Rickie Lambert's 16th goal of the season gave Southampton a 3-1 win at south coast rivals Bournemouth in npower League One.
The home side came into the clash in second place and opened the scoring in the sixth minute through on-loan forward Lauri Dalla Valle's half-volley.
Southampton levelled five minutes later through Lee Barnard, before captain Dean Hammond slotted the ball past Shwan Jalal with less than 20 minutes remaining.
Lambert made the game safe two minutes from time when he smashed home a 25-yard free-kick, before Saints had substitute Oscar Gobern sent off for a two-footed challenge on Shaun Cooper.
Glenn Murray, meanwhile, grabbed his 18th goal of the season as table-toppers Brighton recorded their fourth win in a row with a 2-0 home victory over Tranmere.
West Brom loanee Chris Wood had given the hosts the advantage with a second-half penalty, before Murray produced a moment of magic to clinch the points.
The result of the day undoubtedly came at London Road, where Peterborough thrashed 10-man Carlisle 6-0.
George Boyd's brace was complemented by efforts from Tommy Rowe, Craig Mackail-Smith, Ryan Bennett and David Ball against the Cumbrians, who had Liam Cooper sent off for two bookable offences.
Sam Baldock struck a fine second-half hat-trick as MK Dons maintained their good form with a 3-1 victory at Colchester, who had gone in at half-time ahead thanks to Steven Gillespie's strike.
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