Brentford hone in on top six after beating Reading
Brentford strengthened their Championship play-off hopes with a 2-1 win at Reading that owed much to determination, grit and two excellent goals.
The Bees led 1-0 at half time after Ryan Woods had lashed in a fierce effort from distance, his first goal of the season.
Although Reading equalised after the break through Garath McCleary from close range, Brentford substitute Sergi Canos thumped in a superb winner with 18 minutes remaining.
Reading finished with 10 men after centre-back Michael Hector was sent off in the 87th minute for picking up a second yellow card.
Brentford had enjoyed a decent run since Dean Smith took over as head coach last month, losing only one of five matches and continuing to hover near the top six.
They drew 0-0 with long-time Championship pacesetters Brighton at Griffin Park on Boxing Day.
Reading defeated Blackburn Rovers 1-0 at home in new manager Brian McDermott's first match in charge.
But they lost by the same scoreline at Wolves on Saturday, a fifth defeat in six matches.
Reading started the stronger, with Ola John a persistent threat on the left flank.
Nick Blackman tried his luck with a powerful 30-yard free kick that flashed narrowly over the crossbar.
Then Hal Robson-Kanu cut in from the right and forced Brentford goalkeeper David Button to make a smart near-post save.
Little had been seen of Brentford going forward but, in the 17th minute, they struck with their first attempt on goal.
Woods was allowed to run unchallenged towards the Reading area before unleashing a superb 20-yard drive that flew past home keeper Jonathan Bond.
Brentford, the more composed and patient side in midfield, could have increased their lead but Alan Judge drove weakly at Bond and John Swift headed over from a Judge cross.
Reading opened brightly at the start of the second half and could have been level two minutes into it.
Quinn slung over a cross from the left and Matej Vydra, a half-time substitute, rose alone at the far post.
But he headed the ball into the ground and it bounced up and struck the crossbar before being hacked to safety.
Blackman also volleyed wildly over from an Oliver Norwood corner but Brentford's stubborn resistance was broken in the 58th minute.
Vydra slipped a neat pass through to McCleary, another interval substitute, and he made no mistake with a cool finish past Button for his first goal since September.
Lucas Piazon could have put Reading in front but was unable to muster any power with his final effort after a mazy run.
Yet Brentford made a spirited recovery and regained their advantage in the 72nd minute.
Canos drove in from the right flank and delivered a searing left-foot shot that gave Bond no chance and secured the hard-earned victory.
Hector's late red card, for a dive to try to win a penalty after having been booked earlier, summed up Reading's miserable afternoon.