Reading took advantage of Derby's frail defence to all but secure their place in the Coca-Cola Championship play-offs and leave the Rams looking anxiously over their shoulders with a 2-0 victory.
Second-half goals from Dave Kitson and Sean Long gave the Royals only their second win in 10 Championship games to put them six points ahead of seventh-placed Swansea with just two games remaining, with Steve Coppell's side having a far superior goal difference.
On-loan striker Kitson and striker partner Long also had goals ruled out for offside in the first half, as Derby's disjointed defence struggled to contain them. Nigel Clough's side have now won only one in nine and are by no means assured of staying up, with third-bottom Norwich five points behind them with two games remaining.
Gabor Gyepes struck a minute from time to earn Cardiff an unlikely 2-2 draw against relegated Charlton.
The defender capped a stirring comeback for Dave Jones' side, who were 2-0 down with 10 minutes remaining, although their faint hopes of automatic promotion now look to have been extinguished.
Teenage star Jonjo Shelvey put Charlton ahead before the interval and Nicky Bailey doubled their advantage in the second half. But substitute Chris Burke pulled one back for City and in a frantic finale, Gyepes scrambled an equaliser to ease their bout of end-of-season jitters.
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