Paul Anderson's 11th-minute goal, fired in from 12 yards, and Robert Earnshaw's shot just before half-time saw Nottingham Forest beat Reading 2-1 at the City Ground and move to within two points of Championship leaders Newcastle United.
"We could have had four or five goals in the first half," Forest manager Billy Davies said, "but only scored twice and that gave Reading the opportunity to come back at us."
When they did Forest's goalkeeper Lee Camp was a second-half hero, saving Brian Howard's penalty after Nicky Shorey had been sent off against his former club. Jimmy Kebe grabbed Reading's late consolation.
"We've 20 games left to play and this very good young side has got to show they are capable of playing under the pressure of being a top-eight side," Davies added.
Darren Ferguson's first match as Preston North End manager started badly, Danny Haynes and Liam Fontaine giving Bristol City a 2-0 lead by the 12th minute. Chris Brown pulled a goal back before the half-hour but Louis Carey and Evander Sno made it safe for the Robins. It ended 4-2. Meanwhile Ferguson's former club, Peterborough United, had centre-backs Craig Morgan (28 minutes) and Ryan Bennett (45) sent off against fellow strugglers Derby County, the second red leading to Steve Davies' penalty. DJ Campbell scored twice as the Rams won 3-0.
Matt Connolly scored a late equaliser as Queens Park Rangers showed grit after yet another managerial departure by twice coming from behind to draw 2-2 at Blackpool.
Gorka Pintado's strike saw Swansea City beat Leicester City 1-0 to move up to fourth, above Cardiff City who drew 1-1 at Scunthorpe. Michael O'Connor curled a free-kick around the Bluebird's defensive wall, but Peter Whittingham equalised.
Richard Cresswell's third goal in three games saw Sheffield United inflict a 1-0 defeat on Middlesbrough and lift the Blades into the top six. Crystal Palace moved to within a point of the play-offs when their highly prized young striker Victor Moses scored in the 1-0 win at Plymouth. Richard Wood's injury time equaliser seemed to have earned Coventry a point at Ipswich, but Pablo Counago scored in the seventh minute of time added on to give Roy Keane's side a 3-2 win, and Doncaster Rovers beat Watford 2-1.
In August manager Paul Lambert quit Colchester United to take over at Norwich City. Yesterday Lambert, and Norwich, were back at the U's, Chris Martin scoring twice in a 5-0 win. The Canaries even missed a penalty as they moved to within three points of leaders Leeds, who lost 2-0 at Exeter.
Second-placed Bournemouth were beaten 2-1 at home by Bury; Dagenham & Redbridge beat Crewe 2-0 to leap three places into the top three.
Nacho Novo's 78th minute strike from a tight angle earned leaders Rangers a hard-won 1-0 victory over Hamilton to open up a nine-point gap at the top; Dundee United beat Hibernian 1-0 and move above them into third.Reuse content