Saints strike back to deny Hammers
Southampton came from behind to rescue a 1-1 draw at 10-man West Ham and prevent Sam Allardyce's side pulling clear at the top of the npower Championship on Tuesday night.
Jos Hooiveld scored a 75th-minute equaliser at Upton Park to keep the visitors just one point behind their opponents.
West Ham played with 10 men since the 18th minute when Matt Taylor was dismissed for a clash with Billy Sharp after the Saints striker had conceded a penalty with a foul on Mark Noble. Noble himself then dispatched the spot-kick low into the net, but the Hammers could not held on as the visitors eventually made the extra man count.
Cardiff and Blackpool both won to close on the automatic promotion places. The Bluebirds beat Peterborough 3-1 in the Welsh capital to go third and move to within three points of Southampton, while Blackpool won 3-1 at relegation-threatened Doncaster to sit one place and one point further back.
Birmingham dropped to fifth as they were held to a goalless draw at home to Hull while Reading replaced the Tigers in the final play-off place with a 1-0 win at Derby, Noel Hunt on target just after the hour mark.
Middlesbrough boosted their top-six hopes with a 2-1 win at home to struggling Nottingham Forest. Marvin Emnes put the hosts in front on the stroke of half-time and Lukas Jutkiewicz doubled their lead a minute after the break. Substitute Joel Lynch halved the deficit, but the visitors could not find an unlikely equaliser.
David Nugent scored twice, but Leicester still went down 3-2 at Watford.
Leeds and Brighton slipped further out of the play-off picture with disappointing results.
Managerless Leeds conceded an injury-time winner as they went down 2-1 at Coventry while Brighton needed an 88th-minute leveller from Kazenga LuaLua two minutes after he came on to draw 2-2 at home to Millwall.
Brett Pitman scored twice, including a 90th-minute equaliser, as Bristol City came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at home to Crystal Palace and Burnley beat Barnsley 2-0 thanks to goals from Jay Rodriguez and Charlie Austin.
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