A brace from npower Championship player of the year Rickie Lambert was enough for Southampton to win 2-0 at Crystal Palace and go three points clear of Reading at the top of the table.
The Saints are looking to heap pressure on Reading, who play Brighton on Tuesday, and Lambert's 25th and 26th league goals of the campaign helped them do just that. The 30-year-old had an effort disallowed before scoring in either half to lead Nigel Adkins' side to a comfortable victory at Selhurst Park.
Bristol City striker Jon Stead scored for both sides in the relegation clash against Coventry at Ashton Gate as the home side won 3-1.
Coventry midfielder Sammy Clingan whipped in a free-kick and it went in off the head of unfortunate Robins striker Stead to give the visitors a 1-0 lead just after the half-hour mark.
But Stead made amends at the start of the second half as he claimed the 47th-minute equaliser before late goals from substitutes Yannick Bolasie and Chris Wood turned the result in their favour.
A Kenny Miller goal just before half-time looked to have given Cardiff a victory over Watford but the Hornets secured an unexpected point thanks to a late Nyron Nosworthy goal.
Elsewhere a 10-man Blackpool kept their play-off hopes alive after coming from behind at home to Barnsley to snatch a 1-1 draw and Middlesbrough missed the chance to go seventh as they threw away the lead to lose 2-1 at Hull.
Bottom side Doncaster, who have not won at the Keepmoat since early 2012, were beaten at home again 2-1 to mid-table Burnley. Nottingham Forest moved six points clear of the relegation zone by beating Peterborough 1-0.
Leicester came from behind to beat Ipswich 2-1 and keep their slim play-off hopes alive and Leeds dropped into the bottom half of the table after losing 2-0 at home to Derby after Michael Brown was sent off early on.
In the late game, Ricardo Vaz Te's 89th-minute penalty salvaged a point for West Ham, although they made it seven home games without a win after drawing 3-3 with Birmingham.