One-time England ace David Nugent smashed in a hat-trick for Derby to knock Fulham out the play-off places.
Striker Nugent also saw a penalty saved by David Button - moments before grabbing his second.
Nugent had seen his opener cancelled out by Floyd Ayite before his zero to hero moment.
He completed his treble just before the hour mark ahead of Johnny Russell's drilled finish, as Gary Rowett remained unbeaten as Derby boss with a 4-2 win.
Fulham have now been overtaken by Sheffield Wednesday - while the Rams kickstarted their promotion hopes, moving to within seven points of the top six.
Steven Fletcher scored a first-half double for Wednesday as they comfortable dispatched of local rivals Rotherham.
Leeds are now also in danger of dropping out of the top four after their defeat at Brentford.
Wigan are one step closer to an immediate return to League One after they were humbled by Ipswich at Portman Road.
Freddie Sears scored a couple after David McGoldrick opened the scoring in the early stages.
The Latics now have seven points to make up if they are to remain in the second tier of the pyramid.
It proved to be a bad night for all of the teams at the bottom, as Birmingham were beaten at Brighton, while Bristol City and Blackburn also lost.
Preston put five past Bristol, with four of the goals coming in a frantic 20 minute spell at the start of the second half.
Nottingham Forest also remain two points from the bottom three after a 1-0 defeat to Wolves.
Tuesday's Championship results in full
Aston Villa 1-0 QPR
Barnsley 0-0 Cardiff
Brentford 2-0 Leeds
Brighton 3-1 Birmingham
Derby 4-2 Fulham
Ipswich 3-0 Wigan
Preston 5-0 Bristol City
Reading 3-1 Blackburn
Rotherham 0-2 Sheffield Wednesday
Wolves 1-0 Nottingham Forest
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