Reading battled to a narrow victory over Burnley to lift the club into third place in the Championship table.

Jason Roberts scored the only goal when he curled home a Jobi McAnuff cross, after Burnley's Charlie Austin had seen a header rebound off the crossbar.

Reading could have doubled their lead but for a brave header from Ben Mee who deflected a Noel Hunt shot clear.

Jay Rodriguez headed against the post for Burnley before Jimmy Kebe saw a header cleared off the line.

Burnley were a decent team, there's no doubt about that, so we have to be very pleased with that result

Brian McDermott Reading manager

There was a lot a stake going into the match for both sides, with Reading looking for their fifth successive victory over Burnley in league and cup, while a win for Burnley would have moved them to within one point of the play-offs.

Austin should have given the Clarets an early lead after a jinking run from Josh McQuoid, but the former Swindon striker saw his header come back off the bar to safety.

But against the run of play, Eddie Howe's men fell behind when an unmarked Roberts beat Burnley goalkeeper Lee Grant with a clipped finish from 15 yards.

The goal was Roberts' third in his four games for the Royals since his move from Blackburn in January.

Burnley struggled to contain lively widemen Kebe and McAnuff - a major doubt for the match following a hernia problem - who together stretched the Burnley backline on a number of occasions.

Rodriguez, looking for his 19th goal of the season, was limited to long-range efforts, before David Edgar had an adventurous overhead kick go wide.

DID YOU KNOW?

Burnley's last victory over Reading was in the Championship play-off semi-finals in May 2009, when they set up a 3-0 aggregate victory with a 2-0 win at the Madejski

With prospective new owner Russian businessman Anton Zingarevich looking on from the stands, Reading continued to press and when Ian Harte's free-kick was spilled by Grant to the feet of Hunt he could only watch as his shot was bravely headed away by Mee.

Rodriguez then thundered a header against the post from a Ross Wallace corner, after strike partner Austin had been one-on-one with goalkeeper Adam Federici who expertly saved.

The Clarets failed to properly test Federici - whose 14 clean-sheets this season is the most in the Championship - and he was a spectator for large parts of the game.

Kebe caused chaos in in the Clarets defence once again when his header looked to be sailing into the back of the net only for Kieran Trippier to make a goal line clearance.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Reading manager Brian McDermott:

"It's good for him [Zingarevich] to watch the game, have a look at the stadium and the training ground and what we're about.

"If you're in a different country you're just hearing other people talk about it and not feeling the environment, and I think it's important to feel the environment. He will have enjoyed the victory, that was the most important thing.

"Burnley were a decent team, there's no doubt about that, so we have to be very pleased with that result."

Burnley manager Eddie Howe:

"We started the game really well. In the first half we were very good, passed the ball well and created enough chances to have taken something from the game.

"We sliced Reading open at times, perhaps in the final third our quality wasn't at our usual standard, but be fair to Reading they defended the lead very well in the second half.

"We've performed well against all the top sides and we're getting better every game. We're progressing as a team and the lads are really starting to believe in themselves."

Lineup, Bookings (8) & Substitutions (5)

Reading

  • 01 Federici
  • 03 Connolly
  • 05 Pearce
  • 17 Gorkss Booked
  • 23 Harte
  • 04 Karacan
  • 08 Leigertwood
  • 11 McAnuff (Robson-Kanu - 80' )
  • 14 Kebe
  • 10 Hunt Booked
  • 33 Roberts Booked (Le Fondre - 76' )

Substitutes

  • 31 Andersen
  • 07 Tabb
  • 19 Robson-Kanu
  • 41 Cywka
  • 09 Le Fondre

Burnley

  • 01 Grant
  • 02 Trippier
  • 04 Duff Booked
  • 15 Edgar
  • 36 Mee
  • 06 McCann
  • 07 Wallace Booked
  • 08 Marney Booked (Bartley - 79' )
  • 19 McQuoid (Ings - 68' Booked )
  • 09 Rodriguez Booked
  • 23 Austin (Paterson - 68' )

Substitutes

  • 12 Jensen
  • 24 Easton
  • 20 Bartley
  • 10 Paterson
  • 14 Ings
Ref: Deadman
Att: 17,185

Match Stats

Shots

8 14

On target

6 4

Corners

5 7

Fouls

11 12

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:10 Full time

Full Time The referee ends the match.

90:00 +4:31

Effort from deep inside the area by Jimmy Kebe clears the bar.

90:00 +4:00

Marvin Bartley fouled by Mikele Leigertwood, the ref awards a free kick. Lee Grant restarts play with the free kick.

90:00 +3:24

Mikele Leigertwood fouled by Martin Paterson, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Alex Pearce.

90:00 +2:43

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jimmy Kebe by Ross Wallace. Adam Federici restarts play with the free kick.

90:00 +2:31

The ball is crossed by Kieran Trippier, Kaspars Gorkss makes a clearance.

90:00 +2:06

The ball is sent over by Ross Wallace, clearance by Kaspars Gorkss.

90:00 +1:06

Martin Paterson produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the goal.

90:00 +0:56

The ball is delivered by Kieran Trippier, Kaspars Gorkss manages to make a clearance.

90:00 +0:20

Shot from just outside the area by Jay Rodriguez misses to the right of the target.

89:13

Unfair challenge on Michael Duff by Adam Le Fondre results in a free kick. Lee Grant takes the direct free kick.

86:04

Free kick taken by Adam Federici.

86:04 Booking

Booking Danny Ings is booked.

85:57

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Matthew Connolly by Danny Ings.

84:46

Free kick awarded for a foul by Ross Wallace on Jimmy Kebe. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Ian Harte, clearance made by Jay Rodriguez.

84:11

Ross Wallace takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici.

83:33

David Edgar takes the free kick.

83:33 Booking

Booking Noel Hunt booked.

83:26

The referee blows for offside.

82:57

Mikele Leigertwood takes a shot. David Edgar gets a block in.

82:18

Corner taken left-footed by Ian Harte.

81:31

Ross Wallace crosses the ball, Alex Pearce makes a clearance.

79:19 Substitution

Substitution Hal Robson-Kanu comes on in place of Jobi McAnuff.

78:30 Substitution

Substitution Marvin Bartley replaces Dean Marney.

78:18

Centre by Jimmy Kebe.

76:54

The ball is sent over by Michael Duff, clearance made by Jimmy Kebe.

76:40

Kieran Trippier delivers the ball, blocked by Ian Harte.

75:21 Substitution

Substitution Adam Le Fondre on for Jason Roberts.

75:04

Free kick awarded for a foul by Noel Hunt on Dean Marney. Direct free kick taken by Michael Duff.

74:43

A cross is delivered by Jimmy Kebe, save by Lee Grant.

74:37

Jimmy Kebe crosses the ball, clearance by Michael Duff.

73:13

Martin Paterson has an effort at goal from the edge of the box that misses to the right of the target.

72:38

Ben Mee crosses the ball, Jimmy Kebe gets a block in.

71:29

Foul by Jimmy Kebe on Lee Grant, free kick awarded. Lee Grant takes the direct free kick.

71:21

Ian Harte produces a cross, clearance made by David Edgar.

70:46

The ball is sent over by Jem Karacan, Jobi McAnuff takes a shot. Ben Mee manages to make a clearance.

70:06

Shot from just outside the box by Danny Ings misses to the left of the target.

67:29 Substitution

Substitution Danny Ings joins the action as a substitute, replacing Josh McQuoid.

67:29 Substitution

Substitution (Burnley) makes a substitution, with Martin Paterson coming on for Charlie Austin.

66:35

Kaspars Gorkss challenges Josh McQuoid unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Kieran Trippier.

65:35

Lee Grant takes the direct free kick.

65:35 Booking

Booking Dean Marney receives a yellow card.

65:02 Booking

Booking Kaspars Gorkss is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.

63:29

Corner taken by Ian Harte from the right by-line to the near post, Kaspars Gorkss challenges Lee Grant unfairly and gives away a free kick.

62:37

Jason Roberts fouled by Michael Duff, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Ian Harte, clearance made by Ben Mee.

61:59

The ball is sent over by Jimmy Kebe, David Edgar manages to make a clearance.

60:54

Foul by Kieran Trippier on Jobi McAnuff, free kick awarded. Ian Harte crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from left wing, Dean Marney makes a clearance.

60:26

Jem Karacan takes a shot. David Edgar gets a block in.

56:12

Centre by Jimmy Kebe, clearance made by Michael Duff.

55:45

Jay Rodriguez takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici.

55:13

Foul by Matthew Connolly on Josh McQuoid, free kick awarded. Dean Marney restarts play with the free kick.

54:16

The ball is sent over by Matthew Connolly, David Edgar makes a clearance.

52:32

The ball is delivered by David Edgar, save by Adam Federici.

52:02

Corner taken by Ross Wallace from the left by-line.

51:34

Corner from the left by-line taken by Ross Wallace, Ian Harte manages to make a clearance.

51:22

Charlie Austin takes a shot. Matthew Connolly gets a block in.

50:34

Corner taken by Kieran Trippier played to the near post, Header by Jay Rodriguez from inside the area hits the post.

47:35

Free kick taken by Adam Federici.

47:35 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Jay Rodriguez for unsporting behaviour.

46:47

Jay Rodriguez gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mikele Leigertwood.

46:31

Charlie Austin takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici.

46:11

The ball is crossed by Noel Hunt, save by Lee Grant.

45:01

The referee starts the second half.

45:00 +2:09 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.

45:00 +1:09

Inswinging corner taken by Jobi McAnuff from the left by-line, clearance by Ben Mee.

45:00 +0:51

Noel Hunt takes a shot. Blocked by Michael Duff.

44:29

Ian Harte produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick, Lee Grant makes a save.

44:29 Booking

Booking Michael Duff is shown a yellow card.

44:22

Michael Duff gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jimmy Kebe.

44:10

The ball is delivered by Ross Wallace, save by Matthew Connolly.

43:37

Unfair challenge on Dean Marney by Jason Roberts results in a free kick. Kieran Trippier takes the direct free kick.

42:22

Free kick awarded for a foul by Noel Hunt on David Edgar. Lee Grant takes the free kick.

41:39

Chris McCann produces a left-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the target.

41:05

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Kieran Trippier from the left by-line, clearance by Alex Pearce.

39:10

Ian Harte restarts play with the free kick.

39:10 Booking

Booking Jason Roberts goes into the book.

38:48 Booking

Booking Ross Wallace is cautioned.

38:07

Foul by Ross Wallace on Ian Harte, free kick awarded.

36:36

The ball is delivered by Kieran Trippier, save by Adam Federici.

33:22

Inswinging corner taken by Jobi McAnuff from the left by-line played to the near post, Jay Rodriguez manages to make a clearance.

33:15

Jobi McAnuff sends in a cross, clearance made by Dean Marney.

32:37

Jay Rodriguez gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alex Pearce. Free kick taken by Adam Federici.

32:05

Jobi McAnuff has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.

30:42

Unfair challenge on Alex Pearce by Charlie Austin results in a free kick. Adam Federici takes the free kick.

29:48

The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Lee Grant.

28:56

Outswinging corner taken by Ross Wallace, save made by Adam Federici.

27:54

Ian Harte concedes a free kick for a foul on Jay Rodriguez. Direct free kick taken by Ross Wallace.

26:53

Jay Rodriguez has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide left of the goal.

26:36

Ross Wallace crosses the ball, clearance by Kaspars Gorkss.

25:12

A cross is delivered by Jobi McAnuff.

24:41

Free kick awarded for a foul by Mikele Leigertwood on Jay Rodriguez. Direct free kick taken by Ben Mee.

23:15

Charlie Austin is caught offside. Adam Federici takes the free kick.

22:35

The ball is sent over by Jobi McAnuff.

20:09

Inswinging corner taken by Ian Harte.

20:02

The ball is crossed by Jimmy Kebe, Jem Karacan manages to make a clearance.

18:33

Ross Wallace takes the inswinging corner, Michael Duff produces a header from close range which goes wide of the left-hand post.

18:24

Charlie Austin produces a cross, Kaspars Gorkss gets a block in.

16:32

Ross Wallace produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty area and misses left.

15:28

The official flags Jimmy Kebe offside. Lee Grant takes the indirect free kick.

15:15

The ball is crossed by Jimmy Kebe, David Edgar gets a block in.

12:52

Jay Rodriguez is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Adam Federici.

10:44

Assist by Jobi McAnuff.

10:44 Goal scored

Goal! - Jason Roberts - Reading 1 - 0 Burnley Jason Roberts finds the net with a goal from just inside the area to the top right corner of the goal. Reading 1-0 Burnley.

9:23

Jimmy Kebe crosses the ball, clearance made by Kieran Trippier.

8:29

The ball is crossed by Matthew Connolly, save by Lee Grant.

7:28

Ben Mee challenges Jimmy Kebe unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ian Harte takes the direct free kick.

6:40

Kieran Trippier crosses the ball, save by Adam Federici.

5:58

Josh McQuoid sends in a cross, Charlie Austin takes a shot.

5:18

Centre by Kieran Trippier.

2:55

Ross Wallace sends in a cross, Jem Karacan manages to make a clearance.

2:01

Ross Wallace takes a outswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, Noel Hunt manages to make a clearance.

1:53

Josh McQuoid produces a cross, blocked by Matthew Connolly.

1:13

The ball is swung over by Ian Harte.

0:00

The referee gets the match started.

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