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Page last updated at 21:19 GMT, Tuesday, 5 April 2011 22:19 UK

Reading   2 - 1   Preston

By Paul Fletcher
BBC Sport at the Madejski Stadium

Jimmy Kebe
Kebe scored the opening goal for Reading on Tuesday

Reading substitute Hal Robson-Kanu scored a minute after his introduction to extend his team's winning run to five Championship fixtures but deepen Preston's relegation worries.

Jimmy Kebe had put the Royals in front during a lacklustre opening half, bundling the ball home after a deflected cross caught out North End keeper Iain Turner.

But Reading keeper Alex McCarthy was powerless after the break as the ball hit the post from Eddie Johnson's header and struck him on the back before rolling over the line.

Reading's recent form had seen them climb into the top six and they closed the gap on fifth-placed Leeds to one point after Robson-Kanu looped his strike over Turner after 81 minutes.

It was a cruel blow for Preston, who had won their previous three fixtures but remain eight points from safety after the loss at the Madejski Stadium with seven games left to play.

The next two fixtures for North End are also away from Deepdale, with a match at Portsmouth on Saturday followed by a potentially crucial trip to face a Doncaster side who are sliding down the table.

In truth, it was a largely disappointing game and the first half was particularly poor, with hardly any incidents of note.

The in-form Shane Long flicked an Ian Harte free-kick wide of the target but it was hardly a sign of things to come.

Reading, with just one change from the team that defeated Portsmouth on Saturday, were the more inventive of the two sides and created space for Brian Howard to shoot from 20 yards but his low drive was easily saved by Turner.

There was more than a hint of fortune about the Royals opening goal as Long's cross from the right struck makeshift Preston right-back Barry Nicholson and looped over the helpless Turner and into the path of Kebe, who bundled the ball home.

Turner punched a cross-come-shot from Howard clear but that was more or less the full extent of the chances in the opening 45 minutes as Preston failed to trouble McCarthy in the Reading goal.

North End's equaliser came seven minutes after the restart when Fulham loanee Johnson flicked a Keith Treacy header against the post and the ball went in off McCarthy's back.

Billy Jones was then inches away from converting an Iain Hume flick, but after that it was Reading who took control.

Bongani Khumalo deflected a shot from Long wide, before a fierce strike from Zurab Khizanishvili was cleared on the line by Ian Ashbee.

The referee was surrounded by Royals players appealing for handball but he waved away their protests.

Reading's frustration grew when a long-range strike from Harte appeared to deceive Turner, but the keeper got a touch on the ball and it hit the crossbar before rebounding to safety.

But the winner came through Robson-Kanu's shot and Reading almost extended their advantage but Turner denied Long and substitute Mathieu Manset, who also shot wide.

Live text and stats

 

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Npower Championship

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Reading 2-1 Preston FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Kebe 21
  • Robson-Kanu 82
  • McCarthy (og) 52

Reading

  • 41 McCarthy
  • 02 Griffin yellow card
  • 15 Khizanishvili
  • 16 Ingimarsson
  • 23 Harte
  • 04 Karacan
  • 07 Tabb (Leigertwood 57)
  • 11 McAnuff (Robson-Kanu 81)
  • 14 Kebe
  • 20 Howard (Manset 57)
  • 09 Long

Substitutes

  • 31 Andersen,
  • 26 Pearce,
  • 08 Leigertwood,
  • 17 Antonio,
  • 19 Robson-Kanu,
  • 18 Church,
  • 45 Manset

Preston

  • 21 Turner
  • 02 Morgan
  • 03 Khumalo
  • 19 Jones
  • 10 Nicholson
  • 11 Treacy (Parry 72 yellow card)
  • 15 Barton (Ellington 63)
  • 24 Ashbee yellow card
  • 41 Carter
  • 16 Hume
  • 27 Johnson (Hayes 83)

Substitutes

  • 01 Lonergan,
  • 42 Wright,
  • 07 Coutts,
  • 17 Parry,
  • 20 Russell,
  • 08 Hayes,
  • 18 Ellington
Ref: HaywoodAtt: 14,844
READING
PRESTON

Possession

  • Reading 53%
  • Preston 47%

Attempts on target

  • Reading 8
  • Preston 0

Attempts off target

  • Reading 4
  • Preston 3

Corners

  • Reading 8
  • Preston 6

Fouls

  • Reading 10
  • Preston 15
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+4:14 The final whistle goes and the game is over.
  • 90:00+3:36 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nathan Ellington by Zurab Khizanishvili. Barry Nicholson restarts play with the free kick.
  • 90:00+3:12 Mathieu Manset produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the target.
  • 90:00+2:15 Shane Long takes a shot. Save by Iain Turner.
  • 90:00+0:41 Iain Hume takes the inswinging corner, Foul by Nathan Ellington on Ivar Ingimarsson, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Alex McCarthy.
  • 90:00+0:11 Billy Jones fouled by Mikele Leigertwood, the ref awards a free kick. Iain Turner takes the direct free kick.
  • 89:52 Corner taken short by Jimmy Kebe.
  • 89:40 Mathieu Manset takes a shot. Save by Iain Turner.
  • 89:19 Short corner taken by Jimmy Kebe from the right by-line.
  • 88:54 Jimmy Kebe decides to take the corner short.
  • 88:08 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ian Ashbee on Jimmy Kebe. Alex McCarthy takes the indirect free kick.
  • 86:26 Corner taken short by Jimmy Kebe.
  • 85:12 Nathan Ellington gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ivar Ingimarsson. Direct free kick taken by Zurab Khizanishvili.
  • 84:28 Free kick awarded for a foul by Paul Parry on Hal Robson-Kanu. Ian Harte crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel, Craig Morgan makes a clearance.
  • 84:28 Booking Booking for Paul Parry for unsporting behaviour.
  • 82:50 Substitution Paul Hayes joins the action as a substitute, replacing Eddie Johnson.
  • 81:34 GOAL - Hal Robson-KanuReading 2 - 1 Preston A goal is scored by Hal Robson-Kanu from inside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Reading 2-1 Preston.
  • 80:34 Shane Long is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Iain Turner.
  • 80:34 Substitution Hal Robson-Kanu on for Jobi McAnuff.
  • 78:39 Free kick awarded for a foul by Bongani Khumalo on Mathieu Manset. Ian Harte crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing.
  • 75:57 The offside flag is raised against Mathieu Manset. Iain Turner takes the indirect free kick.
  • 74:35 Eddie Johnson challenges Jimmy Kebe unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ian Harte sends in a cross, Header on goal by Jimmy Kebe from just inside the area goes over the target.
  • 74:02 Free kick awarded for a foul by Craig Morgan on Jem Karacan. Ian Harte takes the direct free kick.
  • 71:18 Ian Ashbee gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jobi McAnuff. Ian Harte restarts play with the free kick.
  • 71:18 Substitution Paul Parry joins the action as a substitute, replacing Keith Treacy.
  • 71:18 Booking Ian Ashbee booked for unsporting behaviour.
  • 69:08 Ian Harte takes a shot. Save by Iain Turner.
  • 67:07 Inswinging corner taken by Jobi McAnuff, Barry Nicholson makes a clearance.
  • 66:52 Zurab Khizanishvili takes a shot. Ian Ashbee gets a block in.
  • 66:22 Inswinging corner taken by Jobi McAnuff from the left by-line played to the near post.
  • 65:41 Nathan Ellington takes a shot from just outside the penalty area clears the crossbar.
  • 63:44 Unfair challenge on Mikele Leigertwood by Keith Treacy results in a free kick. Alex McCarthy takes the free kick.
  • Correction - 62:32 Keith Treacy takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, save made by Alex McCarthy.
  • Correction - 62:32 Substitution Nathan Ellington on for Adam Barton.
  • 62:32 Corner taken left-footed by Keith Treacy from the right by-line to the near post, save by Alex McCarthy.
  • 62:32 Substitution Nathan Ellington is brought on as a substitute for Adam Barton.
  • 61:33 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Keith Treacy by Andy Griffin. Free kick crossed left-footed by Keith Treacy, clearance by Mikele Leigertwood.
  • 61:33 Booking Booking for Andy Griffin.
  • 58:34 Andy Griffin gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Adam Barton. Billy Jones takes the free kick.
  • 56:37 Substitution (Reading) makes a substitution, with Mathieu Manset coming on for Brian Howard.
  • 56:24 Substitution Mikele Leigertwood comes on in place of Jay Tabb.
  • 55:48 Shane Long produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the goal.
  • 51:30 Assist by Eddie Johnson.
  • 51:30 GOAL - Alex McCarthyReading 1 - 1 Preston Alex McCarthy puts the ball into his own net from 6 yards. Reading 1-1 Preston.
  • 50:36 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ian Harte on Iain Hume. The ball is delivered by Keith Treacy, Header by Eddie Johnson from inside the area hits the post.
  • 47:55 Ivar Ingimarsson handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Darren Carter restarts play with the free kick.
  • 45:01 The referee starts the second half.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+1:07 The ref blows to signal half-time.
  • 42:15 Andy Griffin concedes a free kick for a foul on Keith Treacy. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Keith Treacy, Jem Karacan makes a clearance.
  • 41:35 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Billy Jones by Jimmy Kebe. Bongani Khumalo restarts play with the free kick.
  • 36:18 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Iain Hume from the left by-line, clearance made by Ian Harte.
  • 35:45 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Keith Treacy from the right by-line, Alex McCarthy makes a save.
  • 34:34 Corner taken left-footed by Brian Howard, save by Iain Turner.
  • 33:08 Jimmy Kebe is caught offside. Iain Turner restarts play with the free kick.
  • 31:46 The offside flag is raised against Iain Hume. Free kick taken by Alex McCarthy.
  • 30:07 Eddie Johnson fouled by Jobi McAnuff, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Iain Turner.
  • 26:05 Foul by Jem Karacan on Ian Ashbee, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Billy Jones.
  • 25:15 The referee blows for offside against Shane Long. Iain Turner restarts play with the free kick.
  • 23:54 Unfair challenge on Keith Treacy by Brian Howard results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Adam Barton.
  • 22:53 Foul by Ian Ashbee on Jobi McAnuff, free kick awarded. Ian Harte takes the direct free kick.
  • 20:40 Shane Long provided the assist for the goal.
  • 20:40 GOAL - Jimmy KebeReading 1 - 0 Preston Jimmy Kebe grabs a headed goal from close range. Reading 1-0 Preston.
  • 17:51 Short corner taken by Jimmy Kebe.
  • 16:43 Brian Howard fouled by Craig Morgan, the ref awards a free kick. Ian Harte has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.
  • 15:30 Adam Barton challenges Jay Tabb unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Ivar Ingimarsson.
  • 14:45 Adam Barton concedes a free kick for a foul on Ivar Ingimarsson. Free kick taken by Jem Karacan.
  • 13:44 Corner taken by Iain Hume from the left by-line.
  • 13:07 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Keith Treacy, Jem Karacan manages to make a clearance.
  • 12:41 Brian Howard produces a drilled left-footed shot from 20 yards. Save by Iain Turner.
  • 8:44 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ivar Ingimarsson by Iain Hume. Alex McCarthy takes the direct free kick.
  • 8:18 Brian Howard is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Free kick taken by Iain Turner.
  • 3:42 Billy Jones challenges Jimmy Kebe unfairly and gives away a free kick. The ball is sent over by Ian Harte, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Shane Long misses to the left of the goal.
  • 2:51 Keith Treacy has shot on goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
  • 2:16 Eddie Johnson is ruled offside. Alex McCarthy restarts play with the free kick.
  • 0:00 The ref blows the whistle to start the match.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Npower Championship table snapshot

As it stood on 5 Apr 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 QPR 39 40 79
2 Norwich 39 21 70
3 Cardiff 39 17 66
4 Swansea 39 16 66
5 Leeds 39 12 64
6 Reading 39 21 63
7 Nott'm Forest 39 10 60
8 Millwall 39 12 57
9 Burnley 38 6 57
10 Watford 39 12 56
11 Hull 39 3 56
12 Leicester 39 0 56
13 Portsmouth 39 0 54
14 Bristol City 39 -3 53
15 Ipswich 39 0 52
16 Barnsley 39 -12 47
17 Coventry 39 -7 45
18 Middlesbrough 38 -8 45
19 Derby 39 -8 44
20 Doncaster 39 -19 44
21 Crystal Palace 39 -21 42
22 Sheff Utd 39 -28 35
23 Preston 39 -23 34
24 Scunthorpe 39 -41 34



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