Leigertwood strike secures promotion for Reading

Reading 1 Nottingham Forest 0

Mikele Leigertwood netted a late winner as Reading clinched promotion back to the Premier League.

The midfielder broke the deadlock in the 81st minute as the Royals eventually overcame a dogged Forest side to spark wild celebrations at the Madejski Stadium.

The goal came minutes after news filtered through that nearest challengers West Ham had been held to a 1-1 draw by Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

Forest, though, came close to snatching a point and putting the champagne on ice but substitute Marcus Tudgay's header was cleared off the line by Alex Pearce with the striker's follow-up effort being kept out by Adam Federici deep into injury time.

It was Reading's sixth successive win, eighth in a row at home and their 15th in the last 17 games, form which has seen them leapfrog long-time leaders Southampton at the summit.

Despite the defeat, only their second in eight games, Forest secured Championship football for another season with Coventry losing at home to Millwall.

Forest made a strong start and Lewis McGugan had an early sight of goal only to drag his 12-yard shot wide.

Reading were struggling to build any momentum, although they did have the ball in the net after 19 minutes. But Noel Hunt was penalised for a foul on Forest keeper Lee Camp from Jobi McAnuff's free-kick, with Jason Roberts having tapped home.

Moments later, Federici - widely regarded as one of the best keepers outside the Premier League - reacted quickly to get down to Adlene Guedioura's effort from range.

The home side were still to find their rhythm and it was again Forest who threatened, Dexter Blackstock turning and shooting at Federici.

Camp was finally tested when Hayden Mullins fired a shot from 18 yards with the midfielder then seeing another effort charged down by Forest defender Luke Chambers as Reading eventually started to get going.

Reading came out in the second half with much more purpose and had an early chance to take the lead but Hunt headed well wide from Jimmy Kebe's cross.

They went close again shortly afterwards but excellent defending from George Elokobi prevented Hunt from connecting to Ian Harte's far-post cross.

Elokobi then threatened at the other end as his overhead kick from McGugan's corner just cleared the bar.

Reading boss Brian McDermott then threw on Adam Le Fondre - the match-winner from the bench in last Friday's win at Southampton - in the 58th minute as he sought a repeat of the striker's heroics.

Seven minutes later Le Fondre had the best opportunity of the game. He chased down a lost cause and found himself with Camp to beat but he dinked his shot over the keeper and wide.

Luke Chambers headed a McGugan corner over before Elokobi skimmed the bar moments later with 20 minutes left as Forest still looked threatening.

But after hearing news of West Ham's draw at Bristol City, the Reading fans roared their team on and they got the crucial goal with nine minutes left, Leigertwood bundling in Harte's free-kick.

The stadium was rocking and Le Fondre was denied a chance to wrap the game up by a fine save from Camp before Reading survived a late scare.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935