Nottingham Forest moved level on points with Newcastle at the top of the Coca-Cola Championship with a thumping 5-0 win over QPR at the City Ground.
Billy Davies' in-form side knew a six-goal victory would send them above the Magpies and, although they could not quite manage that, they certainly proved their promotion credentials.
Robert Earnshaw opened the scoring in the 18th minute, doubled the lead three minutes later and then won a penalty in the 32nd minute that was converted by Dexter Blackstock. Chris Cohen added the fourth four minutes after half-time and James Perch completed the scoring (78).
Forest moved five points clear of West Brom in third after the Baggies salvaged a 1-1 draw with Ipswich.
Grant Leadbitter netted a penalty for the hosts in the 68th minute but Chris Brunt equalised three minutes into added time.
Cardiff climbed to fourth after a 6-0 thrashing of Bristol City at Ashton Gate. Peter Whittingham scored his 15th league goal of the season in the 19th minute and Ross McCormack (23) and Michael Chopra (24) then netted within a minute of each other.
A Liam Fontaine own goal two minutes before half-time made it four and Chopra (46) and McCormack (57) each grabbed their second of the night before City finally stopped the rot in the final half an hour.
Swansea dropped below their south Wales neighbours after being held to a 0-0 draw by Coventry at the Liberty Stadium and they are now only a point above Sheffield United, who beat Reading 3-0.
The Royals again failed to replicate their FA Cup form in the league as goals from Jonathan Fortune (12), Richard Cresswell (42) and Chris Morgan (80) earned the Blades a comfortable victory.
Gylfi Sigurdsson wasted a chance to draw Reading level in the 39th minute when he missed a penalty after Morgan had fouled Shane Long.
Leicester's play-off challenge faltered again as they were beaten 1-0 by Barnsley, for whom Hugo Colace netted 13 minutes from time.
Darren Ferguson's first return to Peterborough with Preston ended happily for the former Posh boss as Neil Mellor's 34th-minute strike earned him a first Lilywhites victory.
Middlesbrough were impressive 4-1 winners at Doncaster. Adam Johnson (30) and Jonathan Franks (45) put the visitors two up at the break and Leroy Lita (66) made sure of the points.
Jordon Mutch grabbed a late consolation (83) but there was still time for Johnson to net his second of the night in injury time.
Derby's miserable season continued as they were beaten 1-0 by fellow strugglers Plymouth, with Jamie Mackie scoring in the 82nd minute.
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