Carlisle retained top spot in Sky Bet League Two despite not playing on Saturday, as wins proved elusive for their closest challengers.
Newport, Cambridge, Forest Green and Salford all had an opportunity to climb above the Cumbrians, but each emerged from the day’s action with only a single point.
The Exiles were unable to snap their winless run as a goalless draw with fellow promotion contenders Salford at Rodney Parade extended it to five matches.
Their efforts were hampered by a straight red card for Josh Sheehan after a clumsy lunge on Ashley Hunter after 58 minutes.
Forest Green had looked set to end the day at the summit after Nicky Cadden’s 20th-minute free-kick against Port Vale found the net. However, Devante Rodney fired in off the post 14 minutes from time to earn the visitors a 1-1 draw.
Cambridge briefly sat at the top of the table after Harvey Knibbs gave them a 12th-minute lead at Colchester, steering home after the ball was parried into his path.
But the home side were level by half-time thanks to a Greg Taylor own goal – the defender deflecting in Callum Harriott’s strike – and the game ended 1-1.
Cheltenham also failed to make up significant ground as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Bolton.
Alfie May scored nine minutes into the second half, reacting quickest after Matt Gilks had kept out Will Boyle’s header, but Eoin Doyle’s close-range finish earned the hosts a point late on.
An 88th-minute own goal from Nathaniel Knight-Percival helped Leyton Orient leapfrog Morecambe, with Lee Angol making it a 2-0 home win in stoppage time.
Barrow were the big winners at the foot of the table, picking up a 1-0 win over fellow strugglers Scunthorpe.
Josh Kay’s 58th-minute goal gave the home side the lead, before Scunthorpe’s Junior Brown was sent off late on for a second bookable offence.
Barrow’s celebrations did not last long, however, with winger Luke James stretchered off in a neck brace after a horrendous clash of heads with Jordan Clarke in the second half.
The result lifted Barrow to 20th, two points clear of the relegation zone, with Stevenage held to a goalless home draw by Tranmere while bottom two Grimsby and Southend also played out a stalemate at Blundell Park.
In the day’s remaining fixture, Davis Keillor-Dunn scored 15 minutes from the end for Oldham to cancel out Zak Jules’ opener at Walsall.