Mansfield Town failed to spoil Doncaster Rovers’ promotion party, as they went down 1-0 at the Keepmoat.
Victory for Steve Evans’ men at the runaway leaders would have put the Stags within touching distance of the coveted top seven.
However, defeat leaves them four points off the play-off spots, with just five games remaining.
The only way Darren Ferguson’s dominant side would fail to secure their immediate return to League One was if Stevenage beat Colchester, and that was neigh on impossible as they went 4-0 down by half time.
But they did not have to rely on other results as Tommy Rowe snapped up the points in the second half.
Rovers had the better chances before the interval, but they could not quite beat impressive shot-stopper Jake Kean.
Early on Kean had to have his wits about him to deny a header from English football’s most prolific frontman, John Marquis.
Just after the half hour mark Malvind Benning threw himself in front of Rowe’s goal-bound strike.
The Stags earned themselves a few free kicks in decent areas, but the quality of the delivery just was not there.
On the stroke of half time Andy Williams missed a great chance for the hosts as he headed over the bar.
After helping keep the game goalless down one end, Benning almost found the breakthrough as he effort marginally flew past the top corner.
On the hour keeper Kean snuffed out the danger from substitute’s James Coppinger’s cross.
With 18 minutes left Kean pulled off the best save of the game to keep Rowe’s fizzing daisy-cutter at bay.
A couple of minutes later Kean was finally beaten as Rowe flicked Coppinger’s header past Kean.
The Stags almost immediately levelled as the hosts cleared Danny Rose’s effort off the line after Matt Green’s overhead kick.
Late on Ben Whiteman’s effort curled just wide as the Stags missed out on a share of the spoils.
Doncaster Rovers: Lawlor, Alcock, Baudry, Butler, Mason (Wright 90+5), McCullough, Blair, Rowe, McSheffrey (Coppinger, 59), Marquis, Williams (May, 59).
Unused subs: Marosi, Sinclair, Middleton, Grant.
Mansfield Town: Kean, Bennett, Pearce, Taft, Benning, MacDonald (Hamilton, 69), Whiteman, Byrom, Green, Rose (Potter, 87), Coulthirst.
Unused subs: Jensen, Collins, McGuire, Howkins, Arquin.
Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire)
Attendance: 9,903 (2,010)