Preston remain in pole position to join champions Bristol City in the second tier next season as they stay a point ahead of the Dons after a 3-1 win at Notts County, who are staring relegation in the face.
First-half goals from Jermaine Beckford and Joe Garner set up the success, before James Spencer got the Magpies right back in it.
The visitors were wobbling, but Beckford’s second sealed it in the final 10 minutes to leave County two points adrift of safety with two games left.
MK Dons are breathing down Preston’s neck after a 3-0 win over Doncaster. Karl Robinson’s men were made to wait until well into the second half as Dean Bowditch’s fluke and Carl Baker’s double secured the spoils.
But Swindon look destined for the play-offs after only managing a 3-3 draw with Walsall.
The Robins will have to win their remaining three games and hope that Preston and the Dons lose their last two to have any chance of gatecrashing the top two.
Goals from Kieron Morris and Jordy Hiwula put the Saddlers two to the good only for two quickfire penalties from Ben Gladwin to bring Swindon level. Romaine Sawyers’ effort 16 minutes from time looked to be decisive but Jordan Turnbull levelled late on for the Robins.
Rochdale kept their faint play-off hopes alive with a 1-0 win over Leyton Orient thanks to Ian Henderson’s winner on 66 minutes which leaves the O’s in dire straits at the other end of the table two points from safety.
Dale are five points adrift of the top six with two games to play and need Chesterfield or Sheffield United to drop points to get in the play-offs.
Elsewhere, Scunthorpe virtually guaranteed their third-tier status after a 1-1 draw at home to Bradford.
Gary McSheffrey put the Irons ahead midway through the first half only for Billy Clarke to cancel it out just after the hour.
However, Mark Robins’ men move six points clear of the bottom four with two games left and a superior goal difference to those teams below them.