League round-up: Royals rise to the challenge as Long double sinks Rams
Shane Long scored twice as Reading beat Derby County 2-1 at Pride Park, a fourth consecutive Championship defeat for the Rams. The Royals' victory, their first in seven matches, lifted them from 14th to seventh in one of only six afternoon kick-offs.
Reading took the lead three minutes before the break when Long was brought down by the Rams defender Shaun Barker, who was booked. The Royals' striker inflicted further punishment when he fired in the penalty.
Derby levelled when Kris Commons headed in from a Paul Green cross. Adam Federici's saves kept the Royals level, and with two minutes left a deep Jobi McAnuff cross to the far post found Long unmarked and he headed in the winner.
Swansea City spurned their chance to break into the automatic promotion places when they lost 1-0 to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. Ched Evans, picked out by Andy Reid's perceptive pass, fired in a minute before the interval to give John Carver, the Blades' caretaker manager after Gary Speed left to take over the Wales national side, the perfect start.
"I'm delighted for the boys," Carver said. "It's not been the easiest week but they've responded in exactly the right fashion. It was a great goal. The pass from Andy Reid was excellent, perfectly weighted."
Jay Simpson scored twice as Hull City stretched their unbeaten run to six games with a 2-0 defeat of Bristol City at the KC Stadium. Cameron Stewart, on loan from Manchester United, set up Simpson's first, a simple finish in the 13th minute, and the striker doubled his tally just after the hour with a shot from 15 yards.
The efforts of Exeter City groundstaff and helpers at St James Park paid off when the only match in the division saw Jamie Cureton score twice in a 5-1 thumping of Sheffield Wednesday. Level at 1-1 at the break, the Owls were swept aside by a 14-minute second-half three-goal blizzard. Wednesday stay second; Exeter move up to ninth, a point outside the play-offs.
The one match to finish saw football at Highbury Stadium, home of Fleetwood Town, as fourth-placed Newport County drew 1-1. Fleetwood are fifth. The only other Conference match to start was the noon kick-off at Kenilworth Road where Luton Town, York City and 6,125 hardy souls defied the elements for 55 minutes before the match was abandoned due to snow. The score at the time was 0-0.
In the Premier, third-placed Hearts were held 1-1 by Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who have not lost away for 13 months. Liam Kelly scored twice as Kilmarnock beat Hibernian 2-1.
In the Irn-Bru First Division, Dundee, who are bottom after a 25-point deduction for going into administration, beat Stirling Albion 2-0; in the Second, Airdrie won 3-2 at Alloa; in the Third, Queens Park and Elgin drew 1-1.
Latest in Sport
A tight game could be in prospect here. Northampton have been keeping things very tight of late and ...
by Gareth Purnell
18 May 2013 02:01 AM
I can’t ever watch games of football or rugby without wistfully wondering what it must be like to be...
by Martin Ayres
16 May 2013 05:10 PM
Since PSG’s exit to Barcelona in the Uefa Champions League quarter-final in April, PSG have been sur...
by Matthew Riding
15 May 2013 02:37 PM
Tears and cheers as David Beckham ends glittering career after helping PSG to final win
England manager Roy Hodgson attacks Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham over tours
Video: Emotional David Beckham leaves the pitch for 'the last time'
Another nail-biting finish for unlucky Tottenham as Arsenal look to secure Champions League place on last day
Boxing: Carl Froch slams fellow Brits for sparring with Mikkel Kessler
- 1 Tears and cheers as David Beckham ends glittering career after helping PSG to final win
- 2 Heading for America? Prepare for the longest US immigration queues ever
- 3 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 4 David Cameron goes to war with press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.