Birmingham and Reading both failed to take full advantage of leaders Wolves not playing by dropping points on Sunday in their Coca-Cola Championship games.
With Wolves not in action until Monday, the Blues fought out a 0-0 draw at St Andrews with Swansea which saw David Murphy sent off for the home side in the second half after two bookable offences.
And second-placed Reading could only manage a draw at Southampton. The south coast side took the lead with just 15 minutes remaining - David McGoldrick drilling the ball home from 18 yards. But Shane Long's header rescued a point and the result meant Southampton drop into the relegation zone.
The shock of the day was at Doncaster where the South Yorkshire side beat fifth-placed Burnley 2-1.
A Clarke Carlisle howler in the 37th minute presented James Coppinger with a tap-in before Clarets captain Steven Caldwell was dismissed for a rash challenge on Richard Wellens in the penalty area and Brian Stock swept home the 40th-minute spot-kick.
Martin Paterson (62) scored for the visitors, ensuring a nervous end to the game for the Doncaster fans.
Managerless Nottingham Forest gave their relegation battle a boost, defeating fellow strugglers Norwich to move out of the bottom three. Matt Thornhill and Lewis McGugan gave Forest a two-goal lead, before Ian Breckin's 74th-minute own goal gave Norwich hope.
Former Canaries striker Robert Earnshaw made all three points safe with a goal in the final minute, before Joe Garner's own goal in injury-time.
Jamie Cureton's 17th-minute strike looked to have put a dent in Preston's play-off push. But the Barnsley midfielder's lethal finish was cancelled out by Ross Wallace's free-kick in the 72nd minute.
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