Cardiff are four points behind Championship leaders Queens Park Rangers after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to struggling Preston.
North End looked on course for a shock 1-0 win after Michael Tonge's deflected free-kick put them in front but a headed goal by Andy Keogh in the fourth minute of stoppage time spared the Bluebirds' blushes.
Welsh rivals Swansea jumped to third in the table, just a point behind Cardiff, thanks to a 3-1 victory at Ipswich in the lunchtime kick-off at Portman Road.
Town had taken the lead through Andros Townsend but the Swans came fighting back to take the point thanks to a brace from Craig Beattie and a further strike from Joe Allen.
Elsewhere Norwich leapfrogged over Derby with a 2-1 win at Pride Park, while Leeds and Coventry also moved above Nigel Clough's men with victories over Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough respectively.
Palace looked to be heading for an unlikely win courtesy of a Neil Danns strike but Luciano Becchio scored two goals in the last nine minutes to secure the points.
Marlon King got the only goal from the penalty spot in the 78th minute for the Sky Blues to see off a Boro side that had earlier missed a penalty through Leroy Lita.
And finally Watford picked up only their second win in 10 games with a 3-2 win at home to Leicester.