It was a Saturday to forget for Derby County, Nottingham Forest and Notts County as all three were comprehensively beaten in league encounters.
In what was arguably the Championship clash of the day, the Rams came up against high-riding Burnley in a match sure to help shape the placings come the end of the campaign.
Had Derby beaten their hosts, they would have replaced them in second place and given them the advantage in the race for the Premier League behind leaders Leicester.
But as it was, Burnley extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches with a 2-0 success.
They struck first for a deserved lead in the 29th minute with a top-notch looping volley from David Jones.
The game took a significant twist before half-time when Derby’s Chris Martin was controversially sent off for a second bookable offence after being adjudged to have dived.
And the three points were secured in the 68th minute when Dean Marney finished to leave Burnley now five points clear of the Rams in second.
As for Forest, they suffered a second successive Championship reverse when they were hammered 4-1 at the City Ground by Wigan Athletic.
The visitors took the lead when Waghorn struck in the 36th minute.
But the match was finely poised when the rich vein of form of the Reds’ Jamie Paterson continued with the equaliser in the 54th minute.
However, a late blast of goals for Wigan from Boyce on 66 minutes,′ McArthur on 71′ and Jordi Gómez in injury time sent the Forest faithul home hugely disappointed.
The result also moved Wigan within three points of fifth-placed Forest with a game in hand as the playoff picture continues to hot up.
The most miserable result was reserved for struggling County in League One as they were battered 6-0 at playoff chasing Rotherham′.
It leaves the Magpies rooted to the foot of the table as Tavernier (12),′ Vuckic (16′, 60′), Revell (26), Agard (29, pen) and Hitchcock (83) piled on the misery.′