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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 March 2006, 18:47 GMT
Leicester 1-1 Reading
Kevin Doyle celebrates scoring Reading's equaliser
Doyle celebrates scoring Reading's equaliser
Reading sealed promotion to the top flight for the first time in their history with a draw at Leicester.

Leicester took a deserved lead against a lacklustre Reading with Iain Hume's powerful finish after being set up by Matty Fryatt.

The Foxes' Joey Gudjonsson then struck a post from a free-kick.

But a Kevin Doyle close-range header earned Reading a point and Leeds and Watford's failure to win ensured Reading's place in the Premiership.

Steve Coppell's side went into the game knowing only a win would guarantee them promotion.

But with Leeds and Watford dropping points Reading would have been promoted even with a defeat.

Leicester made the better start in a scrappy opening which suggested the occasion may have got to Reading.

Hume got behind the Reading defence but saw his shot from a tight angle saved by Hahnemann.

The big American keeper then produced an acrobatic save to deny Fryatt.

Reading's sluggish display showed on the bench where manager Steve Coppell and his coaching staff became very animated.

It was no great surprise when Leicester took a deserved lead, with Fryatt setting up Hume for a thumping finish from just inside the penalty area.

Reading offered little threat in the first half and they might have gone further behind when Gudjonsson struck the post with a free-kick.

The Championship leaders mustered a shot in the second half when Bobby Convey saw his effort saved by Paul Henderson.

Reading striker Dave Kitson
Striker Dave Kitson celebrates Reading's promotion
Leicester displayed the confidence that had seen them win their previous three Championship matches to claw clear of the relegation dogfight.

Gudjonsson illustrated that confidence with an outrageous attempt from all of 45 yards which Hahnemann saved with his legs.

But the Royals showed good spirit to rally and a James Harper corner was flicked on by Ivar Ingimarsson for Doyle to ghost in to head the equaliser from six yards out for his 16th of the season.

The Royals created another bit of history by becoming the earliest side to clinch promotion to the top flight.

  • Leicester manager Rob Kelly:
    "There's six games of the season left and we're still not safe.

    "Teams down there are capable of digging out results and I'm convinced the season isn't going to finish the way most people think it will.

    "But it's a measure of how far we've come that we've matched a team who came here as Premiership-elect."

    Leicester: Henderson, Stearman, McCarthy, Kisnorbo, Johansson, Maybury, Gudjonsson, Williams, Hughes, Hume (Welsh 84), Fryatt (O'Grady 78).
    Subs Not Used: Gerrbrand, Douglas, Hammond.

    Booked: Hume.

    Goals: Hume 38.

    Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Sonko, Ingimarsson, Shorey, Oster (Long 61), Harper, Gunnarsson (Sidwell 61), Convey (Hunt 80), Kitson, Doyle.
    Subs Not Used: Stack, Makin.

    Booked: Gunnarsson, Ingimarsson.

    Goals: Doyle 85.

    Att: 25,578

    Ref: C Penton (Sussex).

    Interview: Reading chairman John Madejski

    Interview: Reading striker Kevin Doyle

    Interview: Wigan boss Paul Jewell congratulates Reading

    Coppell pays tribute to players
    25 Mar 06 |  Reading
    Reading's rags to riches
    25 Mar 06 |  Reading
    Royal seal of approval
    24 Mar 06 |  Reading
    Jason Roberts column
    23 Mar 06 |  Football
    History in the making for Downs
    23 Mar 06 |  Reading
    Royals ascent
    21 Mar 06 |  Reading


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