Jo Kuffour and Joe Partington struck dramatic late goals to give Bournemouth a 2-1 win over Swansea as Roberto Martinez's men missed the chance to clinch automatic promotion to the Coca-Cola Championship.
The League One leaders broke the deadlock in the 50th minute when Andy Robinson headed a Thomas Butler cross past Cherries goalkeeper David Forde.
But Bournemouth refused to give up and Partington equalised in the 90th minute after he turned home a Warren Cummings corner.
Two minutes later Kuffour slammed home a Brett Pitman cross from inside the six-yard box to give his side the three points which keeps their hopes of avoiding the drop alive.
Second-placed Carlisle closed the gap on Swansea to four points with a 2-1 win over Yeovil thanks to an injury-time strike from Scott Dobie.
Peter Murphy (77) had cancelled out Marcus Stewart's 38th-minute opening goal before Dobie netted in the second minute of injury time to give the Cumbrians the points.
Third-placed Doncaster had defender Matthew Mills sent off as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Huddersfield.
Robbie Williams' seventh-minute opening goal was cancelled out by Gareth Taylor in the 52nd minute before Mills was shown a straight red card for a foul on Chris Brandon.
Andy Holdsworth (61) gave the Terriers the lead for the second time in the game but Paul Green gave his side a share of the spoils with an 84th-minute equaliser.
A brace from Nottingham Forest striker Junior Agogo (26, 47) helped his side to a 3-1 win over Cheltenham which kept their bid to reach the play-offs on track.
Luke Chambers (45) and Steven Gillespie (20) were also on the scoresheet.
Leeds moved into the play-off places after Bradley Johnson (16) and Jermaine Beckford (50) gave them a 2-0 away win over Leyton Orient.
Gary McAllister's outfit move up to sixth at the expense of Tranmere, who suffered a 2-1 defeat to Walsall at the Bescot Stadium.
The Wirral side had taken a third-minute lead through Jennison Myrie-Williams but then had Ben Chorley sent off for a foul on Kevin Betsy inside the penalty area.
Tommy Mooney missed the resulting spot-kick but Walsall took advantage of the extra man as Alassane N'Dour (45) and Ishmel Demontagnac (59) secured the points.
Port Vale striker Marc Richards (12, 19) helped himself to two goals to keep the Staffordshire club's slim hopes of avoiding relegation alive with a 3-2 away win over Brighton.
Dean Cox (26) and Glenn Murray (90) had pulled goals back but Danny Whitaker (87) ensured Vale left with the points.
Gillingham missed the chance to climb out of the drop zone after they battled to a 1-1 draw against fellow strugglers Millwall after Nicky Southall's 26th-minute opener was equalised by Paul Robinson (75).
The Gills remain in the relegation places on goal difference after they moved level on points with Crewe who suffered a 3-1 home defeat to Southend.
Lee Barnard (2, 80) scored either side of James Walker's 19th-minute strike for the visitors while Nicky Maynard (74) was on target for the Railwaymen for whom Gary Roberts and Kenny Lunt both missed penalties.
A 34th-minute penalty from Poul Hubertz and a goal from Alex Dyer (41) gave Northampton a 2-1 win over Luton who netted a late consolation through Sam Parkin.
Goals from Simon Cox (53, 70) and Lee Peacock (49) gave Swindon a 3-0 win over Oldham while Bristol Rovers were held to a goalless draw by Hartlepool.