Paul Wotton put them ahead in the 22nd minute and David Norris doubled the lead five minutes before the break to ensure Argyleextended their lead to four points.
Experienced striker Kevin Gallen salvaged a point for QPR with a last-minute equaliser at lowly Notts County. The second-placed side led twice through Steve Palmer and an Ian Richardson own goal, after Paul Heffernan had netted a sixth-minute equaliser for County, but found themselves trailing after Heffernan completed his hat-trick. with strikes in the 28th and 72nd minutes.
Third-placed Barnsley closed the gap to two points after they came from behind to beat Hartlepool 2-1. Ritchie Humphreys had given the home side a 22nd-minute lead but Kevin Betsy (45 & 69) turned the result around.
Brighton were the other winners in the top five as they coasted to a 4-0 victory at home to nine-man Wycombe with John Piercy (two), Richard Carpenter and Chris McPhee all scoring. The visitors had Roger Johnson, in the 16th minute, and Mark Rogers, in the 65th, sent off and to compound their misery they went bottom after Chesterfield’s 2-1 victory at home to Peterborough.
Richard Logan (13) gave the visitors the lead but Marvin Robinson (48) and Glynn Hurst (75) turned things around for the Spireites. Substitute Leroy Lita came off the bench to score twice against Brentford, who had been leading through Ben May (63), and lift Bristol City to fifth.
Colchester could not hold on to the lead given to them by Scott McGleish in the 16th minute and Lee Mansell (28) earned a point for Luton. Stephen Brooker pounced in the 89th minute to give Port Vale victory at Sheffield Wednesday. The hosts’ Mark Robins (21) and Adrian Littlejohn (25) had traded goals before Graeme Lee put Wednesday 2-1 up at half-time.
However, Billy Paynter levelled things up nine minutes into the second half and Brooker’s late intervention snatched all three points. Rushden & Diamonds’ striker Onandi Lowe struck twice against Swindon.
Blackpool moved up to 10th after a 2-1 success at home to TranmerePaul Barrett’s 88th-minute solitary goal gave Wrexham victory at Stockport, while an entertaining game at Blundell Park finished 3-3 between Grimsby and Oldham.