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The Madejski Stadium (ATT 22,770) 26th December 2008 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: A Hall

Reading Reading vs Cardiff City Cardiff

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Federici rescues Royals

Goalkeeper on target to snatch dramatic point

Last Updated: 26/12/08 5:58pm

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Federici: Winning strike

Federici: Winning strike

Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici scored a stoppage-time leveller to earn a point against Cardiff.

Michael Duberry saw his header cleared off the line but Federici was on hand in the opposition penalty box to smash the ball home.

The Royals looked set to suffer a second home defeat of the season when on-loan Michael Chopra scored his fifth goal since moving from Sunderland before the dramatic finale.

The Royals made a bright start and young winger James Henry was at the centre of their early threats, but one cross just eluded Kevin Doyle before Stephen Hunt was unable to get on the end of another.

Kalifa Cisse had a chance midway through the half when he met Henry's corner from the right at the near post but his header went into the side-netting.

Reading continued to press, with Noel Hunt's header from Liam Rosenior's cross tipped over by Peter Enckelman.

The Bluebirds could have got their noses in front when Chopra beat the offside trap, but his touch was too heavy and he ended up lunging in on Federici, earning him a yellow card.

And the visitors almost scored just after the interval when Paul Parry played in Joe Ledley, and although his shot beat Federici, it trickled past the post.

Parried

The Royals also went close when Stephen Hunt fired goalwards and Enckelman parried the ball back out to James Harper, whose effort from the edge of the box went wide.

Chances were coming at either end and Federici had to be at his best when Johnson headed a Wayne Routledge cross goalwards, the Australian scrambling across his line to push the effort around the post.

Harper had another shot charged down before Chopra tried his luck again but his shot went straight at Federici.

Enckelman parried an Ivar Ingimarsson shot before Parry got on the end of a Routledge corner but Rosenior threw himself in front of the ball and it went away to safety.

And the home side were then denied by a brilliant save from Enckelman as the Finnish stopper threw himself full stretch to keep out Doyle's shot after Cisse's original effort from Stephen Hunt's cutback was blocked.

Enckelman denied Harper again before Ledley's audacious long-range effort went over the top at the other end.

It was Cardiff who finally made the breakthrough when the Royals failed to clear and Ledley poked the ball through for Chopra to beat Federici at the near post for his fifth goal in 10 appearances since returning on loan from Sunderland.

Federici denied Boothroyd as the Welsh side sought a second, before the Australian stopper charged up to attack a late Stephen Hunt corner and took advantage after Duberry's header was blocked - keeping Reading ahead of third-placed Birmingham on goal difference.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Nottingham Forest 5 13
2 Watford 4 9
3 Norwich City 4 9
4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 4 9
5 Charlton Athletic 4 8
6 Sheffield Wednesday 5 8
7 Derby County 4 7
8 Cardiff City 4 7
9 Millwall 4 7
10 Blackburn Rovers 4 7
11 Bournemouth 4 6
12 Middlesbrough 4 6
13 Brighton and Hove Albion 4 6
14 Rotherham United 4 6
15 Brentford 4 5
16 Birmingham City 4 5
17 Ipswich Town 4 4
18 Wigan Athletic 4 4
19 Reading 4 4
20 Huddersfield Town 4 4
21 Leeds United 4 3
22 Bolton Wanderers 4 1
23 Blackpool 4 0
24 Fulham 4 0

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