Guy Butters' seventh-minute goal at the Withdean Stadium was a real triumph in adversity, with the Seagulls shrugging off the early loss of their influential captain, Charlie Oatway, to take an instant lead. The hosts then went on to survive a late rally from QPR to record only their fourth Championship win of the season and ease their relegation worries.
Brighton suffered an early blow when Oatway was taken off on a stretcher inside five minutes after a tackle from behind by Marcus Bean. However, it proved a blessing in disguise as the free-kick from the substitute Richard Carpenter found Butters, who stroked home his second goal of the season.
To compound Rangers' misery their coach, Tim Breaker, was sent off by the referee, Rob Styles, after speaking out of turn.
Struggling Sheffield Wednesday produced an excellent defensive display to earn a point, drawing 0-0 at Preston.
Billy Davies' play-off chasers had most of the possession, but they rarely got behind Wednesday's back four and had to settle for a ninth home Championship draw of the season. Nicky Weaver denied David Nugent three times in as many second-half minutes, but apart from that the Wednesday goalkeeper, on loan from Manchester City, was not tested.
Had Chris Eagles and Chris Brunt been more composed in front of goal, Paul Sturrock's team could even have gained their first League win at Deepdale since 1960.
Leeds returned to winning ways after two successive defeats with a 3-1 victory over Coventry. Jonathan Douglas gave Leeds the lead and after Don Hutchison levelled, Robbie Blake hit a second, with Richard Cresswell adding a third.
Ade Akinbiyi scored against one of his former clubs, Stoke, to give Burnley a 1-0 home win. However, the match was soured with an accusation from the Burnley manager, Steve Cotterill, that Stoke striker Sambegou Bangoura had slapped Frank Sinclair across the face. Cotterill said: "Bangoura slapped Frank across the face at the end of the game when he went to shake hands."
Ahmet Brkovic earned Luton a point against Derby as they drew 1-1 at Pride Park. Spanish midfielder Inigo Idiakez gave the Rams a 72nd-minute lead with a 20-yard free-kick, but Brkovic volleyed home Dean Morgan's centre to equalise.
There was a penalty, an own goal and two red cards as Leicester and Millwall drew 1-1. Patrick McCarthy's own goal gave the Lions a half-time lead but when Zak Whitbread fouled Elvis Hammond, Joey Gudjonsson scored the spot-kick. Danny Tiatto had been sent off for Leicester after picking up a second caution and Millwall's Paul Robinson followed him after 69 minutes for a professional foul.
A topsy-turvy game between Crewe and Hull ended all square as the struggling sides drew 2-2. Eddie Johnson put Crewe in front in the 19th minute only for Craig Fagan to equalise for Hull. Crewe regained the lead through Gary Roberts before half-time but Billy Paynter salvaged a draw with 10 minutes to go.Reuse content