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Last Updated: Friday, 20 January 2006, 21:37 GMT
Crystal Palace 1-1 Reading
Reading's James Harper
Reading's James Harper equalised soon after Palace struck
James Harper's blistering drive helped Reading increase their unbeaten league run to 29 games as the Championship leaders drew with Crystal Palace.

Andy Johnson's penalty 11 minutes from time briefly looked like inflicting a rare defeat on the runaway leaders.

But the home side led for less than two minutes as Harper fired home after Leroy Lita's delicate touch.

Reading keeper Marcus Hahnemann then saved brilliantly from Johnson and Tom Soares as Palace looked for a winner.

  • Crystal Palace boss Iain Dowie:
    "That's 16 points from 18 for us, and that's a pleasing run. Our winning streak has been broken, so we need to go on another one.

    "We've played a top team tonight and more than matched them.

    "Man of the match for them was probably the keeper. I thought we were the better side and I'm a little disappointed not to get three points."

  • Reading manager Steve Coppell:
    "On a number of occasions this season, we have been in a tight corner and have got something out of it.

    "I thought we'd get an opportunity, but to score straight away - and in the manner we did - I can only compliment the players on a terrific response.

    "We were conscious they could hurt us and the back four - or five with keeper Marcus Hahnemann - were brilliant."

    Crystal Palace: Kiraly, Ward, Hudson, Fitz Hall, Boyce, Soares, Hughes, Watson, McAnuff, Johnson, Macken.
    Subs Not Used: Freedman, Morrison, Leigertwood, Andrews, Speroni.

    Booked: Hughes, Johnson.

    Goals: Johnson 79 pen.

    Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Sonko, Ingimarsson, Shorey, Little, Sidwell, Harper, Convey, Kitson (Lita 64), Doyle.
    Subs Not Used: Gunnarsson, Hunt, Oster, Stack.

    Goals: Harper 81.

    Att: 19,888

    Ref: T Kettle (Berkshire).


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