League round-up: Connolly keeps Cardiff on course

Goals in each half from a Don Cowie shot and Matt Connolly header saw Cardiff City tighten their grip at the top of the Championship with a 2-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday, opening up a seven-point lead as their two closest pursuers, Hull City and Watford, both lost.

"It possibly looks like they're going to limp over the line," Owls manager Dave Jones, who had six years and two failed play-off attempts at Cardiff, said. "They spent an awful lot of money so I'm sure they have to got to go up."

Nottingham Forest came from behind as second-placed Hull lost 2-1 at home, Darius Henderson and Lewis McGugan scoring for Billy Davies's side, while Bobby Hassell's header saw Barnsley, who are just above the bottom three, beat third-placed Watford 1-0.

In fact it was a good day for sides at the bottom. Peterborough won 1-0 at Blackpool, Kane Ferdinand heading in, and Ipswich dented Bolton's play-off potential with a 1-0 win at Portman Road, Carlos Edwards scoring with two minutes remaining. Millwall and Huddersfield also eased their worries with away wins. David Vaughan scored a late winner in the Terriers' 2-1 victory at play-off chasing Leeds.

"It almost felt like a fatal defeat today," Neil Warnock, the Leeds manager, admitted. "Once we're out of contention for the Premier League [owners GFH] know I won't be having another year in the Championship. We've spoken about my successor, about people coming in if mathematically it's impossible to get into the play-offs."

The Lions, after reaching an FA Cup semi-final with victory at Blackburn on Wednesday, ended the week with another away win, 2-0 at Charlton. Elsewhere, Birmingham City won 1-0 at Middlesbrough and Derby County beat Leicester City 2-1.

In League One, Brentford went second after Sam Saunders's late penalty saw the Bees beat Preston 1-0 and Stevenage beat Sheffield United 4-0, Daniel Lopez scoring a hat-trick as the Blades slip to third.

The fight to stay in League Two could not be tighter, with the bottom five teams – Accrington, Aldershot, Barnet, Plymouth and Torquay – all level on 40 points. York have 41.