Bournemouth moved a step closer to promotion from npower League 1 after their 3-1 win over Carlisle United.

The Cherries showed off their credentials with a comprehensive victory which saw goals for Steve Cook, Harry Arter and Brett Pitman, as Lee Miller's 50th minute goal for Carlisle proved only to be a consolation.

Bournemouth's return to the second tier after an absence of 23 years could be confirmed on Saturday night if third-placed Brentford fail to beat lowly Hartlepool United in the late kick-off.

Doncaster Rovers threw away their chance of sealing promotion after they were beaten 1-0 by Notts County. The defeat, in which Joss Labadie scored the only goal in the 14th minute, saw Doncaster slip into second place, one point behind Bournemouth.

At the other end of the table, Scunthorpe United boosted their slim chances of escaping from relegation with a 1-0 win at Milton Keynes Dons.

Karl Hawley scored for the Iron in the 41st minute to leave them with a mathematical chance of avoiding the drop if they can beat Swindon Town, Colchester United lose to Carlisle and they can engineer a three-goal swing in the last game of the season.

Portsmouth took the shine off Sheffield United's charge into the Play-Offs when they beat them 3-0 at Fratton Park. Shaun Cooper, David Connolly and Jed Wallace all scored in the first half to leave the Blades on the wrong end of a defeat, but they remain in sixth place with two games left to play.

Joe Edwards' first minute goal for Yeovil Town saw them claim a 1-0 win over Crewe Alexandra, while fellow promotion hopefuls Swindon beat 10-man Stevenage 3-0.

Jean Yves Mvoto's last-minute goal for Oldham Athletic saw them climb their way to safety as they beat Crawley Town 2-1. Matt Smith's 56th minute strike was cancelled out by Crawley defender Mark Connolly's header midway through the second half, but Mvoto had the final word as Oldham moved clear of the bottom three.

Elsewhere, Preston North End beat Tranmere Rovers 1-0 thanks to Jeffrey Monakana's first-half stoppage time goal, Walsall drew 1-1 with bottom side Bury, Leyton Orient beat Coventry City 1-0 thanks to Dean Cox's 45th minute strike and Colchester United drew 0-0 with Shrewsbury Town.

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