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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 13 26
2 Watford 13 25
3 Middlesbrough 13 23
4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 13 23
5 Norwich City 13 22
6 Nottingham Forest 13 22
7 Charlton Athletic 13 22
8 Bournemouth 13 21
9 Ipswich Town 13 20
10 Cardiff City 13 19
11 Blackburn Rovers 13 19
12 Brentford 13 19
13 Sheffield Wednesday 13 18
14 Rotherham United 13 16
15 Leeds United 13 16
16 Huddersfield Town 13 16
17 Reading 13 15
18 Millwall 13 14
19 Wigan Athletic 13 12
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 13 12
21 Birmingham City 13 11
22 Fulham 13 11
23 Bolton Wanderers 13 8
24 Blackpool 13 6

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