The top three clubs in the Coca-Cola Championship all won on Saturday to increase the gulf between them and their promotion rivals.
Ipswich remain five points clear after surviving a late comeback against Leicester at Portman Road. Finland striker Shefki Kuqi opened the scoring in
the second minute, heading in from a corner. Mark de Vries' own goal made it two as Joe Royle's side looked to be on course for a comfortable victory.
Jordan Stewart curled in an effort off the underside of the crossbar but the leaders held on to take the points.
Wigan's prolific strike duo combined again to give Paul Jewell's side a 3-1 win at Crewe. Jason Roberts scored in the third minute of the game at
Gresty Road, although Andy White levelled for the Railwaymen on the stroke of half-time. Nathan Ellington scored from the penalty spot to restore the
lead and Roberts added a third with 16 minutes left.
Sunderland striker Marcus Stewart scored a hat-trick against Watford to set up a 4-2 win. The veteran headed in after 19 minutes before adding a
second from the spot. After the break he was gifted his treble following a blunder from Hornets goalkeeper Paul Jones. Chris Brown added a fourth and
the Black Cats held on despite Bruce Dyer's late brace.
Reading are now nine points behind the top three after losing 3-1 to Leeds at Elland Road. Looking for an unlikely play-off place, Kevin Blackwell's
side took the lead through David Healy in the first half. Rob Hulse made his debut for the Yorkshire side and scored twice in the second half, and
Lloyd Owusu's late consolation made it 3-1.
Preston took advantage of the Royals' slip, moving into fourth place by beating QPR 2-1 at Loftus Road. Paul Furlong gave Ian Holloway's side a
first-half lead but David Nugent levelled with 23 minutes remaining. Chris Lucketti lashed in the winner and the visitors held on for the points
despite having Eddie Lewis sent off for two rash challenges.
Cardiff's impressive form continued as they beat Brighton at Ninian Park. Peter Thorne scored the opener from the penalty spot after Guy Butters
fouled Richard Langley in the 16th minute. James Collins added a second three minutes later and it remained 2-0.
Burnley recorded an impressive away win at Coventry after a strong second-half performance at Highfield Road. John Oster and Ian Moore grabbed the
goals for Steve Cotterill's side as they climbed back into the top half of the table.
Bottom club Rotherham grabbed a point against Plymouth at Home Park - but they are still 10 points away from safety. Andy Monkhouse scored the opener
for Alan Knill's side, but Paul Wotton levelled from the spot for the hosts.
Gillingham grabbed a vital point in a dire goalless draw with Millwall at Priestfield, keeping the Gills in the bottom three.