By Pete Allison
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Leaders Cardiff were beaten by Norwich, as Luton added to Leeds' misery.
League leaders Cardiff were beaten for only the second time this season, as Norwich secured a 1-0 win in their first home game with Peter Grant in charge.
Cardiff had an early goal disallowed and Norwich capitalised upon the decision as Dickson Etuhu netted in the seventh minute.
Cardiff failed to convert their chances in the second half, as they piled pressure upon The Canaries.
Dave Jones' side became increasingly frustrated, and both sides were reduced to ten men, as Kerrea Gilbert and Paul McVeigh were both red carded for violent conduct.
The gap between first and second place was narrowed, as Preston battled their way to a 2-1 win over bottom side Hull City.
Preston took an early lead, as Daniele Dichio netted for the second time in as many games, following good work from David Nugent.
The pair linked up once again to double the lead, as a Nugent cross was met by Dichio.
In the second half, Hull were back in the game, as John Welsh scored from close range. Hull increased the pressure upon Paul Simpson's side, but they failed to convert possession into goals.
Down at the bottom of the table, Luton Town increased Leeds' misery, as they smashed five past John Carver's side in a 5-1 win.
Luton made it 1-0 through Carlos Edwards, as he made the most of some poor Leeds defending to hand The Hatters the lead.
Leeds equalised five minutes later through Hayden Foxe, who made it 1-1 with a thumping header from an Adam Johnson corner.
The Whites were punished for missing chances, as Rowan Vine continued his impressive scoring form, making the most of a suicidal offside trap, as Luton regained the lead.
Just a minute later, David Bell added a third and Markus Heikkinen made it 4-1. Luton completed their rout in the 90th minute, as Edwards met a Vine cross for his second of the game.
The pressure on Steve Bruce was eased in the 84th minute of Birmingham's clash with Derby County, in a 1-0 victory for the visitors.
Neither goalkeeper had much to do in the game, until Stephen Clemence scored against the run of play.
Birmingham climbed above Derby in the table, as they now sit eighth in The Championship, one point off the play-offs.
Crystal Palace could only manage a 1-1 draw with Leicester, after taking the lead through Tom Soares on 16 minutes.
Elvis Hammond was fouled by Darren Ward in the box, and Iain Hume stepped up to take the subsequent penalty to equalise late in the first half.
Sheffield Wednesday began life without Paul Sturrock with a 3-2 win over QPR.
Wednesday found themselves 2-0 up after two goals from Marcus Tudgay. QPR fought back to 2-2, as Dexter Blackstock scored twice from close range.
Rangers failed to hold onto the draw, and managerless Wednesday sealed the win with a penalty from Steven MacLean, after he was brought down by Paul Jones in the area.
Southampton sealed a 1-0 victory over Stoke as Mario Licka scored a superb solo goal. Licka drifted into the box from the left-hand side, and smashed his shot low into the net.
Elsewhere, Sunderland left it late to secure a 2-0 victory over Barnsley. Dean Whitehead netted in the 80th minute after he controlled and shot the ball into the goal after a Nyron Nosworthy cross from the right.
Roy Keane's side secured the win on 88 minutes, as Chris Brown met a right-sided cross to make it 2-0.
At Roots Hall, Ipswich managed a 3-1 win over Southend. Billy Clarke handed Jim Magilton's side the lead in the first half, as he stood unmarked awaiting a Jaime Peters cross.
It was 2-0 not long after half time, as a 25-yard effort from Sylvain Legwinski rocketed into the net, as Southend goalkeeper Darryl Flahavan failed to hold on to the long-range effort.
An unmarked Alan Lee made it 3-0 shortly after, before Simon Francis broke his Southend duck, handing his side a consolation goal.
In the final game in The Championship, Plymouth and Burnley played out a 0-0 draw.
Plymouth find themselves one point behind Steve Cotterill's side, who remain inside the play-off places.
Click here for an invididual match summary:
Derby County 0-1 Birmingham City
Leicester City 1-1 Crystal Palace
Luton Town 5-1 Leeds United
Norwich City 1-0 Cardiff City
Plymouth Argyle 0-0 Burnley
Preston North End 2-1 Hull City
Sheffield Wednesday 3-2 Queens Park Rangers
Southampton 1-0 Stoke City
Southend United 1-3 Ipswich Town
Sunderland 2-0 Barnsley