Sheffield Wednesday secured a fourth successive win, beating lowly Preston North End 3-1 at Hillsborough to move up to 10th in the table.
Midfield dynamo Kieran Lee, making his 100th appearance in Owls colours, coolly slotted home just before the interval after a deft flick by Fernando Forestieri. It was the former Manchester United's trainee first Championship goal of the season.
Daniel Pudil registered in the 55th minute, firing in his first Wednesday goal since arriving on a season long-loan deal from Watford. It capped off an eventful 24 hours for the left-back, with Pudil's partner giving birth to his second child in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Alan Browne gave Preston hope by pulling one back in the 76th minute before Lewis McGugan added gloss to the scoreline in added on time with a great piece of individual play.
Head coach Carlos Carvalhal made one alteration to his starting line-up, bringing in Fernando Forestieri for Marco Matias. Forestieri had missed their two previous matches with a hamstring injury.
Pudil was passed fit to start after also shrugging off a hamstring problem.
Wednesday made the early running and it took a fine challenge by Calum Woods to prevent Kieran Lee from pouncing on Atdhe Nuhiu's exquisite back heel.
Preston suffered a big blow in the 10th minute when Patrick McCarthy, on debut, was forced off with a knock. Lilywhites boss Simon Grayson had to rejig his back four, moving Woods into the centre-back berth with substitute Chris Humphrey switched to full-back.
Michael Turner made an important clearance to cut out Humphrey's cross before Lees dealt with an inswinging corner by the dangerous Daniel Johnson.
As an attacking force, the Owls struggled to string much together but created the first meaningful opportunity just after the half hour mark, Lees nodding over Sam Hutchinson's delivery when he should have at least hit the target.
Preston came to frustrate Wednesday and their game plan was working a treat up to Lee's goal on the stroke of half-time.
Lees could have doubled the Owls' advantage just after the re-start but nodded Forestieri's inviting delivery agonisingly off target.
Jordon Pickford produced a great save to keep out Barry Bannan's drive, with Woods sliding to thwart Forestieri on the follow up as Wednesday continued to dominate.
It was no surprise when Pudil doubled the hosts advantage after John Welsh had tried to sheperd the ball out of play.
Preston missed a glorious opportunity to reduce their arrears on the hour mark when Greg Cunningham whipped in a cracking cross which substitute Jordan Hugill steered over when well-placed.
The League One Play-Off winners should have grabbeds a lifeline in the 64th minute but Eoin Doyle some how failed to hit the target after sloppy defending by the Owls.
Grayson's men deservedly pulled one back, Browne turning sharply before sending a low shot past Westwood after Wednesday switched off from a corner.
All of a sudden, it was Preston with all the momentum and Westwood had to be alert to turn away Welsh's long range drive before Lee hacked Adam Reach's drive off the line.
Having taken off Nuhiu, Wednesday had no outlet in the final third and Preston almost made them pay, Doyle shooting over after more good play.
After a good spell of pressure, the Owls created a rare chance, with substitute Lewis McGugan curling a 25-yard free kick into the side-netting.
Wednesday nearly caught out Preston on the counter attack when Bannan's deflected cross fell into the path of Alex Lopez, whose strike was saved by the feet of Pickford.
McGugan settled things in added on time, brilliantly lobbing Pickford after the goalkeeper was still trying to get back into position having gone up for a set piece.
Owls: Westwood; Hunt, Lees, Turner, Pudil; Wallace (McGugan 67), Lee, Hutchinson, Bannan; Forestieri (Lopez 85), Nuhiu (Joao 67). Substitutes: Wildsmith, Loovens, Matias,Wiggins.
Preston; Pickford; Woods, Clarke, McCarthy (Humphrey 10), Cunningham; Johnson, Welsh, Browne, Reach; May (Hugill 56) Keane (Doyle 56). Substitutes: Kirkland, Heaton, Kilkenny, Gallagher.