Reading gain ground after festive slip-ups by leaders

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The Independent Football

Reading gained ground on the Championship pacesetters, after a 3-0 win against Watford at the Madejski Stadium. Goals from Ibrahima Sonko, Steve Sidwell and Lloyd Owusu got Steve Coppell's side off to a flying start in their festive schedule and moved them two points behind leaders Ipswich.

Ipswich remain top despite losing 3-1 to Millwall at the New Den. Barry Hayles opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time for Dennis Wise's side, and Danny Dichio added a second seven minutes after the interval. The Finland striker Shefki Kuqi pulled one back for Joe Royle's side, but Scott Dobie sealed the win for the hosts.

Wolves made it a hat-trick of 1-1 draws under Glenn Hoddle with a point against Cardiff at Ninian Park although it needed a sharp finish in the second half by their leading scorer Kenny Miller to secure a deserved point after they fell behind to an early Cameron Jerome goal.

The makeshift striker Adam Virgo hit a last-ditch winner for Brighton at home to Gillingham. The Gills led through Andrew Crofts for most of the match but Richard Carpenter levelled with eight minutes left and Virgo struck six minutes later.

Sheffield United also came from behind against Coventry. Stern John had given the home side the lead but goals from Chris Morgan and Andy Gray gave the Blades the points.

Plymouth Argyle held on against Queen's Park Rangers at Home Park after goals either side of half-time from Paul Wotton and Micky Evans. Paul Furlong pulled one back but Argyle won, despite playing most of the game without Graham Coughlan, who was sent off. Rangers also had Georges Santos dismissed and have now lost their last four matches.

Rotherham claimed their first away win of the season with Shaun Barker earning a surprise 1-0 win at Leicester City.