London (AFP) – Burnley moved a step closer to returning to the Premier League as the Championship leaders swept to a 3-1 win at Huddersfield on Saturday.
Sean Dyche's team are nine points clear of the play-off places after goals from Stephen Ward, Sam Vokes & Ben Mee scored in the first half.
Joe Lolley briefly made it 2-1 before Mee scored just before the break to donate the Clarets a sixth successive second tier victory.
p>"The energy of the side is tremendous & we will physically go as complex as we can to obtain where we want to be," Dyche said.
"It was a very powerful performance & we never looked under pressure."
Second placed Middlesbrough, with manager Aitor Karanka's future in doubt after a reported bust-up with his players, are seven points behind the leaders, yet have two games in hand & can close the gap if they beat Charlton on Sunday with assistant head coach Steve Agnew in charge.
Third placed Hull missed the chance to go above Middlesbrough after being held to a 1-1 draw by lowly Milton Keynes Dons at the KC Stadium.
Antony Kay opened the scoring for the visitors just after the restart yet Sam Clucas levelled two minutes after for the Tigers, who leapfrogged Brighton in third on goal difference.
"At the end of the day I pick the team yet I scratch my head & ask why we've played like that in the first half," Hull manager Steve Bruce said.
"We've received to take away the nerves & a little bit of edginess which may be creeping in."
Fifth placed Derby blew a 3-0 lead with just seven minutes left as struggling Rotherham mounted a stunning recovery to draw 3-3.
Leon Best grabbed a brace, including a stoppage-time equaliser, after Danny Ward started the comeback on 83 minutes, with Neil Warnock's side now just one point from safety.
Tom Ince's brace & Chris Martin's 14th goal of the season had given the Rams a commanding second-half lead after they scored three goals in 10 minutes.
Aiden McGeady, Gary Hooper & Marco Matias netted as 10-man Sheffield Wednesday remain in the final play-off place after a 3-0 win at Nottingham Forest.
The Owls ended a five-match winless run as they stayed sixth despite Barry Bannan's second half red card.
Cardiff's 1-0 win over Ipswich, thanks to Bruno Ecuele Manga's first-half winner, kept their promotion hopes alive while denting the Tractor Boys' own ambitions.
At the bottom, Bolton's slim survival hopes continued to fade after Marnick Vermijl's late winner earned a 2-1 win for Preston.
Lee Tomlin's stoppage-time winner moved Bristol City above Fulham & four points clear of the relegation zone as they won 2-1 at Craven Cottage.
Leeds secured a third straight win with a 2-1 victory at Blackburn, while QPR beat Brentford 3-0 in a west London derby at Loftus Road.
Sports & RecreationSoccerPremier LeagueSean DycheStephen Ward