Royals rue Swansea slip
Play-off hopefuls prevent Royals keeping pressure on
Last Updated: 17/01/09 8:36pm
Scotland: In prolific form
Reading missed out on the chance to put the pressure on league leaders Wolves as they suffered a 2-0 defeat at Swansea.
With Wolves having a late kick-off away to Bristol City, Reading could have closed the gap at the top of the Championship to just one point.
But Swansea took the lead through Jason Scotland's 12th goal of the season on the stroke of half-time.
Substitute Andrea Orlandi then struck at the death to seal victory for the Swans and raise hopes of a play-off push in South Wales having stretched their unbeaten league run to 10 games and climbed to within four points of the top six.
Late red card
Reading eased to a 4-0 victory in the reverse fixture at the Madjeski Stadium but were second best throughout and their afternoon was summed up by a late red card for Liam Rosenior for two frivolous bookings.
Despite the loss, Steve Coppell's men remain ahead of automatic promotion rivals Birmingham following their 1-1 draw at home to Cardiff.
Swans boss Roberto Martinez handed winger Nathan Dyer his full debut since his loan move from Southampton in one of seven changes to the side which beat Histon in the FA Cup last time out.
Reading, who went into the game as the country's top scorers with 57 league goals, were unchanged from the 4-0 victory over Watford last Friday.
And they were soon on the front foot with Stephen Hunt and James Harper looking to plough their way down either flank as both sides looked to gain an early initiative.
The Swans, who have lost just one league game at home all season, also started at a high tempo with Dyer in particular looking dangerous.
But it was a good move from fellow midfielders Jordi Gomez and Angel Rangel which carved out the first opening after 15 minutes.
The pair exchanged passes down the flank before Rangel swung in a dangerous cross towards Scotland, but the striker put a weak header wide.
Mark Gower then went close with a 18-yard shot which Adam Federici easily gathered before the Royals stopper saved a Gomez free-kick.
But Federici could do nothing about Scotland's strike in the 45th minute following good play from Alan Tate.
The visitors did improve after the break but, with Swansea content to sit on their lead, goalmouth chances were few and far between.
Doyle however will feel he should have done better with a header from six yards which he could only head wide.
Coppell introduced Marek Matejovsky on the hour mark but his side were uncharacteristically careless in possession and lacked any inventiveness in the final third.
Things went from bad to worse for the visitors as they were reduced to 10 men in the 80th minute as Rosenior was dismissed for a foul on Dyer after he had been shown a yellow card for kicking the ball away.
Orlandi then secured the three points when he calmly sidefooted into the bottom corner from Scotland's lay-off.
Sky Bet Championship
Sat 17th Jan
Preston2 - 1Burnley
Coventry2 - 1Blackpool
Norwich4 - 0Barnsley
Sheff Wed4 - 1Charlton
Swansea2 - 0Reading
C Palace1 - 4Ipswich
Southampton1 - 2Doncaster
Derby0 - 2QPR
N Forest2 - 0Plymouth
Watford0 - 2Sheff Utd
Birmingham1 - 1Cardiff
Bristol C2 - 2Wolves
Sky Bet Championship
|17||Brighton and Hove Albion||3||3|