Burnley are on the brink of promotion to the Premier League after a 1-0 victory over beleaguered Blackpool on Friday.
Sean Dyche's side could have been promoted with three games to spare had Derby County slipped up in their match at Doncaster Rovers later in the day.
Derby kept Burnley waiting by claiming a 2-0 win at the Keepmoat Stadium, but the Championship's second-placed side retain an eight-point cushion over their nearest rivals and know one more win will guarantee a return to the top flight.
Michael Kightly scored the only goal of the game at Bloomfield Road after 49 minutes, the winger cutting in from the right flank before curling a delightful left-footed shot into the far corner.
Burnley were good value for their win against a team battling to avoid relegation from England's second tier.
A miserable day for Blackpool was compounded by two bizarre incidents in the second half. Play was briefly interrupted when a section of home supporters threw tennis balls onto the pitch in an apparent protest against chairman Karl Oyston and Blackpool coach Bob Malcolm was then sent to the stands after appearing to lash out at Stephen Dobbie, his own player, as the forward prepared to come on as a substitute.
Goals from George Thorne and Chris Martin secured three points for Derby, who were already guaranteed a play-off spot following results earlier in the day, in South Yorkshire.
On-loan midfielder Thorne registered his first goal for the club with a controlled finish from outside the penalty area following Will Hughes' lay-off and leading scorer Martin made sure of the points when he converted Jamie Ward's cross with the outside of his right boot.
Wigan Athletic took a huge step to securing a play-off berth with a 3-0 win over fellow hopefuls Reading.
Having suffered an agonising FA Cup elimination on penalties against Arsenal last weekend, Wigan responded superbly with Jordi Gomez and Martyn Waghorn scoring in the first half.
Callum McManaman netted six minutes after the interval to add gloss to the scoreline and lift Wigan six points clear of their opponents, who slip to seventh.
Brighton and Hove Albion are up to sixth after Bruno Saltor rescued a 1-1 draw at Huddersfield Town. The Spaniard scored with seven minutes of normal time to go after Oliver Norwood had put the hosts ahead six minutes in.
Bournemouth's late play-off charge took a blow as they slipped to a surprising 4-2 defeat at home to Sheffield Wednesday.
Yeovil Town remain bottom of the table after a 0-0 draw at Blackburn Rovers, while Charlton Athletic, in 20th, grabbed a point at home to Bolton Wanderers with a goalless draw of their own.
|Coach: B. Ferguson|
for J. Robinson 44'
for D. Goodwillie 56'
for I. Osbourne 70'
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