Wigan and Reading strengthened their hold on the automatic promotion slots in the Coca-Cola League Championship with victories over Coventry and Crewe
League leaders Wigan kept up their good form emphatically with a 4-1 win over Peter Reid's Coventry at the JJB stadium. Alan Mahon's 25-yard volley 15
minutes into the game broke the deadlock only for Eddie Johnson to level for City. But the Latics simply brushed the Sky Blues aside in the second
half as David Graham, Nathan Ellington and Michael Flynn all scored to wrap up a vital win for Paul Jewell's side.
Reading, meanwhile, enjoyed a comfortable 4-0 win at the Madejski Stadium. Swashbuckling midfielder Steve Sidwell found a breakthrough after 21
minutes and striker Dave Kitson doubled the advantage four minutes later, before Lloyd Owusu and Ivar Ingimarsson got in on the act, scoring a minute
either side of half-time to sent Crewe crashing to defeat.
Dave Jones' position at Wolves was helped by a 2-1 win over in-form QPR at a waterlogged Molineux. Striker Carl Cort scored a brace in poor conditions
and, despite Kenny Miller's sending-off for a second caution, and Kevin Gallen's late strike, Wolves were able to hold on for the win.
West Ham moved up a place in the table with a 3-1 win over struggling Gillingham at Upton Park. Bobby Zamora rediscovered his scoring touch to put the
Hammers ahead 18 minutes into the game before Marlon Harewood and Hayden Mullins made it 3-0 before half-time. Darren Byfield headed in for Gillingham
before the break but Andy Hessenthaler's side were unable to mount a second-half fightback.
Watford came from 2-0 down at home to third-placed Ipswich to salvage a point. After a goalless first half, Ian Westlake struck five minutes after the
break to put the Tractor Boys in front. And it looked grim for the Hornets when Darren Bent doubled the lead after 63 minutes. But Ray Lewington's
team showed no signs of giving up and, after Heidar Helguson pulled one back, Hameur Bouazza found an equaliser after 73 minutes to disappoint the
Leeds finished with nine men as Brighton beat them 1-0 thanks to a Clarke Carlisle own goal. Carlisle put the ball in his own net after 58 minutes at
the Withdean Stadium before Matthew Kilgallon and Paul Butler were sent off, both for a second yellow cards.
Millwall and Cardiff played out a barn-stormer at the New Den as the Lions came from behind twice to draw 2-2. Gary O'Neil put the struggling Welsh
side ahead five minutes before the break but on-loan Jo Tessem equalised early in the second half. Alan Lee restored Cardiff's lead after 68 minutes
but Neil Harris finished well to hand the home side a point.
Preston were given a late scare by Nottingham Forest striker Marlon King after they had been seemingly coasting to victory, but were thankful for a
3-2 victory in the end. Paul McKenna, Chris Lucketti and Dickson Etuhu put Billy Davies' side 3-0 up. Forest suffered a further blow when Gareth
Taylor was sent off, but King's two goals in three minutes gave Preston a nervous final 10 minutes.
A flurry of late goals at Bramall Lane saw Sheffield United emerge 2-1 winners against Plymouth. Leigh Bromby scored for the Blades after 78 minutes
and Andy Gray got another before David Friio's consolation three minutes from time.
At the Walkers Stadium, Leicester and Stoke drew 1-1 in the midlands derby. A John Halls own goal had put the Foxes ahead but Carl Asaba levelled
eight minutes before the break.