Sheffield United recorded a fourth successive win to leap to the top of npower League 1.

A single goal from Jamie Murphy proved enough for the Blades, fourth at the start of today's game, to overcome promotion rivals Bournemouth 1-0 at Dean Court. The result saw the Cherries slip from second to sixth but the battle remains tight with just two points separating them from the new leaders.

Swindon Town, who began the day top, slipped to second after being held 1-1 at Preston North End.

Adam Rooney claimed the equaliser for the Robins moments after coming off the bench, cancelling out Preston's first goal under new manager Simon Grayson, scored by Will Hayhurst.

Tranmere Rovers moved from sixth to third with a 5-1 win at Colchester United. Max Power, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, Ash Taylor, Cole Stockton and Michael O'Halloran - the latter from the penalty spot - were all on target in a convincing performance from the Wirral side. Colchester's solitary effort came from Magnus Okuonghae.

Two other promotion contenders, Doncaster Rovers and Yeovil Town, played out a 1-1 draw at the Keepmoat Stadium, while Portsmouth remain rooted to the foot of the table after a 1-0 defeat to Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park.

Jose Baxter scored for the Latics early on while Pompey's misery was compounded by the sending off of Sam Sodje.

James Poole and Jonathan Franks scored as fellow relegation battlers Hartlepool United secured a vital 2-1 win at Scunthorpe United. James Alabi scored in reply for the Iron, while Marvin Morgan grabbed the winner four minutes from time as Shrewsbury Town beat Stevenage 2-1 at New Meadow. The Shrews had trailed to a James Dunne goal but Paul Parry levelled.

Crewe Alexandra, three days after putting Coventry City out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, beat the Sky Blues again. Brentford and Walsall fought out a goalless draw at Griffin Park while Crawley Town won 1-0 at Leyton Orient with an early Billy Clarke strike.

Substitute Mark Beck scored an 85th-minute equaliser as Carlisle United snatched a 1-1 draw at home to Milton Keynes Dons, who had led through Adam Chicksen.