Fleetwood Town claimed the League Two top spot with a 4-1 home victory over Newport County on Saturday.
Graham Alexander's men offered a clear signal of their early-season promotion aspirations, with their triumph at Highbury Stadium coming courtesy of a Steven Schumacher hat-trick, with two of his goals coming from the penalty spot.
The 29-year-old former Everton midfielder made no mistake to capitalise after the visitors had Robbie Willmott sent off after just three minutes for blocking Schumacher's goal-bound effort with his hand.
He netted again from open play three minutes after the break before a second from the spot 11 minutes later.
Chris Zebroski gave the away side a glimmer of hope in the 71st minute, also from the penalty spot, before David Ball ensured the game was well and truly buried with 12 minutes to play.
Fleetwood's victory was made even better by the failure of teams around them to win, with Oxford United and Rochdale falling to home defeats against Bristol Rovers and AFC Wimbledon respectively.
Oxford's 1-0 loss came as John-Joe O'Toole scored a 71st-minute penalty, while Rochdale's match with AFC Wimbledon was poised at 1-1 when a 25-minute floodlight failure interrupted proceedings.
The break served the visitors well, as they netted through Andy Frampton late on to win 2-1.
Chesterfield and Morecambe kept up their charge to ensure that only three points separate the top five, with Paul Cook's men earning a 1-1 draw with Scunthorpe while Ryan Williams found the back of the net to see Morecambe beat 10-man Burton Albion 1-0, with the hosts having Shane Cansdell-Sherriff sent off.
At the bottom, Northampton Town and Bury were both defeated, beaten by Devon duo Plymouth Argyle and Torquay United respectively.
Northampton have now been beaten in three of their last five fixtures, but they were unlucky not to claim a draw as Lewis Alessandra rendered their tenacious defensive showing worthless with a late winner.
Torquay, meanwhile, ended their six-game winless run with a 3-1 triumph at Gigg Lane courtesy of a brace from Paul McCallum that added to Aaron Downes' 18th-minute effort.
Saturday's action also saw Accrington Stanley and Cheltenham both take a point from their 1-1 and 2-2 draws with Wycombe Wanderers and York City respectively.
Hartlepool and Portsmouth both won, with Colin Cooper's men sealing their 2-1 victory over Dagenham and Redbridge with a late effort from Andy Monkhouse while Portsmouth overcame Exeter City 3-2.
|8||S. Schumacher||4' 48' 59'|
|Coach: G. Alexander|
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