LONDON: Norwich City beat nine-man Wimbledon 1-0 away to open a five-point lead in the English first division after their two closest rivals both lost on Saturday.
Striker Darren Huckerby scored the only goal in the 16th minute and bottom side Wimbledon had goalkeeper Steve Banks and defender Mark Williams sent off in the last eight minutes.
Norwich have 59 points from 30 matches while second-placed West Bromwich Albion, who went down 3-0 at Preston North End, remain on 54.
Wigan climbed to third above Sheffield United on 50 points after a 3-1 victory at Ipswich Town. Sheffield, a further point back, were upset 3-0 at home by mid-table Crystal Palace.
Former European champions Nottingham Forest, who were in the playoffs for a place in the Premier League last season and high in the table early this term, sacked manager Paul Hart after a 1-0 home loss to Coventry City.
Forest, who have not won for 14 league games, are third from bottom.
Striker Bobby Zamora, transferred from premier league side Tottenham Hotspur during the week, scored on his debut as West Ham United came from behind to win 2-1 at Bradford City. The Hammers are fifth on 48 points.
West Ham's better goal difference puts them ahead of Sunderland, who have a game in hand and came from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Watford. Reuters