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St. Andrew's Stadium (ATT 13,409) 22nd March 2014 - Kick off 15:00

Birm'ham Birmingham City vs Reading Reading

Birm'ham 1

P Caddis (pen 43)

ft

Reading 2

J McAnuff (39, 82)

Sky Bet Championship: Jobi McAnuff scores twice as Reading win 2-1 at Birmingham

Last Updated: 22/03/14 6:33pm

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Jobi McAnuff: Scored a brace in Reading win

Jobi McAnuff: Scored a brace in Reading win

Captain Jobi McAnuff's brace moved Reading into the Sky Bet Championship play-off spots after they won 2-1 at Birmingham on Saturday.

The Royals took the lead against the run of play through McAnuff's composed 39th-minute strike as they looked to capitalise on Nottingham Forest's heavy defeat by Derby.

Birmingham, without a league win at home since early October, levelled four minutes later as Paul Caddis smashed home a penalty after midfielder Callum Reilly was fouled. However, McAnuff popped up at the far post with an 82nd-minute winner to make it 14 games without a league win at home for City.

Birmingham's Lee Novak and Reading forward Adam Le Fondre had early half-chances while Royston Drenthe twice dragged speculative shots wide of City goalkeeper Darren Randolph's goal.

The first save of the match came in the 28th minute when Royals goalkeeper Alex McCarthy had to parry Federico Macheda's shot from the edge of the box out for a corner.

Drenthe was Reading's danger man and his positive drive forward gave Chris Gunter the chance to have a shot on goal, with his attempt from the right not far off target.

After a positive spell for Birmingham, Reading took a 39th-minute lead. Drenthe charged down the right before crossing and when the home side failed to clear, McAnuff enjoyed plenty of time and space to set himself up before smashing right-footed into the bottom left corner.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Birmingham levelled within four minutes. Kaspars Gorkss tripped Reilly in the box and after referee Dean Whitestone pointed to the spot, right-back Caddis stepped up to drive the ball into the bottom right corner as McCarthy nearly got a hand to it.

Macheda forced a good save from McCarthy in the 54th minute as he got his head to Caddis' floated cross.

Royals boss Nigel Adkins sent on Pavel Pogrebnyak and Garath McCleary as he pushed for a winner but it was Birmingham who looked more lively going forward.

They somehow failed to score in the 64th minute when substitute Jordan Ibe's

low cross from the left was deflected just inches past the post. From Andrew Shinnie's resulting corner, Will Packwood headed back across goal and Macheda rose to head the ball against the bar in a lucky escape for the visitors.

Jordan Obita and Pogrebnyak both missed decent chances while City's Ibe smashed one off target in between.

The winner came eight minutes from time and again it was McAnuff who came up with the goods. Gunter made inroads on the right and when he fired in a low cross, the skipper was on hand to convert in front of the travelling support.

Substitute Nikola Zigic went close to equalising as McCarthy did well to get down to save his header in the 90th minute, before having a goal disallowed when the ball had gone out for a goal kick.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 23 45
2 Ipswich Town 23 44
3 Derby County 23 42
4 Middlesbrough 23 42
5 Brentford 23 40
6 Watford 23 38
7 Norwich City 23 37
8 Blackburn Rovers 23 34
9 Wolverhampton Wanderers 23 34
10 Nottingham Forest 23 31
11 Cardiff City 23 31
12 Charlton Athletic 23 31
13 Sheffield Wednesday 23 31
14 Bolton Wanderers 23 29
15 Fulham 23 28
16 Birmingham City 23 28
17 Reading 23 26
18 Rotherham United 23 25
19 Huddersfield Town 23 25
20 Leeds United 23 24
21 Millwall 23 23
22 Wigan Athletic 23 20
23 Brighton and Hove Albion 23 20
24 Blackpool 23 13