On-loan Irish international striker Aaron Connolly scored his first goal for Middlesbrough to help them move into the Championship playoff places with a resounding 4-1 victory over Derby County at the Riverside Stadium.
All the talk in the build up to the game was surrounding the off-field drama between the two clubs, with a resolution to Boro’s legal claim against the Rams having been agreed this week.
But Derby were left with plenty to resolve on the pitch after being dismantled by Boro, a defeat which leaves them four points from safety.
Lee Buchanan’s own goal was cancelled out by Max Bird, but Boro led 3-1 at the break after quick-fire goals from Connolly and Matt Crooks before Duncan Watmore rounded off the scoring in the 89th minute.
A late turnaround from Bournemouth at Blackpool kept them within six points of Fulham at the top of the table.
Blackpool were bidding for a fourth consecutive home win, and it looked like Josh Bowler might have given it to them with a fine strike in the 37th minute.
But Jamal Lowe equalised in the 86th minute and Siriki Dembele’s injury-time effort gave the Cherries a valuable 2-1 victory.
Fulham had to wait until the 57th minute to break the deadlock against Hull, Aleksandar Mitrovic equalling the Championship’s scoring record by netting his 31st of the season to clinch a 1-0 victory.
The surprise of the day came at Oakwell, where Barnsley claimed their first league victory since early November against QPR, who slip to fourth. The only goal of the 1-0 win came from Domingos Quina in the 74th minute.
Birmingham claimed a valuable 3-0 victory over Luton despite a first-half protest from fans, who threw tennis balls on to the pitch, briefly halting the game.
Juninho Bacuna grabbed his first goal for the club in the 25th minute, with Lyle Taylor and Onel Hernandez both finding the net in the second half.
An eventful afternoon in Reading saw the 10-man Royals beaten 3-2 by Coventry.
Lucas Joao’s opener was cancelled out by goals from Dominic Hyam and Michael Rose either side of half-time.
Andy Yiadom drew Reading level again shortly afterwards but Junior Hoilett was sent off for a rash challenge and Coventry took advantage almost immediately through a lovely chip from Ian Maatsen.
Nottingham Forest salvaged a point in a 2-2 draw with Stoke despite ending the game with defender Joe Worrall in goal.
Forest had led through Brennan Johnson’s 56th-minute goal but Josh Maja equalised and, with five minutes left, goalkeeper Brice Samba took exception to a nudge from Phil Jagielka and hit him in the head.
That earned Samba a red card and, with the hosts having used all their substitutions, Worrall went in goal to face a penalty from Lewis Baker.
He was unable to save it but Forest dramatically equalised in injury-time through Ryan Yates.
There were three late goals at Millwall, where the hosts were 2-1 winners over Cardiff, Murray Wallace and Mason Bennett scoring for the Lions before Joel Bagan made it a nervy finish.
Cameron Archer netted 10 minutes from time to earn Preston a 1-0 victory at Peterborough while Huddersfield and Sheffield United played out a goalless draw.