Like Christmas shoppers barging their way to a bargain, Nottingham Forest and Leicester City jostled effectively for advantage in the Championship's top six. At the Liberty Stadium, David McGoldrick scored the only goal of the game as Forest beat Swansea City to move up to third, two points off the automatic places.
"Experience has told me not to look at League positions at this stage of the season," Forest's manager Billy Davies said. "All we can do is enjoy the moment and prepare well for the next game."
Leicester, meanwhile, brushed aside struggling Sheffield Wednesday 3-0, Andy King scoring twice. The Owls drop into the bottom three and pressure mounts on their manager, Brian Laws.
The two other sides in the relegation places have already changed manager, both are still there, and both lost again. The fourth new Championship manager installed since the season began, Paul Mariner, saw his Plymouth Argyle side lose 2-0 at Preston North End in his first match in charge, while Mark Cooper, who took over at bottom club Peterborough United five matches ago, still awaits a first win, Posh losing 3-2 at the Ricoh Arena where Freddie Eastwood's hat-trick eased Coventry's worries.
Ipswich Town moved out of the bottom three, Jon Stead, Jack Colback and Gareth McAuley scoring in their 3-1 defeat of visitors Blackpool, who had David Vaughan sent off. "We could have won 6- or 7-1, given the chances we created," Ipswich manager Roy Keane said. "We're looking a lot more solid and we're getting there."
Also in peril, Reading, unreliable at at home, and Scunthorpe United, bad travellers, drew 1-1 at the Madejski.
Five Crystal Palace players were taken ill before their 2-0 defeat at manager Neil Warnock's former club Sheffield United. The Blades are eighth, but Watford and Bristol City had their ambitions dented. Chris Porter's header earned Derby County a first away win of the season, 1-0 at the Hornets, while Billy Sharp scored for the fifth consecutive match as Doncaster Rovers beat the Robins 1-0.
Leaders Leeds United were held to a goalless draw at Brentford; second-placed Charlton Athletic won 2-1 at bottom club Stockport County; Rick Lambert scored twice as Southampton's rise continued with a 3-0 win over Tranmere Rovers; and third-placed Norwich City drew 3-3 in a thriller at Yeovil.
Peter Trembling, executive chairman of Notts County, has bought the club for a nominal fee from Munto Finance, owners since July, ensuring the continued presence of director of football Sven Goran Eriksson. Munto "have been responsible for changing the outlook of a club which has previously finished in the bottom six of the Football League for four times in the past five years," Trembling said. "Now we cherish ambitions to secure promotion this year and deliver sustainable progress into the Championship and beyond." Accrington Stanley, who know all about fiscal travails, dampened the Magpies' celebrations by winning 2-1 at Meadow Lane.Reuse content