Watford moved into the second automatic promotion spot as goals from Matej Vydra - his 20th of the season - and Joel Ekstrand put them 2-0 up against Derby County, for whom Jamie Ward pulled one back from the spot.
In-form Hull City paid the price for a dreadful start as they went down 4-1 at Bolton Wanderers, with the hosts’ first three goals coming in the opening eight minutes as Darren Pratley, Mark Davies and Craig Dawson all netted. Robbie Brady pulled one back for Steve Bruce’s side, but Dawson added his second to restore the three-goal lead.
Leaders Cardiff City play struggling Wolves on Sunday.
It was not a great day for the top sides in general as Crystal Palace went down 1-0 to Leroy Lita’s goal at Sheffield Wednesday, while Leicester City were held to a goalless draw at Blackpool as Paul Ince got his first point for the Tangerines.
Middlesbrough slipped out of the play-off places after Brighton and Hove Albion won 1-0 at home to Burnley, with Boro then suffering a 2-1 defeat at home to Millwall in the later match.
Nottingham Forest moved four points away from the play-offs after second-half goals from Henri Lansbury and Radoslaw Majewski saw them beat Charlton Athletic 2-0 at The Valley, while Blackburn Rovers and Leeds United battled out a bore draw at Ewood Park.
Birmingham City moved away from trouble with a fine 2-0 win at struggling Peterborough United, who fall to the bottom after Nikola Zigic responded to manager Lee Clark’s criticism with a goal. Chris Burke got the second for the Blues.
Huddersfield Town and Ipswich Town drew 0-0, while Barnsley’s good run under new management came to an abrupt halt in an entertaining 5-3 defeat at Bristol City, who move off the bottom as a result of their high-scoring antics.