The top three in the Championship all won, while Barnsley dropped to the bottom of the table.
Cardiff maintained their lead at the top of the table with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Millwall thanks to Rudy Gestede's early goal.
Hull City kept up the pressure on leaders Cardiff with a 2-0 win over Leeds at the KC Stadium.
After a goalless first half Corry Evans broke the deadlock for Hull on 52 minutes and three minutes later on-loan midfielder David Meyler added a second for the home side.
Middlesbrough got the better of Blackpool after a six-goal thriller at the Riverside.
Middlesbrough raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to goal from Ishmael Miller (13) and Richie Smallwood (36), but Wes Thomas pulled a goal back for Blackpool just before the hour mark.
Scott McDonald restored Middlesbrough's two goal cushion on 62 minutes, but Blackpool reduced the arrears again 14 minutes from time and Tom Ince missed the chance to equalise nine minutes from time when he saw his penalty saved by Jason Steele.
Adam Reach made the game safe for Middlesbrough with a fourth goal two minutes from time
Managerless Blackburn put their problems behind them with a 3-1 win over Barnsley at Oakwell.
Goals from Josh King (29) and Ruben Rochina (44) put Rovers in firm control.
Stephen Dawson pulled a goal back for Barnsley on 79 minutes, but Jordan Rhodes made sure of the win for Blackburn with a third goal in injury-time to give caretaker boss Gary Bowyer a win in his first game in charge following the sacking of Henning Berg.
The defeat leaves Barnsley bottom of the table and increases the pressure on Tykes boss Keith Hill.
Two goals from Matej Vydra gave Watford an impressive 3-1 victory at Brighton in the late kick-off.
The in-form striker's quick-fire double shortly after David Lopez had equalised for the Seagulls made in three wins on the bounce for the Hornets.
Czech international Vydra, who expressed his desire to stay with the club this week, now has 13 goals to his name this season since joining on-loan from Udinese.
Billy Sharp's last-gasp goal earned Nottingham Forest a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace in Alex McLeish's first game in charge at the City Ground.
Glenn Murray gave Palace the lead after nine minutes, but Andy Reid levelled for Forest on the stroke of half-time.
Murray looked to have netted the winner for Palace nine minutes from time until Sharp popped up in injury-time with an equaliser for Forest.
Mick McCarthy enjoyed a winning return to Molineux as his Ipswich side beat Wolves 2-0.
Aaron Cresswell fired Ipswich in front on 33 minutes and loan star DJ Campbell added a second on 64 minutes to pile the pressure on Wolves chief Stale Solbakken.
Bristol City climbed off the bottom of the table with a 4-2 win over ten-man Peterborough at Ashton Gate.
Paul Anderson gave the home side a dream start with the opener after just five minutes and things got worse for Peterborough when Lee Tomlin was sent off on 12 minutes.
Peterborough drew level seven minutes later when Grant McCann scored from the penalty spot, but Sam Baldock restored City's lead on 37 minutes.
Stephen McManus added a third for City on 59 minutes and Baldock put the game beyond Peterborough with a fourth from the penalty spot five minutes later.
Dwight Gayle continued his rich vein of form in front of goal with a goal for Peterborough a minute from time, but it was only a consolation for the visitors.
Leicester maintained their promotion bid with a narrow 1-0 victory at Burnley thanks to David Nugent's first-half goal
Sheffield Wednesday picked up a point after earning a goalless draw with Huddersfield in their Yorkshire derby at the John Smith's Stadium.
There was major controversy in the game when it appeared Wednesday's Jeremy Helan was shown two yellow cards in the first half, but referee Mick Russell did not send him off.
But Russell did not realise he had already booked the on-loan Manchester City midfielder and amid furious protestations from Huddersfield players and management, the Herefordshire official allowed Helan to play on.
Derby picked up a point with a 1-1 draw at ten-man Charlton.
Danny Haynes fired Charlton in front after 19 minutes, but Jamie Ward drew Derby level from the penalty spot on 71 minutes after Michael Morrison was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Bolton came from behind to beat Birmingham 3-1 at the Reebok Stadium.
Nikola Zigic gave Birmingham the lead on 11 minutes, but two goals in six minutes from Marcos Alonso (27) and Lee Chung-yong (33) turned the game in Bolton's favour.
Keith Andrews added a third goal from the penalty spot for Bolton 11 minutes and Zigic was sent off late on for two bookable offences in the space of a minute.