First-half goals from James Collins, Joe McNerney and Enzio Boldewijn gave the Reds a first win in seven matches.
Cheltenham’s 3-1 loss at Barnet keeps them hovering just above danger, six points ahead of Newport.
Danny Wright put Cheltenham ahead at The Hive but the Bees scored three times in 10 minutes late in the game through Curtis Weston and John Akinde (2).
Shola Ameobi’s 27th-minute strike moved Notts County further away from trouble with a 1-0 win at Wycombe while Accrington and Grimsby drew 1-1, with Sean McConville’s last-minute free-kick cancelling out Akwasi Asante’s opener for the Mariners.