By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Reading closed the gap at the top of the table with a victory over Sheffield United.The Madejski Stadium witnessed a heart-stopping top of the table clash as Sheffield United suffered only their second defeat of the season at the hands of Reading.
Neil Warnock's side saw their Championship lead cut to three points as Steve Coppell's men secured all three points in the dying minutes of a high-tempo confrontation.
Brynjar Gunnarsson opened the scoring for the home side after just three minutes as he converted Glen Little's cross, however The Blades hit back just 12 minutes later through Steve Kabba.
United were lucky not to see goalkeeper Paddy Kenny dismissed as he handled outside the box, before Reading left it late to steal the points as Gunnarsson scored with a minute to go.
The result also left the door open for surprise package Luton Town to close the gap at the top, and Mike Newell's men did not disappoint with a 2-1 victory over Cardiff.
The Hatters lost the initiative after just nine minutes as the home side scored through striker Michael Ricketts, although Luton showed determination to regain the lead and Dean Morgan (30) and Peter Holmes (57) duly provided as they moved seven points clear of seventh place.
Bedfordshire neighbours Watford hosted Leeds and both sides missed the chance to cement their play-off claims with a 0-0 draw at Vicarage Road.
Sheffield Wednesday moved off the bottom of the table as they came out victorious in a five-goal thriller with Coventry City.
Paul Sturrock's side went ahead through Graham Coughlan before Gary McSheffrey levelled matters from the penalty spot on 33 minutes.
Wednesday edged their noses in front just before the break thanks to Chris Brunt and the winger proved to be the match winner as his 79th minute penalty rendered Andy Morrell's equaliser redundant.
The Owls leapfrogged Crewe as Dario Gradi's side continued their dismal run of form without a win since the opening day of the season with a 2-1 defeat at Ipswich.
David Vaughan (26) put the visitors ahead in his 150th appearance for Alex although Darren Currie (54) and Nicky Forster (68) handed Joe Royle's men the points.
Southampton missed the chance to sneak into the play-offs as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Preston North End at Deepdale.
Billy Davies' side handed the visitors the initiative as Callum Davidson scored an own goal on 27 minutes, although last season's play-off finalists restored parity through Patrick Agyemang.
Norwich shrugged off their disappointing form to date as they broke into the top half of the table with a 3-1 win at Brighton.
The Canaries shot into a 2-0 lead through Darren Huckerby (22) and Paul McVeigh (41), before Ian Henderson (85) replied to Alexandre Frutos' (67) lone strike for The Seagulls.
Plymouth clambered over their South Coast rivals as they secured a 2-1 home win over Stoke City.
The visitors went ahead thanks to a strike from on-loan Luke Chadwick on 47 minutes, but a Darel Russell (50) own goal and a strike from Hungarian star Akos Buzsaky (77) gave the home side three points.
Leicester are now level on points with Argyle in 19th place after they earned a dramatic 1-1 draw with Derby.
Craig Levein's side seemingly claimed the points with an 85th minute strike from Canadian hit-man Iain Hume, but loan star Mounir el Hamdaoui popped up at the death to equalise for Phil Brown's men.
Full match reports will appear here when available.
| 1-3|| Norwich|
|Cardiff|| 1-2|| Luton|
|Derby|| 1-1|| Leicester|
|Ipswich|| 2-1|| Crewe|
|Plymouth|| 2-1|| Stoke|
|Preston|| 1-1|| Southampton|
|Reading|| 2-1|| Sheffield Utd|
|Sheffield Wed|| 3-2|| Coventry|
|Watford|| 0-0|| Leeds|