Pearce strike topples Town

Alex Pearce scored his third goal of the season to hand Reading their fourth consecutive home win as they beat Ipswich 1-0 on Saturday.

Last Updated: 31/12/11 at 17:12

Pearce: On target in Reading win

Pearce: On target in Reading win

World Cup Promotions

Daily World Cup Promotions, sign up for a free £50 matched bet

The defender rose to head in Jobi McAnuff's free-kick just after the hour mark to end Ipswich's three-match unbeaten run and maintain the Royals' play-off place.

The goal decided an eventful but at times scrappy encounter at the Madejski Stadium, during which both sides wasted a hatful of chances in front of goal.

Both Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici and Tractor Boys stopper Arran Lee-Barrett were on top form to deny their opponents on numerous occasions.

Federici saved well from Daryl Murphy and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, who also hit the bar with a fizzing effort, while Lee-Barrett was on hand to prevent Adam Le Fondre and Simon Church from finding the net.

And in the end Pearce's impressive header was enough to give the hosts all three points.

Reading, who had netted three times in each of their last three home matches, started the match at a canter.

Pearce had a glorious chance to open the scoring for the Royals after eight minutes, but he could only direct his free header into the arms of Lee-Barrett.

Despite the home side's start, Ipswich came close to taking an early lead when Murphy wriggled free to get a shot on target.

The effort looked to be sliding into the net, but Federici got down to make a save.

The hosts retaliated quickly, and Le Fondre's claims for a penalty after the former Rotherham man went down under the presence of Ipswich centre-back Ibrahima Sonko were rejected by referee Jock Waugh.

In an end-to-end first quarter of the game, the Tractor Boys went close when a shot from Emmanuel-Thomas clipped the top of Federici's crossbar.

Michael Chopra tried his luck for the Suffolk outfit without success before Aaron Cresswell had Federici clambering across his goal as his 25-yard swerving attempt narrowly missed the target after 19 minutes.

Le Fondre was within a whisker of converting Jem Karacan's delightful cross nine minutes later, but the striker's outstretched leg could not connect with the ball with the goal gaping.

The match quietened down somewhat in the lead-up to half-time. Le Fondre saw his 35th-minute effort stopped by Lee-Barrett and Federici denied Emmanuel-Thomas at the other end as the teams went into the break goalless.

After the interval, Ipswich came closest to breaking the deadlock when Chopra bundled his shot wide from 10 yards from a tight angle as, despite the number of chances, the match looked destined to end up goalless.

In the end, however, it needed a defender to find the game's only goal.

Ipswich midfielder Lee Bowyer was penalised for handball, McAnuff's free-kick was met at the back post by Pearce and his powerful header beat Lee-Barrett and nestled in the back of the net after 64 minutes.

Church went close to doubling the Royals' advantage eight minutes later, but the Welshman's clever flick was kept out by Lee-Barrett.

Ipswich struggled to mount a recovery, as Reading enjoyed the better of the territory in the final stages.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

There are no results at present.

Sky Bet Championship

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Birmingham 0 0 0
2 Blackburn 0 0 0
3 Blackpool 0 0 0
4 Bolton 0 0 0
5 Bournemth 0 0 0
6 Brentford 0 0 0
7 Brighton 0 0 0
8 Cardiff 0 0 0
9 Charlton 0 0 0
10 Derby 0 0 0
11 Fulham 0 0 0
12 Huddersfld 0 0 0
13 Ipswich 0 0 0
14 Leeds 0 0 0
15 Middlesbro' 0 0 0
16 Millwall 0 0 0
17 Norwich 0 0 0
18 N Forest 0 0 0
19 Reading 0 0 0
20 Rotherham 0 0 0
21 Sheff Wed 0 0 0
22 Watford 0 0 0
23 Wigan 0 0 0
24 Wolves 0 0 0

Updated Wed, 18 Jun 2014

Footer 365

Transfer news: Arsenal sign Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona

Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Chile forward Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona for a fee believed to be £35million.

World Cup: Louis van Gaal blasts third-place play-off

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal insists a World Cup third-place play-off "has got nothing to do whatsoever with sport."

FIFA rejects Luis Suarez appeal against ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini

FIFA has rejected an appeal from Luis Suarez against his four-month worldwide ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini.

Mail Box

Mails: It's Not Entertainment, It's Sport...

When did we start getting the idea that football was an entertainment business? It's about winning and winning alone. We also have some defences of Louis van Gaal...

Do England Need Scholes, Lineker Etc?

They've all got ideas about where things are going wrong, so why don't they step up and help? Plus, we have lots of fall-out from the dullness of Holland v Argentina...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property