Royals flushed as title race heats up

13 March 2012 10:47

Reading leapfrogged over West Ham to move into the automatic promotion places in the Championship on Tuesday but were made to fight all the way before securing a 1-1 draw at Doncaster.

Kyle Bennett had given relegation-threatened Rovers a shock lead with a 27th-minute header at the Keepmoat Stadium.

But the Royals hit back early in the second half when Alex Pearce got on the end of an Ian Harte free-kick to secure an important point for Reading.

The draw saw Reading denied a ninth straight victory but the result nevertheless left the Royals just two points behind league leaders Southampton.

Rovers meanwhile remain mired in the relegation zone, three points adrift of safety.

Elsewhere Tuesday, Hull City surged into the play-off places with a superb 3-0 victory at promotion rivals Cardiff.

Kevin McNaughton's own goal put Hull ahead after only six minutes before James Chester and Aaron McLean made sure of the points for the Tigers.

Birmingham's promotion charge hit a bump however with a 3-1 defeat at Leicester, with Jermaine Beckford scoring twice for the Foxes after Wade Elliott had given the Blues a 1-0 from the penalty spot after 20 minutes.

Meanwhile the problems mounted for Nottingham Forest as Derby scrambled a 1-0 win in injury time at Pride Park.

Forest appeared to have done enough to secure a point despite the late dismissal of Marcus Tudgay. However Jake Buxton popped up to nod home a Ben Davies free-kick deep into injury time as the Rams scored a crucial win.

Forest are now just four points clear of the relegation zone following the defeat.

Source: AFP

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