Royals tame Lions
By Simon Fudge. Last Updated: December 17, 2005 6:00pm
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.
Sky Bet Championship
Sat 17th Dec
Millwall0 - 2Reading
Norwich3 - 1Southampton
Sheff Wed0 - 1Ipswich
Cardiff0 - 0Derby
Burnley4 - 1Watford
Wolves1 - 0Leeds
Leicester1 - 1Crewe
Plymouth2 - 0C Palace
Luton Town2 - 3Stoke City
Sky Bet Championship
|2||Queens Park Rangers||18||38|
|11||Brighton and Hove Albion||18||25|