West Ham failed to take advantage of Southampton's shock home defeat by Bristol City as it suffered a 2-1 loss to Derby County at Pride Park.
The Hammers made a nightmare start as goals from
Frank Nouble pulled one back for the visitors with a rasping drive just before the break but the Hammers could not muster an equaliser.
Middlesbrough was held to a 1-1 draw at the Riverside by Peterborough but leapfrogged West Ham into second place.
Australian striker Scott McDonald's 51st minute strike looked to have secured all three points for Boro but Tommy Rowe's late equaliser denied the host the three points.
Posh midfielder Rowe headed George Boyd's inswinging corner past Boro keeper Jason Steele in the 87th minute to earn his side a late draw.
Reading claimed a 1-0 win over Ipswich Town to climb above Hull into fifth thanks to Alex Pearce's 64th minute header.
Nottingham Forest's woes continued as it lost 1-0 by Cardiff City.
Kenny Miller headed the only goal of the game in the 59th minute to leave Forest in the relegation zone while Cardiff remained fourth but closed the gap on third to two points.
Leicester City's play-off challenge continued to stutter aftera 1-1 home draw with Portsmouth.
The Foxes, fancied for promotion at the start of the season after heavy investment under
Leicester needed an equalising goal from former Pompey striker
Marvin Sordell's brace earned Watford a 4-1 home win over Doncaster, which had Herold Goulon sent off.
Sordell grabbed his first on the stroke of half-time but
Goulon was then dismissed before Sordell,
Birmingham City beat 10-man Blackpool 3-0 at St Andrew's with a dominant performance.
Curtis Davies headed the opener on the stroke of half-time before Marlon King doubled the advantage after the break with a low strike from the edge of the area.
Blackpool midfielder Barry Ferguson was dismissed for violent conduct in the 55th minute with the Blues capitalising on the one-man advantage through Nathan Redmond's 89th minute strike.
Coventry City moved off the bottom of the table with a 2-0 win over Brighton.
Gary McSheffrey gave the Sky Blues the lead in the 34th minute with a 20 yard strike before Lukas Jutkiewicz sealed the win with a close range header after the break.
Queens Park Rangers chairman