Cheltenham missed the chance to replace Southend at the npower League Two summit, losing to rivals Torquay, who now join the pair on 56 points.
Only goal difference separates the trio after Ian Morris' 33rd-minute goal gave the visitors victory at Whaddon Road.
Swindon and Crawley lie level, just one point shy of the pace-setters, after Paolo Di Canio's side hammered their opponents 3-0.
Luke Rooney opened the scoring, before second-half goals from Billy Bodin and Paul Benson sealed the win.
Shrewsbury also stayed in touch with the leading pack, James Collins with an 86th-minute winner against Bristol Rovers to put them just two points off top spot in sixth place.
Oxford are eight points back in seventh but still managed a 2-1 victory over Dagenham as Oli Johnson and James Constable scored either side of Mark Arber's effort.
Bottom club Northampton moved level on points with Dagenham after they managed a 1-0 win over AFC Wimbledon, Luke Guttridge with the winner nine minutes from time. Plymouth moved out of the bottom two thanks to a goalless draw against visiting Barnet.
Aldershot claimed a 1-0 home victory over 10-man Hereford, Guy Madjo the scorer before Michael Townsend's red card, while Rotherham leapt above Accrington in eighth after Shaun Harrad scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot.
Andrew Davies struck in injury time to secure a 1-1 draw for Bradford against Port Vale, who went ahead through Louis Dodds.
Crewe got the better of Burton in a five-goal thriller the Alexandra Stadium. Dean Shelley, Ashley Westwood and Luke Murphy scored the for the victors, while Callum Driver and Calvin Zola notched for Albion. Danny Carlton's 56th-minute effort gave Morecambe a 1-0 success over Macclesfield.