Plymouth Argyle made it three straight wins and eleven goals in a week after thumping Morecambe 5-0 at Home Park.
Yeovil Town drew at Reading despite having 3 players sent off, but there were defeats for Torquay United and Exeter City.
- READING 1 - 1 YEOVIL TOWN
Reading's chances of securing a play-off place took a battering when they failed to beat a Yeovil team reduced to eight men in a crazy second half at the Madejski Stadium.
Yeovil went ahead in the first half through a Shane Duffy header but they lost the plot in the second half when three players - Byron Webster, Joe Ralls and Kieffer Moore - were all sent off in the 1-1 draw.
Webster went first, for conceding a penalty, but Adam Le Fondre missed the spot-kick. Goalkeeper Marek Stech saved it but was then credited with an own goal in the goalmouth scramble.
Ralls and Moore also saw red but Yeovil somehow held on for a point, with Stech making a series of fine saves near the end.
Reading's inconsistency has proved worrying as they aim to cement a place in the play-offs. They had won five and lost three of their previous eight matches.
They had also lost their two previous home games, without scoring a goal. And yet in the two home games prior to that, they had scored 12 goals in wins over Bolton and Blackpool.
Yeovil, though bottom of the table at kick-off and three points off safety, had put together an unbeaten run of three matches. However, they had won only two of their past 15 away fixtures in all competitions.
Reading might have been overwhelming favourites but they were given an early warning sign when Yeovil midfielder Joe Edwards burst through only to shoot wide.
In response, Hal Robson-Kanu ran down the left flank and crossed low into the Yeovil area. Le Fondre looked handily placed to convert the chance but was denied by superb last-ditch tackle from centre-half Duffy, who is on loan from Everton.
Duffy again played a key role when Yeovil went ahead in the 20th minute. Luke Ayling slung over a free-kick from the right and, with Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy off his line and nowhere near to reaching the ball, Duffy easily headed into the empty net.
Yeovil could have increased their lead only for McCarthy to atone for his earlier error with flying save to keep out a fierce shot from Tom Lawrence.
Reading improved marginally before the interval but when Pavel Pogrebnyak thought he had equalised, after nodding in a Jordan Obita cross, the effort was swiftly disallowed for offside.
Deservedly jeered off by their fans at half-time, Reading upped the tempo in the second period. But Yeovil defended stubbornly during a barrage of six corners in the opening eight minutes of the half.
Ayling blocked a goalbound shot from Garath McCleary as did Kieffer Moore from Danny Williams. Pogrebnyak should also have done better than head an Obita cross straight at Yeovil keeper Stech.
The game exploded into life in the 66th minute, when Yeovil centre-back Webster was sent off for pulling back Reading substitute Royston Drenthe as he bore down on goal.
Le Fondre fluffed the resultant penalty, Stech saving well, but Reading equalised from the ensuing goalmouth scramble when Lawrence's attempted clearance went over the line off the back of the grounded Stech.
Two minutes later, Yeovil were reduced to nine men when midfielder Joe Ralls saw red for a scything challenge on McCleary. And then they were down to eight in the 88th minute when Moore went for a second bookable offence, a foul on Gunter, but they held on superbly for a draw.
– Gary Johnson, Yeovil Town manager
I've no complaints on the day. The sendings off were not for viciousness.
The first [Webster] was just misjudgement and the second and third were two young lads who were a bit overzealous in the tackle. If you do that, you're going to get a red card.
It's a lesson learnt for all three of them. They put their team in trouble but they didn't mean to. It was more a question of mis-timing.
With only eight players, I was very proud the way we defended. There is a passion among all the players and they want to do all they can to keep Yeovil Town in the Championship.
We'd like to stay there as long as we can and if we survive, it will be the club's biggest ever achievement.
– Nigel Adkins, Reading manager
We started the game very well but yet again conceded a poor goal and gave our opponents something to cling on to.
Then we just started lumping the ball forward.
When they were down to eight, we got in a lot of crosses and created a lot of chances. We only got one point, when we should have had three, but credit to Yeovil.
We've got to pick ourselves up and go again. We're still in the mix.
- PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 5 - 0 MORECAMBE
It's three wins and eleven goals in a week for Plymouth Argyle, who eased past Morecambe at Home Park.
Durrell Berry opened the scoring in the fifth minute with his first goal for the club, after Barry Roche could only parry Matt Parsons' shot.
Lewis Alessandra doubled the lead five minutes before half-time, latching on to Conor Hourihane's pass.
It remained 2-0 until three further goals in the final 13 minutes. First, Curtis Nelson headed in Luke Young's corner.
Substitute Andres Gurrieri then scored Argyle's fourth in the 87th minute. And Alessandra completed the rout with his second goal of the afternoon in added time.
- YORK CITY 2 - 1 EXETER CITY
Exeter City suffered their third defeat in a week after losing 2-1 at York City.
The hosts were 2-0 up inside the first 27 minutes. Scot Bennett pulled a goal back from close range following Jimmy Keohane's corner, but the Grecians couldn't find an equaliser.
- HARTLEPOOL UNITED 3 - 0 TORQUAY UNITED
Torquay United remain bottom-of the-table after a heavy 3-0 defeat at promotion-chasing Hartlepool.
Manchester United loanee Jack Barmby opened the scoring on the half hour, then turned provider as his corner was flicked in by Luke James in the 54th minute.
Veteran striker Marlon Harewood confirmed the win with his first goal for Hartlepool.
The Gulls are now three points behind Northampton, and seven from safety.