AFC Bournemouth secured a place in the Sky Bet Championship’s top six with a 1-0 win at Reading.
The Cherries will at least compete in the play-offs to finish the season having moved 11 points clear of seventh placed Brentford with three games remaining.
Meanwhile, the gap between the league leaders and third remains at two points following wins for Middlesbrough and Norwich City.
Eddie Howe’s team made sure of the victory thanks to an early goal from Callum Wilson, who has now scored more away goals than any other player in the second tier.
Wilson was well placed to tap in the rebound from Andrew Surman’s low shot and take his total for the campaign in all competitions to 22.
The Cherries looked to have the edge over the FA Cup semi-finalists following the fourth minute opener, although Artur Boruc made an important save in the 17th minute to preserve their lead.
With the fixture at the Madejski Stadium kicking-off 15 minutes later than the rest of the second tier programme, they started the match in second place.
Middlesbrough had moved into pole position thanks to two early goals against Wolves, only to soon be knocked back off top spot.
Surman carried the ball forward in the visitors’ first attack and hit the post, with Wilson tapping in the rebound after just three minutes and 35 seconds.
Their perfect start almost ended just before the 20 minute mark as Jordan Obita found Jamie Mackie with a cross, which was pushed away by a fantastic save from Boruc.
Obita was central in the Royals’ best moves, crossing for Nathaniel Chalobah to have a header blocked by Surman and then hitting an effort over the bar himself moments later.
The away side soon regained their composure and both Charlie Daniels and Yann Kermorgant went close before the break.
Perhaps as Reading’s attention began to turn to their Wembley meeting with Arsenal this weekend, the intensity of the game dropped in the second period.
Ritchie almost added a second for the Cherries though, bending a curling strike just wide of the target.
The winger then saw his corner fall for Steve Cook, who drove a powerful half volley straight at goalkeeper Adam Federici from the edge of the area.
It took until the final five minutes for Reading to create any real pressure, which was comfortably dealt with by the men in red and black as they chalked up another important win.
Reading: Federici, Gunter, A.Pearce, Hector, Obita, Chalobah (Appiah67), Karacan (Williams 59), Aké, McCleary, Mackie (Yakubu 81), Robson-Kanu.
Unused substitutes: Kelly, Norwood, Andersen, Stacey.
Booked: Hector, Pearce
Cherries: Boruc, Daniels, Elphick, Cook, Francis, Pugh (Smith 69), Arter, Surman, Ritchie, Kermorgant (Pitman 74), Wilson (Jones 89).
Unused substitutes: Camp, Ward, Gosling, Fraser.
Goal: Wilson (4)
Booked: Wilson, Francis, Boruc, Smith
Attendance: 18,917 (including 4,259 Cherries supporters)