Palace & Foxes held, Tigers roar
Hull maintained their impressive away form to halt Watford's unbeaten run and climb up to fourth in the Championship with a 2-1 victory at Vicarage Road with goals from Irishmen David Meyler and Robbie Brady.
The Tigers made it three successive wins on the road, and their sixth victory in their last nine league matches, with a goal just before half-time from on-loan Sunderland midfielder Meyler and winger Brady's thumping free-kick midway through the second half.
Gianfranco Zola's Watford, unbeaten in their previous seven having won five of them, had to settle for Troy Deeney's stoppage-time consolation, while second-half substitute Almen Abdi hit the post for the hosts shortly after replacing Daniel Pudil, but it was not to be their day.
Save for an early shot from Hull striker Jay Simpson and Watford defender Nathaniel Chalobah's blocked 20-yard shot in the 17th minute, neither side mustered a single effort on goal during the opening half-hour.
Hull midfielder Robert Koren let fly with a strike from similar distance that was comfortably held by Manuel Almunia, but the biggest cheer, from the away end at least, came when Tigers defender Jack Hobbs replaced the injured Paul McShane in the 27th minute.
Hobbs made his first appearance for the club since March after undergoing cruciate knee ligament surgery towards the end of last season.
Hull had slowly began to build up a head of steam towards the end of the first period and were rewarded with the game's opening goal in the 41st minute.
Corry Evans smashed a blistering shot from the edge of the penalty area against the crossbar and midfield colleague Meyler reacted quickest to head home the rebound.
Deeney pulled his shot from outside the area off target shortly after the restart and Hull goalkeeper David Stockdale rescued the visitors with a brilliant save to keep out Mark Yeates' free-kick soon after as the home side attempted to step up a gear.
But Hull twice threatened to extend their lead through long-range strikes from Koren and Brady as Watford struggled to make headway.
Hornets substitute Abdi, a 65th-minute replacement for Pudil, struck the woodwork with a superb shot from inside the area shortly after coming on.
Watford were then made to pay. Defender Fitz Hall fouled Meyler in a central position 25 yards from goal and Brady thumped home an unstoppable free-kick, high into the net for the decisive second goal in the 73rd minute.
Deeney did pull one back for the Hornets in the 92nd minute when converting Abdi's cross, but Hull held on for victory.
Blackpool substitute Nouha Dicko scored a last-minute equaliser at Crystal Palace to deny Ian Holloway a victory against his former club.
Palace went 1-0 down in the first half when Nathan Delfouneso converted Tom Ince's cross, but Holloway, who managed the Seasiders for three and a half years, rallied his troops at the break.
Owen Garvan equalised with a header and Glenn Murray's 18th of season put the hosts ahead, but Dicko had the final say, making it 2-2 in the last minute by turning home a Wes Thomas cross.
The result left Palace three points adrift of leaders Cardiff, who beat Blackburn 4-1 on Friday night.
Leicester dropped to fifth in the table after needing a last-minute equaliser from Jamie Vardy to earn a 2-2 draw at home to strugglers Barnsley.
The Tykes arrived at the King Power Stadium without a win in nine and went behind thanks to Anthony Knockaert's goal, but put themselves on course for a shock win when Stephen Dawson and Reuben Noble-Lazarus found the net.
The travelling fans were ready to toast victory, but Vardy turned home David Nugent's pass with 17 seconds of the game left to steal a point for the hosts.
Middlesbrough took advantage of Leicester's slip-up as they moved up to third with a nervy 3-2 win at Peterborough.
Faris Haroun gave Boro a two-goal cushion, before Dwight Gayle put Peterborough back in the game just before half-time.
Gayle then gave the bottom side a surprise lead, but Ishmael Miller came to the rescue by grabbing the visitors' winner 14 minutes from time.
Republic of Ireland internationals Robbie Brady and David Meyler both scored their first goals for Hull as the Tigers defeated in-form Watford 2-1 at Vicarage Road, where Troy Deeney grabbed a last-minute consolation for the hosts.
Kazenga Lua Lua stepped off the bench and earned fellow play-off hopefuls Brighton a valuable point in a four-goal thriller at Charlton.
Bradley Pritchard put the Addicks 2-1 up after Craig Mackail-Smith equalised Lawrie Wilson's opener, but Lua Lua struck 15 minutes from time to make it 2-2.
Nottingham Forest leapfrogged local rivals Derby in to ninth with a 2-0 home win over Burnley thanks to goals from Dexter Blackstock and Billy Sharp.
At the other end of the table, Albert Adomah's 25-yard screamer condemned Sheffield Wednesday to their seventh straight loss as Bristol City secured a 3-2 win at Hillsborough.
Gary Madine thought he had set Wednesday on course for a much-needed win when he put the hosts 2-1 up after Sam Baldock's strike had cancelled out Miguel Llera's opener, but the Owls striker then handballed in his own box and Baldock made it 2-2 from the spot.
City, who started just one place above the Owls in the table, then stole all three points with Adomah's stunning set-piece that will pile more pressure on Wednesday boss Dave Jones.
James Vaughan struck four minutes from time to deny Bolton victory at Huddersfield.
Zat Knight put the Terriers ahead with an own goal, but Bolton hit back through Kevin Davies and Chris Eagles.
Eagles then missed a chance to put the game to bed from the penalty spot and Vaughan made him pay by finishing Alan Lee's cross to make it 2-2.
DJ Campbell scored twice and Daryl Murphy was also on target as Mick McCarthy' Ipswich won 3-0 against his former team Millwall at Portman Road, while Derby beat Leeds 3-1 in today's early kick-off.
Defender Jake Buxton deflected home a shot from fellow defender Richard Keogh in the 66th minute with the score at 1-1 and the Rams withstood a late barrage before substitute Ben Davies finished superbly on the break in the fourth minute of time added on.
Leeds midfielder Paul Green had cancelled out Conor Sammon's 15th-minute opener for Derby on the stroke of half-time.