By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
West Brom moved into second spot, while Iain Dowie won his first game as Coventry boss.
West Bromwich Albion displaced Birmingham City in the promotion places, while Iain Dowie marked his first game as Coventry City boss with a win.
Leeds United remain bottom of the Championship after a home draw with Queens Park Rangers, but Barnsley are out of the drop zone after beating Hull City.
With leaders Derby County not in action, Birmingham could have gone top with victory at home to in-form Sunderland.
But Blues needed a last minute equaliser from DJ Campbell to claim a 1-1 draw after Carlos Edwards had put Sunderland in front on 27 minutes.
Midlands rivals West Brom seized on that slip to move into second spot as Nathan Ellington's 66th minute goal saw off Cardiff City.
Preston North End recovered from their FA Cup defeat on Sunday to go fourth after holding on for a 2-1 win at home to Norwich City.
Pavel Pergl marked his debut for Paul Simpson's side with the opening goal on 28 minutes and Danny Dichio added a second before half-time.
Jason Shackell reduced the deficit on 62 minutes, but Norwich, themselves beaten by Premiership opposition in the FA Cup fifth round, could not conjure an equaliser.
Coventry named Dowie as their new manager on Monday and just over 24 hours later he celebrated his first match in charge with a 2-1 win over Southampton.
Dele Adebola put The Sky Blues ahead on five minutes before Marek Saganowski drew Saints level with his first goal for the club on 14 minutes.
Kevin Kyle grabbed the winner for Coventry on 30 minutes as Dowie set out on the road to fulfilling the club's aim to get back in the Premiership.
At the bottom end of the table, relegation rivals Leeds and QPR fought out a 0-0 draw at Elland Road.
The point lifted Leeds level with second bottom Southend, who lost 1-0 at home to Crystal Palace thanks to Paul Ifill's 65th minute goal.
A goal in each half from Istvan Ferenczi helped Barnsley to a 3-0 win over Hull, who now drop into the bottom three.
Ferenczi's fellow Hungarian, Peter Rajczi, scored his first goal for The Tykes a minute into the second half.
Drew Talbot returned to haunt former club Sheffield Wednesday as he scored Luton Town's winner in a 3-2 success at Kenilworth Road.
Deon Burton put The Owls ahead on 25 minutes, but on-loan striker Bjorn Runstrom levelled with his first goal for The Hatters on 33 minutes.
Tommy Spurr's 54th minute own goal put Luton in front, only for Glenn Whelan to equalise on the hour before Talbot struck the winner three minutes later.
Stephen Ward's third goal in four games kept Wolves in the promotion hunt with a 1-0 win at Ipswich Town.
Plymouth Argyle followed up reaching the quarter-finals of the FA Cup by easing to a 3-0 home success over Colchester United.
David Norris scored on 12 minutes, Sylvain Ebanks-Blake converted a 59th minute penalty and Dan Gosling added a third on 67 minutes.
John McGreal's own goal condemned Burnley to a 1-0 home defeat to Leicester City, who are starting the Milan Mandaric in bold fashion.
Click below for an individual match summary:
Barnsley 3-0v Hull City
Birmingham City 1-1 Sunderland
Burnley 0-1 Leicester City
Coventry City 2-1 Southampton
Ipswich Town 0-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Leeds United 0-0 Queens Park Rangers
Luton Town 3-2 Sheffield Wednesday
Plymouth Argyle 3-0 Colchester United
Preston North End 2-1 Norwich City
Southend United 0-1 Crystal Palace
West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Cardiff City