Leeds United 1 Reading 1: Hunt levels to start the Blades party

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The Independent Football

Reading substitute Stephen Hunt scored a late equaliser as the champions pegged back Leeds and sent Neil Warnock's Sheffield United into the top flight for the first time in 12 years.

Leeds had fallen away badly since charging to within three points of automatic promotion and started the match needing to win to keep alive their hopes of automatic promotion. But their lack of conviction in the final third was again evident. However, Rob Hulse was impressing in the Leeds attack, and having gone close with a glancing header his luck, and Leeds', changed two minutes into the second-half when Shaun Derry's cross presented Hulse with a chance he didn't spurn, sidefooting in for the side's first goal in over six hours of play.

Reading, who had seen their prolific striker force of Dave Kitson and Kevin Doyle well marshalled by the Leeds defence, pressed for an equaliser and five minutes from time Brynjar Gunnarsson's cross was headed on by Ivar Ingimarsson and Hunt bundled the ball in. Leeds have not won for seven games and on Tuesday night must go to Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United's celebrations at Bramall Lane.

"Neil and the boys deserve all the credit," Leeds manager, Kevin Blackwell, graciously said. "With the lead they had it should have probably been all over a couple of months ago but we made sure it was a wide-open race. We're in a situation where we need to get some form going into the play-offs, especially getting a goal after so long without one."