Wigan were the big winners in the race for promotion to the Premiership as they returned to the top two with a 2-0 win away to Sheffield United.
Leaders Ipswich and Sunderland both lost, but the Latics - who had lost their last three Coca-Cola Championship matches - made no mistake at Bramall
Lane. Lee McCulloch scored in the seventh minute following a Jimmy Bullard corner and Nathan Ellington's 15th league goal of the season with 17
minutes left made sure of the points.
Ipswich suffered their first home defeat of the season as West Ham struck early and late at Portman Road. The Tractor Boys were behind after a minute
when goalkeeper Kelvin Davis was caught in possession by Marlon Harewood, who was presented with an easy opportunity to score. West Ham had chances to
extend their lead but did not do so until the final minute when Matthew Etherington followed up a blocked Sergei Rebrov effort. The win put the
Hammers fifth as Sheffield United slipped up.
Sunderland dropped out of the automatic promotion places as they went down 3-2 at Preston. A first-half hat-trick from Richard Cresswell put North End
well in control, but the Wearsiders almost recovered the deficit as Stephen Elliott (72) and Sean Thornton (81) set up a tense finish.
Reading stayed fourth after a goalless draw at Gillingham, while Millwall lost 1-0 at Watford. Heidar Helguson scored the only goal with 15 minutes
left after Millwall striker Danny Dichio was sent off for two bookable offences earlier in the second half.
Derby succumbed to their second home defeat in five days as Cardiff claimed a 1-0 victory at Pride Park thanks to a Peter Thorne goal in the 27th
Crewe climbed to eighth in the table with an impressive 2-0 win at Leeds. Dean Ashton's 20th goal of the campaign gave Alex the lead and the win was
wrapped up by Mark Rivers' 54th-minute goal as Leeds skipper Paul Butler was sent off.
Rock-bottom Rotherham's year began in miserable fashion as they squandered a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 at home to Coventry. Junior gave them a first-half
lead but Stern John (58) and Adie Williams (75) turned it around for the Sky Blues.
Rotherham are now eight points adrift of second-from-bottom Nottingham Forest, who beat nine-man Stoke 1-0 at the City Ground thanks to Eugen Bopp's
68th-minute strike. The visitors had Clint Hill and Clive Clarke dismissed in the closing stages.
Glenn Hoddle witnessed his Wolves side draw 1-1 yet again, as they have in all his five matches so far, this time against Plymouth at Molineux. They
took the lead through South Korean striker Seol Ki-Hyeon (24) but David Friio earned the Pilgrims a point.
QPR and Brighton drew 0-0 at Loftus Road, while Burnley's match against Leicester had to be abandoned after 19 minutes because of torrential rain in