Milton Keynes Dons joined Bristol City in winning automatic promotion from League One by thumping already-relegated Yeovil Town 5-1 on Sunday.
Preston North End dropped into the play-offs courtesy of their 1-0 defeat at Colchester United, while it was an equally dramatic final day of the season at the other end of the table.
With three relegation places still to be decided, League One’s strugglers jostled for position before Notts County, Crawley Town and Leyton Orient eventually fell through the trap door.
MK Dons’ task always looked straightforward and they put the pressure on Preston after seven minutes, when Carl Baker put them in front at home to Yeovil.
The hosts were 4-0 up by half-time and finished as 5-1 victors.
Preston simply needed a win to be sure of their place in the second tier next season, but fell short at Colchester, for whom three points ensured safety.
For a while it looked as though Colchester might be destined for League Two, with Chris Porter missing a penalty shortly before the hour mark.
With results elsewhere going against them, not even a win would have been enough to keep Orient’s heads above water – throwing away a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw with 10-man Swindon Town, who join Preston, Sheffield United and Chesterfield in the play-offs.
The latter two played out a 1-1 draw at Bramall Lane.
Crawley, who would have stayed up with three points, led in their clash with Coventry City before losing 2-1, while Notts County’s fate was sealed by three Gillingham goals that came after the 88th minute in their 3-1 loss.
Crewe Alexandra survived despite losing 1-0 at home to Bradford City.
Having hinted he might not show up for Rochdale’s end-of-season clash with former club Barnsley, manager Keith Hill might wish he had stayed away, with his side beaten 5-0 at Oakwell – all goals coming after the hour mark with the visitors down to 10.
Elsewhere, champions Bristol City signed off a successful season in style by storming to an 8-2 win against Walsall, Port Vale lost 2-1 at home to Fleetwood Town, Doncaster Rovers beat Scunthorpe United 5-2, and Oldham Athletic drew 1-1 with Peterborough United.
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