Championship - Reading third after beating Burnley

Fri, 17 Feb 21:21:00 2012

Reading moved up to third place in the Championship after a 1-0 win over Burnley at the Madejski Stadium on Friday night.

FOOTBALL Reading's Jason Roberts (left) and Burnley's Michael Duff (right) in action in their Championship match on February 17 - 0

Jason Roberts scored his third goal in four games since his January move from Blackburn, as the Royals made it four wins on the bounce.

Burnley had chances to take a point, with strikers Charlie Austin and Jay Rodriguez both hitting the woodwork, and Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici making a superb save from Austin in the second half.

Brian McDermott’s men are now just two points off Southampton in the second automatic promotion place, whilst Burnley remain in 10th, with 47 points from 32 games.

Reading captain Jobi McAnuff was a surprise starter for the game, having missed the last two matches with a groin injury.

Jay Rodriguez made his 100th appearance for Burnley, in a side unchanged from the one that beat Barnsley in midweek. Burnley full-back Kieran Trippier also started, after recovering from the sore back that saw him substituted in injury-time during Tuesday night's 2-0 win.

Burnley made the early running, and could have taken the lead in the sixth minute. Josh McQuoid showed great pace down the wing to beat Matthew Connolly and cross for Austin, but the Clarets’ striker headed against the bar after evading Kaspars Gorkss in the box.

Reading took the lead slightly against the run of play on 11 minutes, thanks to Roberts's fine finish.

McAnuff's cross from the left clipped off Trippier, and Roberts showed great experience and even better technique to gain a yard off Gorkss and Michael Duff and clip a shot over Lee Grant and into the Burnley goal.

Reading took control of the game after the goal, though Eddie Howe’s side were occasionally a threat from set-pieces, but it was the home side that almost made it two in injury-time.

Reading goalkeeper Federici cleared a Ross Wallace free-kick, and Jimmy Kebe showed great pace on the counter-attack before being cynically fouled by Duff.

Ian Harte’s free-kick from 30 yards was inexplicably spilled by Grant, but the Burnley goalkeeper got up to save from Roberts, then Ben Mee showed incredible bravery to literally throw his head at Noel Hunt’s boot to keep out the second rebound.

Two minutes after the interval, Federici made a brilliant point-blank save from Austin to deny Burnley an equaliser, after Grant's goal kick had deflected off a Reading defender.

On 51 minutes, Austin’s strike partner Rodriguez headed against the post from a Trippier corner, making the chance for himself by great movement in the box to get in front of Harte.

The Burnley striker could have been sent off three minutes earlier with a lunge on Mikele Leigertwood, but referee Darren Deadman showed leniency and only produced a yellow.

On 71 minutes, Trippier did well to clear off the line from Kebe's looped header from Jem Karacan's deep cross. It was a rare moment of brightness for the Burnley defender, who was all at sea against the pace of Kebe all evening.

Rodriguez had a half-chance in the final minute, after a give and go on the edge of the box with substitute Danny Ings, but he sidefooted his shot well wide.

Nick Royle / Eurosport

Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account