Gary Rowett, who turned down the chance to speak to Blackpool last week, saw his table-topping Burton Albion side beaten 3-0 by AFC Wimbledon.
Matt Tubbs set the London club on their way with his eighth goal of the season before the break, and strike partner Adebayo Akinfenwa opened his account for Wimbledon with a second-half double.
The only downside for the hosts was the dismissal of talisman Tubbs for a second booking late on.
Exeter fought back from a goal down to win 2-1 at Cambridge United as Oxford beat 10-man Accrington Stanley 3-1 to leave Carlisle United stranded at the foot of the table.
Ryan Bird put Cambridge ahead but Paul Tisdale's team showed excellent character to come storming back and secure a deserved win courtesy of goals in either half from Graham Cummins and Alex Nicholls.
Manager-less Carlisle prop up the division following a 1-0 loss at Shrewsbury Town, Jermaine Grandison netting the winner and Paul Thirlwell's late red compounding the visitors' woes.
Fellow north-east club Hartlepool United had an even worse time of it at Northampton Town as Colin Cooper's men were thrashed 5-1.
Charlie Wyke put Hartlepool 1-0 up in the first minute at Sixfields Stadium, but it was all downhill from there as Marc Richards and Kaid Mohamed grabbed two apiece and Lawson D'Ath also got in on the act.
Bury closed the gap at the top to two points with a 2-1 win over Stevenage, while the season's biggest surprise package Wycombe Wanderers are also on 17 points following a 1-0 win at Plymouth Argyle.
Portsmouth snapped a three-game losing streak to beat Dagenham and Redbridge 3-0, with the visitors having Andre Boucaud sent off when the deficit was just one.
There was also a dismissal in Cheltenham Town's 1-0 home loss to Southend United, while Mansfield Town's Alex Fisher scored in the last minute to secure a 1-0 win over Morecambe.
Elsewhere, Tranmere Rovers versus Newport County, and Luton Town against York City both ended goalless.
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