Peterborough shock Cardiff; Wolves and Wednesday triumph
Leaders Cardiff suffered a shock defeat at relegation-threatened Peterborough as Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday also claimed vital victories over Middlesbrough and Barnsley, respectively, in their battle against the drop.
Hull City closed the gap at the summit by defeating Huddersfield, Ipswich eased their fears of the drop with a comprehensive success over Leeds, Brighton ended Nottingham Forest's six-game winning streak at the City Ground and Charlton produced a stirring comeback to defeat Bolton at The Valley.
Grant McCann scored two penalties in quick succession as Peterborough scrambled out of the bottom three with a 2-1 victory over Cardiff at London Road, cancelling out Aron Gunnarsson's opener in the 72nd minute and hitting the winner from 12 yards seven minutes later.
Hull City are now just four points adrift of Cardiff following their 1-0 success away to Huddersfield Town in the Championship's evening kick-off, with George Boyd scoring the only goal of the game in the 46th minute, although they have played a match more.
Wolves remain in the relegation places, but only on goals scored, after edging a five-goal thriller with Middlesbrough at Molineux, with the home side seeing the lead slip away twice before Kevin Doyle's 70th minute header settled the contest.
Sheffield Wednesday edged away from the bottom three and dumped Yorkshire rivals Barnsley into the drop zone with a priceless 2-1 success at Hillsborough as Gary Madine and Reda Johnson struck in the second period, with Lewis Buxton's late red card and Kelvin Etuhu's reply setting up a tense finale.
Ipswich took full advantage of a first-half red card for Leeds defender Tom Lees as a brace either side of the interval from David McGoldrick and substitute Jay Emmanuel-Thomas' third sent the Tractor Boys up to the 49-point mark.
Nottingham Forest twice came from behind to take a point at home to Brighton as their recent winning streak was ended in a 2-2 draw with their play-off rivals, with Henri Lansbury levelling for the home side in the closing moments.
Charlton hit back from 2-0 down to defeat Bolton 3-2 with the visitors made to pay after the second-half dismissal of Sam Ricketts as Dorian Dervite levelled moments after he saw red before Yann Kermorgant hit the winner from the penalty spot in the 63rd minute.