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The Den (ATT 12,920) 17th December 2005 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: A Hall

Millwall Millwall vs Reading Reading

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Royals tame Lions

By Simon Fudge.   Last Updated: 17/12/05 6:00pm

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Reading confirmed their position as Championship leaders at Christmas after a 2-0 success over ten-man Millwall.

The Royals extended their lead over second place Sheffield United to six points after The Blades were held to a goalless draw at Preston North End on Friday evening.

Steve Coppell's side could have won Saturday's contest by more, with Dave Kitson having missed a second half penalty for the visitors.

It was bottom-of-the-table Millwall that threatened early on, but Alan Dunne's header to Josh Simpson's far-post cross hit the crossbar.

Reading, however, drew first blood five minutes before the break, as Kitson found Kevin Doyle in the Millwall box.

The Irishman played the ball to Steve Sidwell and his right-foot volley flew past Lions goalkeeper Colin Doyle for 1-0.

Sidwell than gave Bobby Convey the chance to double the lead three minutes later, but the American international's shot was saved by the Millwall custodian.

The visitors then had a glorious chance to put the match beyond doubt soon after the break, as Millwall were reduced to ten men when Tony Craig was sent off for bringing down Doyle in the Millwall box.

Kitson took the ensuing spot kick, but Colin Doyle made the initial save before Paul Robinson denied the Reading striker the chance to score on the rebound.

After Royals goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann made saves from Bruce Dyer and Ben May, Convey and Sidwell missed chances of their own for Reading.

On 68 minutes, the visitors finally made the most of their man advantage when Doyle doubled Reading's lead with a close-range strike after eluding the challenge of Zak Whitbread, as Coppell's side cruised to victory in South East London.

Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Derby County 18 35
2 Bournemouth 18 32
3 Middlesbrough 18 32
4 Ipswich Town 18 31
5 Brentford 18 31
6 Blackburn Rovers 18 30
7 Watford 18 29
8 Nottingham Forest 18 28
9 Charlton Athletic 18 28
10 Norwich City 18 27
11 Wolverhampton Wanderers 18 27
12 Cardiff City 18 26
13 Sheffield Wednesday 18 22
14 Huddersfield Town 18 21
15 Reading 18 21
16 Leeds United 18 20
17 Fulham 18 19
18 Millwall 18 19
19 Birmingham City 18 19
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 18 18
21 Bolton Wanderers 18 18
22 Rotherham United 18 18
23 Wigan Athletic 18 17
24 Blackpool 18 8

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