Reading go up as champions

Reading secured the Coca-Cola Championship title after their 5-0 win against Derby at the Madejski Stadium.

Reading secured the Coca-Cola Championship title after their 5-0 win against Derby at the Madejski Stadium.

With Sheffield United failing to win at Stoke – they drew 1-1 – the Royals secured the victory they needed to confirm first place.

They were frustrated by the Rams until James Harper broke the deadlock just before the hour mark.

Kevin Doyle doubled the advantage with a header six minutes later,before John Oster came off the bench and side-footed home.

Shane Long added a fourth with a header from close range before complting the rout with a drilled finish.

Neil Warnock's Blades still look likely to hold onto second place despite their 1-1 draw against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium.

Josip Skoko, on loan from Wigan, opened the scoring in the 16th minute and the hosts held on until Danny Webber struck seven minutes from full-time.

Leeds missed their opportunity to put the pressure on Warnock’s side, losing 1-0 to Hull after Jon Parkin’s powerful downward header on 76 minutes. Kevin Blackwell’s side are now without a league win in five attempts.

Preston consolidated their place in the play-off zone with a 1-0 win at Coventry thanks to Simon Whaley’s first goal for the Lilywhites.

Whaley took advantage of Andy Whing’s slight slip to fire a long-range effort past Marton Fulop.

Wolves’ hopes of reaching the top six were dented after a 2-0 defeat at Plymouth. Hasney Aljofree got the opener after nine minutes, and Paul Ince scored an own goal to seal victory for the hosts.

Ricardo Fuller’s double inspired a 3-2 win for Southampton against Cardiff at St Mary’s.

The Saints, who are battling against successive relegations, took the lead through Claus Lundekvam before Cameron Jerome levelled.

Fuller scored after 70 and 75 minutes to crush Cardiff’s top-six hopes, although Darren Purse pulled one back in the final moments.

Also at the bottom, Crewe recorded a priceless victory against QPR at Loftus Road.

Kenny Lunt and David Vaughan scored either side of half-time and Dario Gradi’s strugglers held on despite Gareth Ainsworth’s strike making it 2-1.

But Crewe remained bottom as Brighton won 2-0 at Millwall, with the goals at the New Den coming from Paul Reid and Paul McShane early on.

Sheffield Wednesday could only manage a goalless draw at home to Burnley, while Norwich recorded a 2-1 win against Leicester at Carrow Road.

Rob Earnshaw broke the deadlock in the first half before Gareth Williams levelled, only for Leon McKenzie to snatch the winner from the penalty spot with 13 minutes remaining.

Meanwhile, Steve Howard scored the only goal of the game as Luton beat Ipswich at Kenilworth Road.

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