Banton broke the deadlock in style in first-half stoppage time in front of 13,251, League Two's biggest attendance of the season.
The on-loan Crystal Palace forward took his Plymouth tally to six goals with a superb angled strike from 20 yards that flew past City number one Artur Krysiak and in off the inside of the far post.
A brace from record signing Jamille Matt helped Fleetwood to a vital point in a 2-2 draw with table-topping Gillingham.
Martin Allen's side looked in for an easy ride when they took the lead after just three minutes. Nathan Pond gifted the ball to Callum Davies who set up Danny Kedwell to apply an expert finish for his 14th goal of the campaign.
But Fleetwood refused to roll over and equalised just after the half-hour mark. Junior Brown's cross was headed against the crossbar by Gareth Evans but Matt was perfectly placed to nod home the follow up.
The Gills regained the lead before the break, Charlie Allen with a free header past Scott Davies in the home goal.
Fleetwood were far from buried and pulled level again with just over 20 minutes remaining. Brown forced his way through a crowded area and Matt got the final touch.
York crawled off the bottom of the table after battling to a goalless draw at Bristol Rovers, but Plymouth's win means the Minstermen still find themselves three points off safety.
Burton Albion's bid for an automatic promotion slot suffered a major blow as they were beaten 1-0 at home by Chesterfield, for whom Drew Talbot scored the only goal after 52 minutes.