Reading see off Middlesbrough

Reading halted their dismal home run and reignited their play-off bid with a 2-0 win over Middlesbrough in the Sky Bet Championship on Tuesday evening.

Last Updated: 22/04/14 at 22:10 Post Comment

Adam Le Fondre: Reading striker gave the hosts an early lead

Adam Le Fondre: Reading striker gave the hosts an early lead

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The Royals had not won at the Madejski Stadium since January, while an Easter mauling at Wigan had seen them slip down to ninth place in the Sky Bet Championship.

But Adam Le Fondre's strike and an own goal by George Friend, all in the first quarter of an hour, lifted Nigel Adkins' side back into the sixth and final play-off spot with two games remaining.

With their destiny now in their own hands, Adkins knows wins over struggling Doncaster and promoted Burnley will keep their hopes of bouncing straight back to the Premier League alive.

They went ahead after just nine minutes when Boro goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos flapped at Jordan Obita's left-wing cross.

Garath McCleary, at the far post, stabbed the ball back across goal from where Le Fondre bundled it over the line from a yard out.

It was the striker's 14th goal of the season, and his first since he hit back-to-back home hat-tricks in January.

Danny Graham blew a good chance to equalise for Boro when he raced onto Luke Williams' long ball only to lash his shot wide.

And moments later, with just 14 minutes on the clock, Reading doubled their advantage with Obita the architect again.

This time the winger swung in a free-kick from the right which Boro defender Friend got his head to, only to inadvertently nod it beyond his own keeper.

Things could have got worse for shell-shocked Boro but Konstantopoulos saved well from Danny Williams and Sean Morrison headed narrowly over from a corner.

Boro, who up until the weekend harboured slim play-off ambitions themselves, tried to snatch a goal back before half-time but Emmanuel Ledesma was twice denied by Royals keeper Alex McCarthy from long range.

Injuries have hampered the Royals all season and they suffered yet more casualties when Hal Robson-Kanu departed with blood gushing from a mangled nose before Danny Guthrie, only just back after a spell in the treatment room, limped off again.

Nevertheless, they could have extended their advantage after the break with Le Fondre heading too close to Konstantopoulos and substitute Pavel Pogrebnyak nodding Jobi McAnuff's cross just too high.

With 15 minutes left Le Fondre went even closer with a header which came crashing back off the crossbar before Pogrebnyak was denied a fine solo goal by a fingertip save from Konstantopoulos.

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.

Footer 365

England 4-0 Lithuania: Harry Kane scores 78 seconds into debut

Harry Kane scored 78 seconds into his England debut from the bench as Roy Hodgson’s men beat Lithuania 4-0.

Scholes: Bale 'perfect' for United

Paul Scholes says Gareth Bale would be "a natural fit" for Manchester United and believes the winger could have the same impact as Eric Cantona.

Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio suffers anterior cruciate ligament damage

Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering knee ligament damage.

Mail Box

Where's The Love For Walcott?

Theo Walcott is wanted by neither Arsenal or Liverpool fans in the afternoon Mailbox. Also, some good points on the FA skewed priorities, and glorious geekery...

Ripe Robin Still Has A Role To Play...

There is some support for the aging Robin van Perise in a frankly threadbare Mailbox. Also, more debate over homegrown players, with a suggestion of an import tax...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company