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Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 18:23 GMT
Millwall 0-2 Reading
Nicky Forster put Reading 1-0 ahead
Nicky Forster put Reading 1-0 ahead

Reading boosted their promotion hopes with victory at the New Den.

Alan Pardew's side turned in an impressive display and a goal in each half from Nicky Forster and Darius Henderson secured all three points.

And it would have been even more if not for the brilliance of Millwall keeper Tony Warner.

Warner pulled off top-drawer saves to deny Forster and Steve Brown and the impressive James Harper also rattled the Millwall woodwork.

Adie Williams had the chance to give Reading an early lead but he sent his shot over the crossbar from just six yards after James Harper's corner had caused havoc in the Millwall box.

It was a real end-to-end battle but the Lions carved out the better openings.

Darren Ward pulled a shot just wide of Hahnemann's left post on the quarter-hour and minutes later Charley Hearn volleyed wide.

Hahnemann produced a brilliant save to tip Livermore's powerful header round the post from Steven Reid's 22nd-minute free-kick.

The Royals gradually fought their way back into the game and Warner had to be on his toes to keep out Brown's fierce effort.

Two minutes later, Warner again had to be at his best as he produced a stunning save to parry Forster's 25-yard shot as Reading started to take control.

And right on the stroke of half-time the Royals were ahead.

Forster latched onto Hughes' ball from the left and drilled a left-footed shot past Warner and into the net.

Reading continued to have the better of the game after the break and John Salako had the opportunity to double the advantage but his weak header from Hughes' cross was easily gathered by Warner.

Substitute Kevin Braniff nearly drew the Lions level with a fantastic overhead kick from Kinet's cross but Hahnemann superbly turned it around his post.

But it was the visitors who were having the better of things and Luke Chadwick went close before Forster forced another good save from Warner.

Moments later Hahnemann had to be alert to stop Reid's header from another Kinet cross but the Lions struggled to cause the Reading backline too many problems.

The extra class Reading possessed shone through and Harper unleashed a fierce effort that came back off the crossbar with Warner well beaten.

Reading eventually doubled their lead when substitute Darius Henderson unleashed a powerful drive from 25 yards that flew past Warner.


Millwall: Warner, Dunne, Ryan, Ward, Robinson, Reid, Livermore, Bull, Hearn, Kinet, Claridge. Subs: Gueret, Braniff, Sweeney, May, Rees.

Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Williams, Brown, Shorey, Chadwick, Sidwell, Hughes, Harper, Salako, Forster. Subs: Watson, Mackie, Ashdown, Tyson, Henderson.

Referee: P Dowd (Staffordshire).

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Reading boss Alan Pardew
"We didn't start particularly well"

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