Full Time - Reading win at Brighton & Hove Albion

Published: 10 Apr 2012 17:300 comments

READING have moved a step closer to the Premier League with a 1-0 win at Brighton and Hove Albion tonight.

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Royals strengthened their second place position in the Championship with a hard-fought victory at the Amex Stadium.

Reading have equalled league leaders Southampton's tally of 82 points and trail only on goal difference - with the two sides due to meet at St Mary's on Friday.

The win also widens the gap between Reading and third place West Ham to six points, with just four games left to play.

Brighton spurned a great chance to equalise five minutes into the second half when Royals keeper Adam Federici denied Ashley Barnes from the penalty spot.

Reading then missed an opportunity to put the match beyond Brighton's reach with Alex Pearce smashing his header onto the cross bar.

The visitors had taken an early lead through Ian Harte's deflected free-kick but were under lots of pressure throughout the half.

Brighton were denied a penalty despite Craig Mackail-Smith appearing to be fouled in the box by Kaspars Gorkss.

Vincente Rodriguez then came close for Albion, hitting the bar.

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READING lead their hosts Brighton 1-0 at the break.

Veteran defender Ian Harte's goal came in the 13th minute when his free-kcik from around 20 yards out was deflected into the top corner.

Brighton had dominated the opening stages at the Amex Stadium and continued to put Reading under pressure following the goal.

Vincente Rodriguez came closest for the hosts when he hit the bar with around 10 minutes left in the half.

Brighton also had a penalty shout turned down when Kaspars Gorkss appeared to foul Craig Mackail-Smith in the box.

Noel Hunt nearly doubled the Royals lead just before the break, but his header was expertly palmed away by Brighton keeper Peter Brezovan.

Harte and Jimmy Kebe also picked up yellow cards during a feisty half of football.

Despite Reading's lead, they will have to work hard to keep their advantage with Brighton dangerous on the attack.

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READING face a crucial match in their bid for automatic promotion from the Championship away at Brighton this evening.

The Royals will be without Jem Karacan who is out for the rest of the season after breakign his ankle in the Good Friday win over Leeds United.

Hal Robson-Kanu and Mikele Leigertwood fail to make the squad and are replaced by Tomas Cywka and Hayden Mullins.

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