Through to the fifth round of the FA Cup and well in contention for promotion to the Premier League: these are good times for Swansea, who beat Preston 4-1 last night. The Swans made it three wins in a row in the league thanks to goals from Jordi Gomez – who struck after just two minutes – Jason Scotland, Guillem Bauza and Alan Tate. Chris Brown scored a consolation effort in the final minute of normal time for the visitors, who also harbour promotion hopes. They are still ahead of Swansea on points but if both sides continue to perform like this they will not be for long.
Also in the promotion race, Birmingham sealed a 1-0 victory over a plucky Derby side who were unfortunate to come away from St Andrew's with nothing to show for their efforts. The Rams dominated the opening 45 minutes but it was Lee Carsley who headed home the only goal of the game in the 59th minute.
At the other end of the table, Matthew Spring fired rock-bottom Charlton to victory in the south London derby against Crystal Palace – their first Championship success in 19 attempts. The midfielder scored his second goal since joining from Luton earlier this month as the Addicks won for the first time since 4 October. Charlton had previously taken six points from a possible 54 during a club-record winless streak which has left them rooted to the foot of the table and staring at the drop to League One.
Another side at the wrong end of the table, Nottingham Forest, were victors over 10-man Sheffield Wednesday. Luke Chambers scored the decisive goal, heading home 16 minutes from time to turn the game on its head and ensure a 2-1 win. Wednesday had looked to be on course for victory when Jermaine Johnson opened the scoring in the first half but they were pegged back by Nathan Tyson's clinical equaliser after 33 minutes and the talking point of the first half came seven minutes before the break when Francis Jeffers was dismissed for a reckless lunge on Forest full-back Joe Heath.
Michael McIndoe grabbed his first goal in 19 league games and Liam Fontaine added another to give Bristol City a battling 2-0 win over Plymouth at a rain-soaked Home Park. An afternoon downpour meant the game only went ahead after a pitch inspection and both sides struggled to find any sort of rhythm in the difficult conditions. However McIndoe put the visitors in front after 62 minutes with an emphatic left-foot finish after being cleverly played in by Nicky Maynard.
With five minutes left Plymouth goalkeeper Romain Larrieu made a fine save from Cole Skuse but the Frenchman dropped the resulting corner and Fontaine pounced to seal the points. Elsewhere, Sheffield United suffered a surprising 1-0 home defeat to Doncaster.