On a night when Steve McClaren endured a new low as Nottingham Forest manager as his side were thumped 5-1 at Burnley, arch rivals Derby County moved up to second following a home draw with Barnsley.
Prior to the visit of Forest an exasperated Burnley faithful had not seen their side win at Turf Moor all season, but such a statistic was put right on Tuesday as Jay Rodriguez was twice on target in a five-star Clarets performance.
Derby could have toppled Southampton at the summit with three points over Barnsley but in the end were grateful Steve Davies' penalty secured a 1-1 draw, after they had fallen behind to Jacob Butterfield's opener for the improving Tykes.
Lee Bowyer returned to haunt former club West Ham as his goal a minute from time for Ipswich silenced the majority inside Upton Park.
Brighton looked to be heading for top spot when Craig Mackail-Smith's goal gave them the lead at home to Crystal Palace, but a late slump saw them slip to a surprise 3-1 defeat at the Amex Stadium.
Dean Saunders' second game in charge of Doncaster ended in a 1-1 stalemate with Hull City, with Simon Gillet's second half equaliser cancelling out Martyn Waghorn's effort for the Tigers.
Watford left it late at home to Millwall but stole bragging rights nonetheless, as goals from Carl Dickinson and Craig Forsyth reduced Liam Feeney's opener for the Lions to a mere consolation.
Erik Huseklepp was left with his head in his hands at Fratton Park as his last minute own goal ensured Peterborough left Portsmouth with the spoils after a topsy-turvy affair on the South Coast ended in a 3-2 victory for Darren Ferguson's side.
The same scoreline ensued at Ashton Gate as Reading won a five-goal thriller against Bristol City courtesy of another last minute effort - with substitute Mathieu Manset the hero for the Royals.
Blackpool were left to thank Gary Taylor-Fletcher's last gasp intervention as his goal earned Ian Holloway's side a 2-2 draw at Coventry City.