Leading through Curtis Davies' 18th-minute header at Millwall, Birmingham City ran amok after the Lions had Shane Lowry (22 minutes) and Alan Dunne (57) sent off for fouls on Nikola Zigic, Marlon King scoring twice in a 6-0 away win that lifts the Blues to seventh.
"Shane's sending off looked harsh," Lions' puzzled manager, Kenny Jackett, said, "and Alan's, which I had a better view of, I couldn't see where it came from."
Leaders Southampton took the full benefit of playing against 10 men at Nottingham Forest. They also led 1-0 when Luke Chambers was sent off for elbowing David Connolly, one of the scorers in Saints' 3-0 win. Having recently beaten Southampton, Doncaster Rovers held third-placed Cardiff City to a 0-0 draw, while fourth-placed Middlesbrough lost 2-0 at home to Burnley.
Robert Koren scored as Hull City celebrated Nick Barmby's first match after being confirmed as manager with a 1-0 defeat of Peterborough, while Reading, fifth, won 2-1 at Watford.
Eliot Grandin came off the bench to make one and score one as Blackpool came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Ipswich Town. His manager, Ian Holloway, was full of praise for the French-man. "He's split up with his wife and his little boy's over there," he said. "He wants to go home, [but] he was absolutely fantastic and that shows his character."
Two weeks after surgery on his appendix Robert Snodgrass scored Leeds' leveller in the 1-1 draw at 10-man Crystal Palace, Sean Scannell was cautioned twice. Derby County beat bottom club Coventry City 1-0 to stay in touch with the top six, but Leicester City lost 2-1 at home to Barnsley, Andy Gray scoring both goals for the Tykes, and Brighton beat Bristol City 2-0.
Johnnie Jackson's first-half free-kick saw leaders Charlton win 1-0 at Sheffield Wednesday, while Graham Westley was at Deepdale to see his new team, Preston, beat Wycombe 3-2. His former charges, Stevenage, didn't seem to miss him, Luke Freeman and Lawrie Wilson both scoring two in a 5-1 romp at Rochdale.
Southend twice came from behind to win 5-2 at Northamp-ton and reclaim top spot.
Two close-range goals by Nikica Jelavic saw Rangers win 2-1 at St Johnstone to stay on the heels of leaders Celtic, who beat Dundee United 2-1.
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