Brighton reclaimed their place at the top of the Sky Bet Championship with a 3-1 win over Birmingham.
Glenn Murray's 20th goal of the season, in the second minute, paved the way for Chris Hughton's men to bounce back in style from last week's defeat at Leeds.
Murray was also involved when the Seagulls doubled their lead three minutes into the second half through Tomer Hemed's close-range header.
Uwe Hunemeier made it 3-0 to the hosts in the 54th minute before Che Adams hit a late consolation for the struggling Blues.
Yann Kermorgant scored twice as Reading moved up to third place with a 3-1 win over relegation-threatened Blackburn.
Kermorgant scored twice in the first half-hour to maintain the Royals' recent momentum before Elliott Bennett gave the visitors hope with a fine 77th-minute strike.
Garath McCleary responded almost immediately with Reading's third to leave Rovers still one point adrift of safety.
It was another bad night for play-off hopefuls Leeds, who slumped to their second defeat in four days with a 2-0 reverse at Brentford.
Romaine Sawyers opened the scoring on 19 minutes and Lasse Vibe capitalised on an error by Leeds keeper Robert Green to double the Bees' lead just past the half-hour.
Sheffield Wednesday jumped back into the play-off places as they ended a run of four games without a win by beating already-relegated Rotherham 2-0.
Steven Fletcher grabbed both Wednesday's goals in the first half and the Owls' night was made even better by news of Fulham's 4-2 defeat at Derby.
After a strong recent run the Cottagers are showing signs of pressure as they slipped to their second defeat in three games at Pride Park.
David Nugent scored a hat-trick to put the Rams 3-1 up on the hour after Floyd Ayite had earlier cancelled out his opener for the visitors.
Johnny Russell made it 4-1 in the 67th minute before Ayite scored his second of the night to give the visitors some measure of consolation 12 minutes from time.
Preston maintained their unlikely late run for a play-off place with a thumping 5-0 win over relegation-threatened Bristol City.
Tom Barkhuizen set Simon Grayson's men on their way towards a fifth game without defeat when he netted the opener with 25 minutes on the clock.
Aiden McGeady doubled Preston's lead from the penalty spot before Tom Clarke and a brace from Callum Robinson wrapped up a convincing win at Deepdale.
Nouha Dicko scored the only goal of the game in the 62nd minute as Wolves made it five wins in a row with a 1-0 success against Nottingham Forest at Molineux.
Forest, who had Daniel Fox sent off in injury time, remain just two points clear of the relegation zone.
Wigan appear doomed after their 3-0 loss at Ipswich kept them seven points off safety, David McGoldrick and a Freddie Sears double doing the damage at Portman Road.
Jonathan Kodja's early strike was enough to give Aston Villa a 1-0 win over QPR, while Barnsley and Cardiff fought out a goalless draw at Oakwell.