Championship: Impressive Blades close the gap
Sheffield United closed the gap to Coca-Cola Championship leaders Reading to seven points with a 3-1 win at home to Brighton.
The Blades, who lost their last Bramall Lane outing against Colchester in the FA Cup, responded with three second-half goals to put them out of sight and reel in the Royals, who were held 1-1 by Crystal Palace last night.
Phil Jagielka (53) provided the finish from Chris Armstrong's cross, Paul Ifill added the second 11 minutes later and Michael Tonge secured the points with 15 minutes to go. Colin Kazim-Richards scored an 83rd-minute consolation for the Seagulls.
Leeds remain the best of the rest thanks to a 3-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday to stay third.
It took 70 minutes to break through as Paul Butler headed in Jonathon Douglas' cross before Richard Cresswell's double ensured all the points went to the West Yorkshire side.
Watford stayed two points further back as they twice came from a goal down to win 3-2 at Norwich.
Paul McVeigh (44) gave the Canaries the lead before Darius Henderson turned in Marlon King's cross two minutes into the second half.
Peter Thorne restored Norwich's lead but again Henderson levelled, before Matthew Spring proved the hero with a last-minute winner.
Preston emerged 2-0 victors in the Lancashire derby against Burnley to close to within one point of fifth-placed Crystal Palace.
David Nugent scored the first (13) when he latched on to a cleverly-worked free-kick and Graham Alexander scored a late penalty after Frank Sinclair fouled Patrick Agyemang.
Southampton began life without Theo Walcott by losing 2-0 at home to head coach George Burley's old club Ipswich.
Saints made a wretched start as Alan Lee put the Tractor Boys ahead in the fourth minute, and the Republic of Ireland forward sealed the win with an 89th-minute second.
Cardiff maintained their play-off push with a 2-1 win at troubled Leicester. Cameron Jerome's 15th goal of the season put the Bluebirds ahead (13) before Matt Fryatt levelled with a 41st-minute header.
But Dave Jones' side grabbed the lead again when Jason Koumas took his goals tally into double figures with a curling free-kick after 55 minutes.
The biggest scoreline of the day came at the Ricoh Arena as Coventry recovered from a goal down to beat Derby 6-1.
Paul Peschisolido gave the Rams the perfect start with a second-minute strike but Stern John - who played on loan for Phil Brown's side earlier this season - equalised (five) and then put the Sky Blues ahead (47).
Dennis Wise marked his City debut with a third goal in the 59th minute, Dele Adebola added a quickfire fourth and Gary McSheffrey's late brace - one of which was a penalty - gave the final score an embarrassing look for County.
Bottom side Crewe are now four points adrift after losing 2-1 at home to Plymouth, Paul Wotton scoring both Argyle goals, while Millwall were held to a goalless draw by Wolves at the New Den.
Hull moved up one place to 17th with a comfortable 3-0 win at Stoke while Luton ended a run of four straight defeats by beating fellow mid-table side QPR 2-0 at Kenilworth Road, Markus Heikkinen and Steve Howard scoring the Hatters' goals.