Burnley 0 Reading 3: Convey's class puts icing on cakewalk

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The Independent Football

Reading's relentless march towards the Premiership continued at Turf Moor yesterday as an 11th away win of the season took them 14 points clear at the top of the Championship. A fine early strike from the American winger Bobby Convey was followed by a second-half header from the Senegal defender Ibrahima Sonko and a late third from the substitute Dave Kitson. Victory did not come without cost, though, as the 15-goal striker Leroy Lita was taken to hospital with a suspected break of his left leg.

Burnley never seriously troubled Marcus Hahnemann in the Reading goal as the away side showed their class. With 89 points and 90 goals already, Reading are set to be the most dominant of champions. "If we beat Watford next week then it will be very difficult for the other teams to catch us," conceded Kevin Dillon, the Reading assistant manager. "It's certainly a nice position to be in."

It took the champions-elect only 10 minutes to ease ahead. Convey picked up a partial clearance and let fly from 20 yards, sending the ball arcing into the top corner for his sixth goal of the season. Burnley's emergency strikeforce of midfielder Michael Duff and full debutant Kyle Lafferty had a tough afternoon, although the latter did shoot wide when he really should have tested Hahnemann.

Lita, who played for England Under-21s last week, sustained his injury at the end of the first half. After shooting powerfully on the turn he landed awkwardly and collapsed immediately to the ground. "Last week he scored the winner against Preston and he'd just got back in the team so it's hard for him," said Dillon. "We're hoping it isn't as serious as it looked."

Brynjar Gunnarsson's header was cleared off the line by John McGreal and James Harper's drive was tipped away by a full-stretch Brian Jensen as Reading began to dominate. They doubled their lead when Glen Little's free-kick was met by Sonko before Kitson and Steve Hunt combined in injury time.