Royals make up ground on leaders

READING gained ground on the Coca-Cola Championship pacesetters yesterday as they took advantage of defeats for the top three teams.

The Royals moved level on points with second-placed Wigan after a comprehensive 3-0 win against Watford at the Madejski Stadium.

Goals from Ibrahima Sonko, Steve Sidwell and Lloyd Owusu got Steve Coppell’s side off to a flying start in their festive schedule.

Wigan could have moved back to first place, but were sunk by Tommy Smith’s late winner for Derby.

Jason Roberts opened the scoring for the Latics at the JJB Stadium but Grzegorz Rasiak levelled for the visitors just after the hour. Smith struck with eight minutes left on the clock when he headed Morten Bisgaard’s cross home from close range.

Smith’s former club, Sunderland, were beaten by Leeds in a thrilling clash at the Stadium of Light.

Aaron Lennon opened the scoring for Leeds after 30 minutes but Liam Lawrence equalised from the penalty spot just before the break. Second-half strikes from Brian Deane and Julian Joachim sealed a Leeds win, Julio Arca pulling a goal back for the Black Cats deep into injury time.

Ipswich remain top of the league despite losing 3-1 to Millwall at the New Den. Barry Hayles opened the scoring on half-time for Dennis Wise’s side, and Danny Dichio added a second seven minutes into the second half.

Finland striker Shefki Kuqi pulled one back for Joe Royle’s side, but Scott Dobie sealed the win for the hosts.

West Ham beat Nottingham Forest 3-2 at Upton Park. The Hammers were cruising after goals from Matthew Etherington and Teddy Sheringham - but a quick-fire double from David Johnson levelled scores midway through the second half.

Sheringham was on hand to grab a winner eight minutes before full-time as Alan Pardew’s men maintained their promotion push.

Wolves made it a hat-trick of 1-1 draws under Glenn Hoddle with a point against Cardiff at Ninian Park.

It needed a sharp finish in the second half by leading scorer Kenny Miller to secure a deserved draw for Wanderers, who had fallen behind to an early Cameron Jerome goal.

Makeshift striker Adam Virgo grabbed a dramatic last-ditch winner for Brighton against Gillingham.

The Gills were ahead through Andrew Crofts for most of the clash at a near-frozen Withdean Stadium, but Richard Carpenter levelled with eight minutes left and Virgo scored the winner six minutes later.

Sheffield United came from behind as they took the points against Coventry at Highfield Road. Stern John had given the home side the lead but goals from Chris Morgan and Andy Gray gave the Blades the points.

Plymouth held on against QPR at Home Park after goals either side of half-time from Paul Wotton and Micky Evans. Paul Furlong pulled one back, but Argyle took the points.

Stoke and Preston played out a scoreless draw at the Britannia Stadium, while Crewe’s clash with Burnley was called off due to a frozen pitch at Gresty Road.

Rotherham remain bottom despite beating Leicester 1-0 at the Walkers Stadium. Shaun Barker’s 37th minute winner puts the Millers six points away from Gillingham.

More in this section

CourtsSoccerPlace: Madejski StadiumPlace: JJB StadiumPlace: Stadium of LightPlace: New DenPlace: FinlandPlace: Upton ParkPlace: Ninian ParkPlace: Withdean StadiumPlace: Highfield RoadPlace: Home ParkPlace: Britannia StadiumPlace: Gresty RoadPlace: Walkers StadiumPerson: Ibrahima SonkoPerson: Steve SidwellPerson: Lloyd OwusuPerson: Steve CoppellPerson: Tommy SmithPerson: Jason RobertsPerson: Grzegorz RasiakPerson: SmithPerson: Morten BisgaardPerson: Aaron LennonPerson: Liam LawrencePerson: Brian DeanePerson: Julian JoachimPerson: Julio ArcaPerson: Barry HaylesPerson: Dennis WisePerson: Danny DichioPerson: Shefki KuqiPerson: Joe RoylePerson: Scott DobiePerson: Matthew EtheringtonPerson: Teddy SheringhamPerson: David JohnsonPerson: SheringhamPerson: Alan PardewPerson: Glenn HoddlePerson: Kenny MillerPerson: Cameron JeromePerson: Adam VirgoPerson: Andrew CroftsPerson: Richard CarpenterPerson: VirgoPerson: Stern JohnPerson: Chris MorganPerson: Andy GrayPerson: Paul WottonPerson: Micky EvansPerson: Paul FurlongPerson: Shaun BarkerPerson: MillersEvent: Coca-Cola ChampionshipOrganisation: RoyalsOrganisation: WiganOrganisation: WatfordOrganisation: DerbyOrganisation: SunderlandOrganisation: LeedsOrganisation: Black CatsOrganisation: IpswichOrganisation: MillwallOrganisation: West HamOrganisation: Nottingham ForestOrganisation: HammersOrganisation: WolvesOrganisation: CardiffOrganisation: WanderersOrganisation: BrightonOrganisation: GillinghamOrganisation: GillsOrganisation: Sheffield UnitedOrganisation: CoventryOrganisation: BladesOrganisation: PlymouthOrganisation: QPROrganisation: StokeOrganisation: PrestonOrganisation: CreweOrganisation: BurnleyOrganisation: RotherhamOrganisation: Leicester
Sport Push Notifications

By clicking on 'Sign Up' you will be the first to know about our latest and best sporting content on this browser.

Sign Up

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Cookie Policy Privacy Policy FAQ Help Contact Us Terms and Conditions

© Irish Examiner Ltd