Reading 1 Leicester City 1 match report: Royals jump into Championship play-offs after draw

 

Leicester edged a point closer to the Sky Bet Championship title and Reading clambered back into the play-off spots following a 1-1 draw at the Madejski Stadium.

Danny Drinkwater's long-range rocket, his eighth goal of the season, cancelled out Alex Pearce's header for the Royals - whose wait for a first home win since January goes on.

Nigel Pearson's Foxes are now seven points clear of second-placed Burnley with four games left while Reading are clinging on to sixth, ahead of Brighton thanks to a goal difference of one.

Pearson had called for a response from his side after the Seagulls had spoiled their title party last week with a 4-1 win, and they almost got off to the perfect start.

Striker Jamie Vardy, back in the team after a spell out injured, thought he was back amongst the goals after eight minutes when he tapped in Jeff Schlupp's cross - however, he was just offside.

Instead the Royals took the lead after 15 minutes with their first goal at home from open play in almost nine-and-a-half hours.

Jordan Obita swung a long free-kick into the box and Pearce guided his header back across Kasper Schmeichel and into the bottom corner.

Having developed a taste for scoring again the hosts almost doubled their advantage when Garath McCleary gave Schlupp the slip on the byline and slid the ball to Jobi McAnuff three yards out - but Schmeichel managed to save with his legs.

Reading should have been awarded a penalty when Dean Hammond clearly handled as he challenged Pavel Pogrebnyak in the air but referee Simon Hooper saw nothing - just as he did before the break when Schmeichel palmed McCleary's attempted lob wide, only for the official to give a goal-kick.

But by then Leicester had equalised through a superb goal from Drinkwater. Reading half-cleared a corner to the midfielder some 25 yards out and he lashed it back through a crowded penalty area and into the net.

Both sides had chances to snatch all three points after the interval, with Pogrebnyak heading McCleary's cross against the foot of a post and Drinkwater denied a second by the face of Royals goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.

Mikele Leigertwood, back from a long-term ankle injury, came on as a second-half sub for Reading but his only contribution was to collect two bookings in a quarter-of-an-hour to leave the hosts to play the last few minutes with 10 men.

PA

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