Hull City's stalemate away to Blackpool allowed the Bluebirds to take advantage, while Sheffield United drew 2-2 at Doncaster in the battle for promotion from League One
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Joe Mason struck just before half-time to ensure the Bluebirds returned from St Andrew's with all three points, while second-place Hull City lost ground on their title rivals after being held to a 0-0 draw away to Blackpool.
Blackburn won their second game in a row since Henning Berg's sacking, with Ruben Rochina, Jordan Rhodes and Colin Kazim-Richards earning a 3-0 win at home to Nottingham Forest, who are still searching for a first win under new boss Alex McLeish.
In the race for the play-off places, Watford fell to a 4-3 defeat at home to Charlton, despite leading twice in the game, while Middlesborough's 3-1 loss away to Derby allowed Crystal Palace to leapfrog them into third with victory over Wolves, whose manager Stale Solbakken conceded the club were in "crisis" after the game.
Elsewhere, Leicester City hammered Huddersfield 6-1 and Leeds United bounced back from last weekend's defeat to Hull with a 1-0 win over Bolton at Elland Road.
|LEAGUE ONE RESULTS
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The point ensures the Blades remain above their arrivals in second place, yet allowed league-leaders Tranmere to open up a three-point gap at the top of the table following Andy Robinson's winner in the 1-0 away victory over Bury.
Swindon thrashed lowly Portsmouth 5-0 at home, with all five goals coming in the second half, and four of those being scored by substitute James Collins. The 22-year-old also teed up Danny Hollands as the Robins maintained their push for promotion.
Brentford's goalless draw with Bournemouth sees them remain firmly in the race for promotion, while the Poppies stay eighth and out of the play-off places on goal difference alone.
Hartlepool returned to losing ways after the weekend's rare win, with John Mousinho's headed effort enough to earn Preston victory. Fellow-strugglers Scunthorpe's drew 2-2 at home to Oldham to pull themselves within two points of safety.
|LEAGUE TWO RESULTS
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Dag & Red
Fellow automatic promotion hopefuls Rotherham moved up into third after goals from Kayode Odejayi and Courtney Cameron helped them come from behind to defeat Rochdale. Cheltenham Town fell to a 1-0 defeat away to Oxford United, with a Peter Leven penalty earning victory.
Relegation candidates Bristol Rovers and Wimbledon both grabbed key wins in their bid to beat the drop. Joe Anyinsah and Matthew Lund were on target for John Ward's men as they beat Plymouth 2-1 at home, while Wimbledon beat Torquay 3-2 thanks to Stacy Long's late winner. However, they remain rooted to the bottom of the table.