Posh had taken the lead in the 18th minute through Mclean who directed his shot past goalkeeper Alan Marriott and into the roof of the net.

Mclean doubled the advantage four minutes after half-time with a neat finish from inside the penalty area before Rendell got in on the act.

The on-loan Cambridge United striker latched on to Chris Whelpdale's long throw and then finished from a tight angle in the 56th minute before he grabbed his second 11 minutes later.

Darren Ferguson's side move three points ahead of second-placed MK Dons who did not play in the league because of their involvement in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final.

Darlington missed the chance to move into the automatic promotion places after they slipped to a 3-1 home defeat to Bradford.

Clark Keltie's 11th-minute penalty gave the Quakers the lead but Tom Penford (50), Barry Conlon (63) and Joe Colbeck (79) found the net for the Bantams while Richie Foran was sent off for the home side in the 83rd minute.

A brace from Jamie Ward (37, 46) and a goal from Steve Fletcher (79) kept Chesterfield's bid to reach the play-offs on track with a 3-0 win at Dagenham,

Fellow play-off contenders Stockport were held to a 0-0 draw by Chester at the Deva Stadium while Rochdale remain a point outside the zone after Lee Thorpe (76) and Adam Rundle (90) gave them a 2-0 win at Brentford.

Mansfield are seven points adrift of safety after they were held to 0-0 by Notts County who remain a place above the drop zone.

Bottom side Wrexham slipped to a 3-2 defeat to Barnet which left them eight points below the safety zone.

Ismail Yakubu (45), Anthony Thomas (51) and Nicky Nicolau (62) found the net for the Bees while Drewe Broughton (55) and Simon Spender (66) were on target for the Dragons.

Macclesfield now look almost certain to avoid the drop after a 3-1 win over 10-man Accrington gave them a 10-point cushion.

Shaun Brisley (15, 38) scored either side of Ian Craney's 31st minute strike while Aswad Thomas was shown a straight red in the 70th minute.

Nicky Adams (71) gave Bury a 1-0 win over Shrewsbury while Rotherham's poor form continued after they were thrashed 5-1 at Morecambe as Jon Newby helped himself to a hat-trick.

The former Liverpool striker (9, 18, 42) struck three times in the first half after Matthew Blinkhorn had broken the deadlock in the eighth minute.

Mark Hudson had pulled a goal back for the Millers in the 35th minute but Craig Stanley completed the rout in the 73rd minute.