By Simon Fudge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Birmingham City extended their lead in the Championship after a 2-1 win over QPR.
Birmingham City extended their lead in the Championship to eight points after a 2-1 home win over Queens Park Rangers.
Matthew Upson (22) gave Blues the lead in the Boxing Day clash at St Andrews before QPR drew level through Lee Cook (31).
The Second City club claimed the points when Cameron Jerome came off the substitutes' bench to strike the winner on 62 minutes.
Preston North End and Derby County both lost ground to Steve Bruce's side, with The Lilywhites having had a man sent off in a 4-2 defeat at West Bromwich Albion.
Jason Koumas (6) and Diomansy Kamara (25) gave West Brom a two-goal lead before Graham Alexander pulled a goal back from the penalty spot on 35 minutes.
Preston were then reduced to ten men when Danny Dichio was sent off six minutes later for violent conduct.
Despite being a man short, the visitors pulled level when David Nugent (67) struck again for Paul Simpson's side.
However, The Baggies made the extra man count when substitute Nathan Ellington struck a brace (75, 87) to send Tony Mowbray's side up into the play-off positions.
West Brom's arch-rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers also had a positive Boxing Day after a 2-0 win at Derby.
Seyi Olofinjana (66) and Michael Kightly (90) both found the scoresheet for Wolves at Pride Park.
Crystal Palace came from a goal down to earn a 1-1 draw with ten-man Southampton in the lunchtime kick-off at St Mary's.
The first half saw The Saints have a man sent off on 28 minutes.
Kenwyne Jones was given his marching orders by referee Richard Beeby after striking out at a Palace player following a melee that involved both sets of players.
Despite being a man short, Chris Baird (47) gave George Burley's side the lead shortly after the restart.
The Eagles, however, earned an away point when Jobi McAnuff (54) struck for the visitors to claim another point to follow last Friday's win over Sunderland.
In another early kick-off, Cardiff City saw their winless run extended to eight games after a 2-2 home draw with Plymouth Argyle.
David Norris (34) gave The Pilgrims the lead before former Rangers man Steven Thompson struck a second-half brace (47, 52) to turn the game around for The Bluebirds at Ninian Park.
However, Dave Jones's side were unable to hold on, as Norris (59) claimed a Boxing Day point for Plymouth in South Wales.
Colchester United sit just outside the play-off places after thrashing Luton Town 4-1 at Layer Road.
A Kevin McLeod header (23) gave The U's the lead before Chris Iwelumo (41) and Richard Garcia (59) added further goals for the Essex outfit.
An Iwelumo header (65) made it four before Luton got a consolation through a Rowan Vine penalty five minutes from the end.
Sheffield Wednesday continued their upsurge under Brian Laws after a 2-1 win at Stoke City.
Steven MacLean (35) put The Owls in front before Mamady Sidibe (60) equalised for The Potters.
Deon Burton (79) claimed all three points for Wednesday with a late strike at The Britannia Stadium.
Barnsley remain out of the bottom three after an important 1-0 home win over Burnley, while goals from David Connolly (65) and Grant Leadbitter (81) gave Sunderland a 2-0 home win over struggling Leeds United.
Goals from Jonathan Macken (62) and Alan Lee (85) gave Ipswich Town a 2-1 victory at Coventry City.
Michael Doyle (90) struck a consolation for The Sky Blues.
Leicester City came from goal down to defeat struggling Hull City 2-1 at The Kingston Communications Stadium.
Craig Fagan (45) gave The Tigers a half-time lead before goals from Patrick Kisnorbo (55) and Gareth Williams (68) turned he game around for The Foxes.
Hull's chances of a comeback effectively ended when Danny Coles (72) was sent off for a professional foul.
Finally, bottom club Southend United held Norwich City to a goalless draw at Carrow Road.
The Shrimpers needed to play the final 35 minutes of the game with ten men after Efe Sodje was sent off for violent conduct.
Click below for match summaries:
Barnsley 1-0 Burnley
Birmingham City 2-1 Queens Park Rangers
Cardiff City 2-2 Plymouth Argyle
Colchester United 4-1 Luton Town
Coventry City 1-2 Ipswich Town
Derby County 0-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Hull City 1-2 Leicester City
Norwich City 0-0 Southend United
Southampton 1-1 Crystal Palace
Stoke City 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday
Sunderland 2-0 Leeds United
West Bromwich Albion 4-2 Preston North End