Wigan go clear at top
By Patrick Goss
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Wigan started the day top on goal difference, but a victory put them a point clear, with Lee McCulloch scoring the only goal of the game against The Hornets.
West Ham slipped out of the top three after losing away to Gillingham, Marlon King grabbing the first on 57 and debutant Trevor Benjamin doubling the lead.
The Irons' misery was compounded by the late dismissal of Jermain Defoe for foul and abusive language.
Game of the day came at Bramall Lane, where Sheffield United claimed victory in an eight-goal thriller against Cardiff, and moved into second place.
Robert Earnshaw had grabbed a brace for Cardiff either side of United goals from Michael Tonge and Peter Ndlovu.
Richard Langley put Cardiff back in front, but two penalties from Ndlovu and a goal from Jack Lester handed The Blades a 5-3 victory.
West Brom move up one place into third, despite Crystal Palace claiming an injury time equaliser in a 2-2 draw at Selhurst Park.
The Baggies took the lead through Rob Hulse in the 52nd minute, but Dougie Freedman levelled seven minutes later.
Jason Koumas then looked to have grabbed an 89th minute winner for West Brom but Andy Johnson levelled with virtually the last kick of the game.
Derby looked to have secured three points against Sunderland, when Ian Taylor scored with minutes remaining.
However Sunderland desperately threw Poom up for a corner and the goalkeeper amazingly headed home to earn a share of the points.
Crewe picked up the shock of the day, coming from behind to defeat in-form Nottingham Forest 3-1.
Marlon Harewood had opened the scoring 57 minutes in, but a goal from Kenny Lunt levelled matters soon after.
Crewe went from strength to strength and goals from Dean Ashton and Steve Jones wrapped up a fine victory.
Coventry City came from behind to register a 2-1 victory over Reading.
Goals from Dele Adebola and Andy Morrell cancelling out a 21st minute strike from the Royals' Nicky Forster.
Burnley continued their Jekyll and Hyde form of late by demolishing Bradford 4-0 at Turf Moor.
An impressive display by former Bradford star Robbie Blake, who scored the fourth, capped off a performance that saw Luke Chadwick bag a brace and Ian Moore the opener.
Millwall moved up into seventh with a 2-1 victory over Walsall.
Steve Corica had converted an early penalty for Walsall, but a Darren Ward goal and a spot-kick from Neil Harris sealed a win.
Stoke and Norwich shared the spoils in the late kick-off at the Britannia Stadium after a hard-fought 1-1 draw.
Gifton Noel-Williams edged the hosts ahead with a deft finish from Ade Akinbiyi's cross on 36 minutes.
However, Nigel Worthington's troops tied matters up midway through the second half when Darren Huckerby reacted quickest in the box and beat Ed de Goey with a low shot at his near post.
Ipswich proved too strong for sorry Wimbledon, beating Division One's bottom side 4-1.
Alun Armstrong, Richard Naylor, Darren Bent and Pablo Counago all got on the scoresheet, whilst Patrick Agyemang grabbed a goal for The Dons.
Rotherham's terrible form also continued, with Preston impressive in a 4-1 win.
North End had opened the scoring through Richard Cresswell only for Darren Byfield to level on 45.
However second half goals from Ricardo Fuller, Graham Alexander and Brian O'Neil wrapped up a convincing win for Preston.