Reading moved top of the Championship after Adam Le Fondre's late double broke the resistance of 10-man Leeds.

In a feisty first half, Leeds had Zac Thompson sent off after 13 minutes for a rash tackle on Jobi McAnuff.

The visitors frustrated Reading and went close when Ross McCormack's shot hit the outside of the post and Robert Snodgrass wasted a gilt-edged chance.

But Le Fondre chested in Hal Robson-Kanu's nod across goal after 84 minutes and sidefooted in for Reading's win.

It was a hard-fought success for Brian McDermott's side against a Leeds team who resisted resolutely for the most part and whose play-off hopes are now all but over.

Reading, on the other hand, only enhanced their automatic promotion credentials with a seventh home win on the trot as they inflicted the first away defeat Leeds boss Neil Warnock has suffered since taking over the Elland Road club.

Reading's remaining games

  • Brighton (a)
  • Southampton (a)
  • Nottm Forest (h)
  • C Palace (h)
  • Birmingham (a)

Warnock had highlighted the depleted nature of his side because of injuries and suspensions leading up to the game and it did not take long for the visitors to suffer another setback when Thompson was sent off.

Reading had gone close with headers from Noel Hunt and Kaspars Gorkss before Thompson, 19, flew into a tackle on winger McAnuff to get his marching orders.

Former Leeds defender Ian Harte showed little sentiment as he went close with a long-range shot before a left-wing cross inadvertently came off the far post.

Leeds nearly made their predicament worse but Danny Pugh escaped a red card for a studs-first tackle on Jem Karacan.

In a first half of eye-watering tackles rather than eye-catching football, Karacan eventually hobbled off after a Michael Brown challenge proved the final straw for him.

With the home side failing to make their numerical advantage count, McCormack fired a shot against the outside of the post before Snodgrass had an even better chance.

The Leeds captain had a clear sight of goal only to sidefoot too close to Royals keeper Adam Federici, who parried the shot away.

The miss proved crucial as Reading heeded the warning and went up the other end to score when Jimmy Kebe's cross was nodded back across goal by Robson-Kanu and Le Fondre, who had a goal disallowed for offside minutes earlier, was in the right place to provide the finishing touch.

Le Fondre slotted in a second when he benefited from good work from Jason Roberts as Reading leapfrogged Southampton, who play their game in hand on the Royals against Portsmouth on Saturday.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Reading

  • 01 Federici
  • 05 Pearce
  • 17 Gorkss
  • 23 Harte
  • 24 Cummings
  • 04 Karacan (Robson-Kanu - 40' )
  • 08 Leigertwood
  • 11 McAnuff
  • 14 Kebe
  • 10 Hunt (Le Fondre - 69' )
  • 33 Roberts

Substitutes

  • 12 McCarthy
  • 19 Robson-Kanu (Mullins - 90' )
  • 26 Mullins
  • 09 Le Fondre
  • 18 Church

Leeds

  • 01 Lonergan
  • 04 Bruce
  • 22 Lees
  • 26 Bromby
  • 33 Robinson Booked
  • 08 Brown
  • 16 Pugh Booked
  • 29 Thompson Dismissed
  • 10 Becchio Booked (Forssell - 87' )
  • 23 Snodgrass (Webber - 85' )
  • 44 McCormack (Rogers - 85' )

Substitutes

  • 31 Taylor
  • 06 Rogers
  • 09 Paynter
  • 18 Forssell
  • 25 Webber
Ref: Drysdale
Att: 22,775

Match Stats

Shots

15 7

On target

6 4

Corners

16 1

Fouls

15 12

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +7:40 Full time

Full Time The referee ends the match.

90:00 +7:04

Michael Brown is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Adam Federici restarts play with the free kick.

90:00 +6:37

Foul by Mikele Leigertwood on Michael Brown, free kick awarded. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Tom Lees from right channel, Alex Pearce makes a clearance.

90:00 +5:49 Substitution

Substitution (Reading) makes a substitution, with Hayden Mullins coming on for Hal Robson-Kanu.

90:00 +4:34

Jimmy Kebe delivers the ball, Leigh Bromby makes a clearance.

89:42

Assist by Jason Roberts.

89:42 Goal scored

Goal! - Adam Le Fondre - Reading 2 - 0 Leeds Adam Le Fondre gets on the score sheet with a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Reading 2-0 Leeds.

89:04

Jimmy Kebe decides to take a short corner.

89:40

Jason Roberts produces a cross,

88:52

Mikele Leigertwood takes a shot. Save by Andy Lonergan.

86:43

Andy Lonergan restarts play with the free kick.

86:43 Substitution

Substitution Mikael Forssell is brought on as a substitute for Luciano Becchio.

86:43

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alex Bruce by Jason Roberts.

86:00

Effort on goal by Jason Roberts from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.

84:28

Adam Federici takes the direct free kick.

84:28 Substitution

Substitution Danny Webber joins the action as a substitute, replacing Robert Snodgrass.

84:28 Substitution

Substitution Robbie Rogers comes on in place of Ross McCormack.

84:28

Alex Pearce fouled by Luciano Becchio, the ref awards a free kick.

83:12

Assist on the goal came from Hal Robson-Kanu.

83:12 Goal scored

Goal! - Adam Le Fondre - Reading 1 - 0 Leeds Adam Le Fondre finds the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Reading 1-0 Leeds.

83:08

The ball is sent over by Jimmy Kebe.

81:55

Jobi McAnuff takes a shot. Blocked by Alex Bruce. The referee blows for offside against Adam Le Fondre. Free kick taken by Andy Lonergan.

81:01

Centre by Hal Robson-Kanu, Leigh Bromby manages to make a clearance. Mikele Leigertwood produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the target.

77:53

Hal Robson-Kanu sends in a cross.

77:30

Jobi McAnuff sends in a cross, Alex Pearce takes a shot. Clearance by Leigh Bromby.

77:16

Ross McCormack challenges Jobi McAnuff unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Mikele Leigertwood.

77:08

The ball is swung over by Shaun Cummings, Tom Lees manages to make a clearance.

75:48

Foul by Mikele Leigertwood on Robert Snodgrass, free kick awarded. Ross McCormack shoots direct from the free kick, save by Adam Federici.

74:46

Ian Harte gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Luciano Becchio. Tom Lees takes the free kick.

74:05

Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Ian Harte from the left by-line.

73:58

Shaun Cummings sends in a cross, clearance made by Alex Bruce.

72:30

Robert Snodgrass takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici.

70:15

Ross McCormack has an effort at goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.

69:06

The ball is delivered by Ian Harte.

68:23 Substitution

Substitution Adam Le Fondre on for Noel Hunt.

67:52

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Ian Harte from the right by-line, clearance made by Paul Robinson.

67:44

Centre by Jimmy Kebe, Paul Robinson gets a block in.

65:47

Mikele Leigertwood delivers the ball, Leigh Bromby fouled by Alex Pearce, the ref awards a free kick. Andy Lonergan restarts play with the free kick.

65:12

Michael Brown is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Ian Harte from right wing, save by Andy Lonergan.

65:00

The ball is delivered by Jimmy Kebe, blocked by Michael Brown.

64:41

Short corner worked by Ian Harte.

64:25

Corner taken short by Mikele Leigertwood, Jobi McAnuff crosses the ball, Tom Lees makes a clearance.

64:17

Inswinging corner taken by Ian Harte, save by Andy Lonergan.

62:25

Jimmy Kebe produces a cross, Paul Robinson gets a block in.

60:26

Centre by Mikele Leigertwood, save made by Andy Lonergan.

60:13

Foul by Luciano Becchio on Alex Pearce, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Alex Pearce.

58:18

Alex Bruce gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jason Roberts. A cross is delivered by Ian Harte, Alex Pearce produces a header from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.

56:49

Ian Harte delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left wing, Andy Lonergan makes a save.

56:49 Booking

Booking Danny Pugh is shown a yellow card.

56:41

Foul by Danny Pugh on Jobi McAnuff, free kick awarded.

55:32

The assistant referee flags for offside against Jason Roberts. Andy Lonergan restarts play with the free kick.

54:13

Free kick awarded for a foul by Noel Hunt on Michael Brown. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.

53:49

Unfair challenge on Danny Pugh by Mikele Leigertwood results in a free kick. Alex Bruce takes the direct free kick.

53:36

The ball is crossed by Ian Harte, Paul Robinson manages to make a clearance.

53:06

Ian Harte takes a outswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Paul Robinson.

52:52 Booking

Booking Luciano Becchio goes into the referee's book.

52:44

The ball is crossed by Jason Roberts, Danny Pugh makes a clearance.

51:01

Free kick crossed by Ian Harte, Robert Snodgrass makes a clearance.

51:01 Booking

Booking Paul Robinson is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.

50:41

Paul Robinson challenges Jimmy Kebe unfairly and gives away a free kick.

49:18

The ball is swung over by Jimmy Kebe.

48:17

Outswinging corner taken by Ian Harte, clearance made by Luciano Becchio.

48:11

The ball is sent over by Hal Robson-Kanu, Tom Lees gets a block in.

47:40

The ball is crossed by Hal Robson-Kanu, Paul Robinson manages to make a clearance.

46:38

Corner taken by Robert Snodgrass, clearance by Kaspars Gorkss. Ross McCormack produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that clears the bar.

45:09

Kaspars Gorkss gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Luciano Becchio. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Robert Snodgrass, save by Adam Federici.

45:01

The second half begins.

45:00 +4:15 Half time

Half Time The referee blows for half time.

45:00 +3:05

Ian Harte takes a corner.

45:00 +2:59

Jimmy Kebe produces a cross, Michael Brown makes a clearance.

45:00 +2:27

Unfair challenge on Shaun Cummings by Luciano Becchio results in a free kick. Adam Federici takes the direct free kick.

45:00 +1:21

Jason Roberts gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Danny Pugh. Direct free kick taken by Andy Lonergan.

45:00 +1:14

Jimmy Kebe produces a cross, Tom Lees makes a clearance.

45:00 +0:29

The ball is swung over by Jimmy Kebe, blocked by Paul Robinson.

44:51

Robert Snodgrass sends in a cross.

42:42

Jobi McAnuff gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alex Bruce. Robert Snodgrass fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.

41:50

Alex Pearce gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Luciano Becchio. Robert Snodgrass crosses the ball in from the free kick, Kaspars Gorkss manages to make a clearance.

39:38 Substitution

Substitution Hal Robson-Kanu replaces Jem Karacan.

34:42

The assistant referee flags for offside against Jason Roberts. Andy Lonergan takes the indirect free kick.

32:40

Kaspars Gorkss decides to take the corner short.

32:12

Ian Harte takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Danny Pugh manages to make a clearance.

32:04

The ball is sent over by Jason Roberts, blocked by Leigh Bromby.

31:18

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

30:35

The ball is delivered by Jobi McAnuff, clearance by Robert Snodgrass.

27:32

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Luciano Becchio by Kaspars Gorkss. Free kick taken by Robert Snodgrass.

27:05

Ross McCormack produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the target.

24:55

Andy Lonergan fouled by Noel Hunt, the ref awards a free kick. Andy Lonergan restarts play with the free kick.

21:28

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Danny Pugh by Jason Roberts. Direct free kick taken by Andy Lonergan.

20:06

Mikele Leigertwood takes a short corner. Ian Harte takes a shot. Comfortable save by Andy Lonergan.

19:37

Corner taken by Ian Harte, clearance by Luciano Becchio.

19:32

Noel Hunt produces a cross, blocked by Leigh Bromby.

19:15

Ian Harte crosses the ball.

18:14

Free kick awarded for a foul by Michael Brown on Noel Hunt. Ian Harte takes the direct free kick.

17:36

Jason Roberts delivers the ball, Tom Lees makes a clearance. Ian Harte produces a right-footed shot from long range that goes harmlessly over the bar.

15:25

Jobi McAnuff gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Michael Brown. Andy Lonergan takes the free kick.

14:22

Mikele Leigertwood produces a left-footed shot from outside the box and misses left.

14:12

Jobi McAnuff sends in a cross, clearance by Luciano Becchio.

13:38

Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Ian Harte, clearance by Paul Robinson.

11:58

Ian Harte crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from left wing, clearance made by Danny Pugh.

11:58 Dismissal

Dismissal Zac Thompson is sent off.

11:46

Zac Thompson challenges Jobi McAnuff unfairly and gives away a free kick.

11:18

Corner from the left by-line taken by Jobi McAnuff, Alex Bruce manages to make a clearance.

11:06

Jobi McAnuff delivers the ball, Tom Lees gets a block in.

7:25

Inswinging corner taken by Ian Harte from the right by-line, Kaspars Gorkss has a headed effort from close in and clears the bar.

7:14

The ball is delivered by Shaun Cummings, Leigh Bromby makes a clearance.

3:35

Luciano Becchio gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kaspars Gorkss. Adam Federici restarts play with the free kick.

2:45

Noel Hunt takes a shot. Save by Andy Lonergan.

0:50

Leigh Bromby concedes a free kick for a foul on Jobi McAnuff. The ball is sent over by Ian Harte, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Noel Hunt goes harmlessly over the crossbar.

0:21

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jem Karacan by Michael Brown. Direct free kick taken by Alex Pearce.

0:00

The referee starts the match.

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