Hunt propels Royals into top six

Noel Hunt ended his goal drought to propel Reading into the Championship play-off places with a 1-0 victory at Derby County on Tuesday night.

Last Updated: 15/02/12 at 09:33

Hunt: Hit the winner

Hunt: Hit the winner

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

Hunt provided a rare highlight in a dull encounter at Pride Park when he headed the only goal of the game just after the hour mark.

It was the first time the Irishman had found the back of the net in 10 matches since scoring a last-gasp winner for the Royals at Ipswich on November 26.

It gave Reading a third straight league win and the three points lifted Brian McDermott's side one place to sixth in the table.

Derby saw their three-game winning run at home in the Championship ended but a bright note from the night for them was the return to action of Steven Davies following four months out with a fractured skull.

Davies was included in the matchday squad for the first time since suffering the injury during the Rams' 1-1 home draw with Southampton on October 15 and the striker made his long-awaited comeback as a half-time substitute.

Derby manager Nigel Clough stuck with the same players that started the goalless draw at Millwall on Saturday, with midfielder Paul Green continuing at right-back in place of the injured John Brayford.

On-loan striker Ryan Noble was not involved and he will return to Sunderland when his loan expires tomorrow.

Reading made one change with Hal Robson-Kanu replacing Joseph Mills, who was amongst the substitutes.

Former Derby forward Tomasz Cywka was not included due to an agreement between the clubs when the Pole made his move to the Madejski Stadium last month.

It was a dire affair that must have struggled to maintain the interest of even the most devout Ram or Royal.

Neither goalkeeper saw the ball until midway through the first half, and even then Adam Federici's save from Callum Ball's tame header was as routine as they come.

Federici caught a long-range effort from Nathan Tyson soon afterwards.

At the other end, Frank Fielding made a similar stop from Hunt's 20-yard shot.

If Clough introduced Davies for the start of the second half in a bid to liven things up - midfielder Craig Bryson was the man to make way - it did not work.

Hunt missed with two efforts from just outside the box shortly after the interval.

The game's defining moment came in the 61st minute. Derby forward Jamie Ward felt he had been fouled on the edge of the Reading box but the referee waved play on and the Royals broke swiftly.

Jimmy Kebe led the charge down the right and his cross was headed home by Hunt from six yards out.

The visitors seemed to settle for that.

Derby continued to toil but were unable to fashion any sort of scoring opportunity.

Theo Robinson, another Rams striker named on the bench at the start of the game after injury, and Green had efforts from long range but missed the target.

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

Wednesday, 20 August 2014
20:00
Fulham 0-1 Wolves  
Tuesday, 19 August 2014
Bolton 1-2 M'boro Report
Reading 1-2 Huddersfld Report
19:45
Birmingham 2-2 Ipswich Report
Blackpool 1-2 Brentford Report
Bournemth 1-2 N Forest Report
Cardiff 1-0 Wigan Report
Charlton 3-2 Derby Report
Leeds 0-2 Brighton Report
Norwich 3-1 Blackburn Report

Sky Bet Championship

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

Updated Thu, 21 Aug 2014

Footer 365

Fresh Mackay claims emerge

Malky Mackay faces further accusations of racism after appearing on Sky Sports News on Friday to apologise for his conduct.

Premier League: Manuel Pellegrini says Liverpool cracked under title race pressure

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini believes Liverpool cracked under the pressure of last season's title race.

Transfer news: Hull close on Michael Dawson as Tottenham discuss deal for Sevilla's Federico Fazio

Hull City are close to agreeing a deal with Tottenham to sign defender Michael Dawson, according to Sky sources.

Mail Box

More Fan Mail For Football365...

'Just p*ss off with your righteous indignation will you. W*nkers.' There's a lot of anger going around for what should have been a sleepy Friday afternoon at F365 Towers...

Man United: One Game To Save Season

They have one match to convince decent players that they are worth joining - over to you, Louis. We also have mails on Malky Mackay, Mario Balotelli and Tim...

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