By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Sunderland are the new leaders of the Championship after a 2-1 win at Southampton.
Sunderland are the new Championship leaders after a classic smash-and-grab job at Southampton, while Derby drop down to second after having to settle for a 1-1 draw with Coventry.
At the basement end of the table, Barnsley and Southend claimed mightily impressive wins but Leeds and Luton faced heartache, after conceding late goals to fall to critical defeats.
Roy Keane's remarkable job at The Black Cats shows no sign of abating, as they came away from St Mary's with a 2-1 victory over fellow promotion hopefuls Southampton, who now drop out of the play-off picture.
An even first half saw Sunderland go closest to taking the lead when David Connolly struck the post, but it was Southampton that broke the deadlock in the 66th minute, when in-form striker Marek Saganowski poked in a close range finish from Danny Guthrie's cut-back.
Sunderland's response was emphatic and by the 76th minute they were level courtesy of a strike of Premiership quality, when Carlos Edwards took possession wide on the right before cutting inside and unleashing a left footed drive into the top corner.
With the away side in the ascendancy, Sunderland substitute Grant Leadbitter delighted the travelling North East hordes when he made space from Connolly's pass and then steered another sumptuous strike beyond a crestfallen Bartosz Bialkowski, with just three minutes remaining.
Iain Dowie's Coventry are a difficult proposition and so it proved at Pride Park, as Leon McKenzie kept his cool in the 73rd minute to give his side a lead, but just six minutes later, Derby were level when Matt Oakley slammed home from Steve Howard's astute lay-off.
Birmingham's recent struggles in front of goal were never more so in evidence than on their trip to Oakwell, as Steve Bruce's side fell to a shock 1-0 defeat.
Despite creating a plethora of chances, Birmingham could not breach Barnsley's backline and they were made to pay 52 minutes in, when Daniel Nardiello cut inside from the wing to slam home a sublime curling winner.
Burnley's rejuvenation of late continued against Cardiff at Turf Moor, as a 2-0 win put a firm hole in their visitors' hopes of a play-off berth.
Steve Jones and Paul McVeigh proved Burnley's match-winners, as a goal in each half gave their side another three points to aid a steady climb up the table.
West Brom left it late at Carrow Road but Diomansy Kamara's (pictured) injury-time goal was enough to secure a 2-1 victory over Norwich.
Dickson Etuhu's free header gave Norwich a lead on the hour mark, only for Sam Sodje, at the second attempt, and then Kamara, to steal the points.
Preston extended their losing run to four games as Southend came away from Deepdale with a priceless 3-2 victory.
Southend captain Kevin Maher gave his side a surprise advantage going into the break when he scored a fine curling effort from the edge of the area, only for Paul Simpson's side to battle back courtesy of Sean St Ledger's header from a corner and Graham Alexander's penalty, after Adam Barrett had handled.
Southend looked a side defeated at this stage but Alan McCormack had other ideas, as he scored a dipping volley, two minutes from time, leaving Maher to secure a massive three points in the final minute.
Sheffield Wednesday's renaissance under Brian Laws continues at Hillsborough as they claimed a comfortable 2-0 win over Ipswich.
After a goalless first half, Glenn Whelan needed just two minutes after the interval to break from midfield to open the scoring, leaving Steve MacLean to secure a three-point haul with a neat finish after a bright Wednesday move.
Mick McCarthy's Wolves gave their bid for a play-off spot no harm with a 3-1 victory over Hull, in a result which pulls Phil Brown's City further still into the battle to beat the drop.
A previously goal-shy Jay Bothroyd broke the game's deadlock in the 18th minute, as he found a bullet header from Michael McIndoe's pinpoint delivery.
It was a lead extended on 39 minutes when Seyi Olofinjana was left unmarked at a corner, before Bothroyd slid in to convert Andy Keogh's cross, just two minutes after the break. Nicky Forster's goal, for all its quality, proved scant consolation for Hull.
Stoke too are pressing for a play-off spot and a 2-1 victory over a previously rejuvenated Crystal Palace will do their bid little harm.
Jon Parkin, on-loan from Hull, turned and shot in a spectacular fashion to give his side a lead in the 20th minute and just minutes later, it was extended by Ricardo Fuller's third goal in as many games.
Palace made for an anxious second half when Gabriel Zakuani put through his own goal from Mark Kennedy's corner, but it was Tony Pulis' side which held on to take the points.
Leeds took the lead at Layer Road but travelled home with only a 2-1 defeat for their exertions, as Jamie Cureton grabbed his fourth goal in two games over the Easter period - in added time.
It had looked to have been going swimmingly for Dennis Wise and his side when they took the lead in the 53rd minute through Eddie Lewis' sweetly struck finish, but with eight minutes remaining, Chris Iwelumo found a leveller - leaving Cureton to break Leeds hearts.
Leicester are another side looking anxiously over their shoulders, with a 3-0 defeat at Plymouth doing little to alleviate fears of the drop.
Peter Halmosi found the top corner at Home Park to open the scoring in the 15th minute and in a comfortable second half, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Barry Hayles added gloss to a polished display.
Luton faced heartache at Loftus Road as Queens Park Rangers found a late, late winner to delight the home crowd.
Dexter Blackstock's cool finish gave QPR a 14th minute lead, only for Chris Coyne's effort on the stroke of half-time to draw Luton level.
David Bell's goal from the penalty spot looked likely to be enough to hand Kevin Blackwell his first victory as Luton boss, but Blackstock's second (81), another penalty, and then Paul Furlong's winner left the away side marooned at the foot of the table.
Click below for individual match summaries:
Barnsley 1-0 Birmingham City
Burnley 2-0 Cardiff City
Colchester United 2-1 Leeds United
Derby County 1-1 Coventry City
Norwich City 1-2 West Brom
Plymouth Argyle 3-0 Leicester City
Preston North End 2-3 Southend United
QPR 3-2 Luton Town
Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Ipswich Town
Southampton L-L Sunderland
Stoke City 2-1 Crystal Palace
Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1 Hull City