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Sky Bet Championship

The Madejski Stadium (ATT 16,645) 25th March 2014 - Kick off 20:00

Reading Reading vs Barnsley Barnsley

Reading 1

P Pogrebnyak (pen 20)

ft

Barnsley 3

S Dawson (16)
R Noble-Lazarus (53)
D Jennings (57)

Sky Bet Championship: Battling Barnsley beat Reading 3-1

Last Updated: 27/03/14 10:53am

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Goalscorer Dawson in action against Reading's Royston Drenthe

Goalscorer Dawson in action against Reading's Royston Drenthe

Reading suffered a 3-1 home defeat against lowly Barnsley to end their unbeaten five-match run and dent their Sky Bet Championship play-off hopes.

Barnsley went ahead through a fine finish from captain Stephen Dawson but Reading levelled before half time when Pavel Pogrebnyak converted a needlessly conceded penalty.

But Barnsley hit back with second-half goals from Reuben Noble-Lazarus and Dale Jennings, both excellent long-range efforts, to boost their fight against relegation.

Reading had not won in four successive matches at home and had scored only once in that period - an own goal from Yeovil's John Lundstram - but had still eked out an undefeated five-game sequence overall, which comprised two wins and three draws.

Barnsley had lost four of their five previous matches and arrived at the Madejski Stadium with the worst away record in the Championship, just seven points from a possible 51.

It was Barnsley who started the better, with Liam Lawrence driving wide from long distance and Dawson forcing a decent save from home goalkeeper Alex McCarthy with a fierce shot.

Maintaining the pressure, it was no surprise when they went ahead in the 16th minute. Chris O'Grady took advantage of a poor back-pass from Chris Gunter and set up Dawson to score with a cleverly placed effort.

Reading had threatened briefly, with Garath McCleary cutting in from the left and being denied only by a brave stop from Barnsley keeper Luke Steele.

But in the 20th minute, they drew level. Skipper Jobi McAnuff released Pogrebnyak and the big Russian striker strode forward until he was carelessly fouled by Kelvin Etuhu in the area. Pogrebnyak coolly slotted in the spot kick for his tenth goal of the season.

Reading upped the pace before half time, with Jordan Obita and McAnuff going close but Barnsley almost regained their lead when O'Grady blazed wide from a good opening.

Barnsley kept up their momentum after the break, with Tomasz Cywka forcing McCarthy into an unconvincing, scrambling save.

Dawson then sliced an effort wide before Barnsley struck twice in four minutes.

Nick Blackman had lobbed too high, after running on to a raking Gunter pass, and Reading quickly paid the price. Cywka flicked a pass on to Noble-Lazarus, a half-time substitute, and his precise chip glided in over McCarthy.

In the 57th minute, Barnsley stunned Reading further when Jennings cut in unchallenged from the left and unleashed a superb 25-yard effort past McCarthy. The home fans made their anger known with a chorus of jeers.

Steele saved athletically to keep out an Alex Pearce header but Barnsley held on comfortably for only their second away win of the season.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Middlesbrough 35 66
2 Derby County 35 65
3 Watford 35 65
4 Bournemouth 35 63
5 Norwich City 35 62
6 Brentford 35 61
7 Ipswich Town 35 60
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 35 57
9 Nottingham Forest 35 50
10 Blackburn Rovers 35 48
11 Sheffield Wednesday 35 46
12 Charlton Athletic 35 45
13 Birmingham City 35 45
14 Cardiff City 35 44
15 Leeds United 35 44
16 Huddersfield Town 35 42
17 Bolton Wanderers 35 41
18 Reading 35 41
19 Brighton and Hove Albion 35 40
20 Fulham 35 39
21 Rotherham United 35 37
22 Wigan Athletic 35 31
23 Millwall 35 31
24 Blackpool 35 22