Reading consolidated their place in the Championship play-off positions with a comfortable victory at Millwall.

Pavel Pogrebnyak scored his ninth goal of the season when Stephen Bywater's fumble allowed him to slot home and give Reading a half-time lead.

Liam Feeney missed a one-on-one chance to level after the break, before Alex Pearce thumped Reading's second from a tight angle with 18 minutes left.

Daniel Williams added the third from close range four minutes later.

Reading have now scored 15 goals in their past four games, while Millwall have lost six of their past nine league matches and are just two points above the relegation zone.

Despite their poor form, Ian Holloway's side had lost just two home games in 11 ahead of kick-off and they started quickly, forcing Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy to deny DJ Campbell - making his full debut - early on.

Steve Morison volleyed over for the home side, before Bywater palmed Jordan Obita's low free-kick behind as Reading settled.

But the former West Ham goalkeeper was at fault for the opener, his failure to collect Chris Gunter's delivery allowing Pogrebnyak to apply a left-footed finish.

The ex-Fulham striker, who has three goals in four matches, constantly tormented a Millwall defence which has conceded more goals than any other side in the division.

McCarthy denied Feeney after the restart when Morison slipped the midfielder through and Reading, who have now won four of their past five league games, took full advantage.

New year sparks Royals improvement

Reading lost four of their six Championship matches in December 2013, but have won four, draw one and lost one in the league in January.

Bywater's parry from Pogrebnyak's header fell into the path of defender Pearce, who scored his first goal of the season, before Williams raced through to add the third, as the Royals stayed four points clear of seventh-placed Ipswich.

Millwall manager Ian Holloway:

"That is obviously the feeling we have had here before I came and it is amazing how quickly it came back. I inherited a situation and I have got to make it better.

"For me I can take some important things from that. In life or football you cannot do anything without structure. We need structure. We need a phase one, a phase two and so on.

"I went to try and get back in the game and that is why the score became as bad as it ended.

"Reading were better than us out there but they weren't three goals better than us."

Reading manager Nigel Adkins:

"We have come here able to select the same team for the fifth game running which helps and it was a great workmanlike performance.

"You can see the togetherness of everybody which is great and it was a good three points at a very difficult place to come to.

"Pavel has been top-drawer. He works very hard in training and just epitomises the way the team is at the moment."

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Millwall

  • 43 Bywater
  • 14 Fredericks
  • 28 Malone
  • 04 Wright (Easter - 58' )
  • 03 Shittu
  • 16 Beevers (Marquis - 70' )
  • 07 Feeney (Martin - 58' )
  • 17 Williams Booked
  • 22 Campbell Booked
  • 09 Morison
  • 11 Woolford

Substitutes

  • 02 Dunne
  • 05 Robinson
  • 08 Easter
  • 13 Martin
  • 26 Abdou
  • 32 Marquis
  • 33 Gerrar

Reading

  • 21 McCarthy
  • 02 Gunter
  • 37 Obita
  • 23 Williams
  • 05 Pearce Booked
  • 17 Gorkss
  • 12 McCleary
  • 16 Akpan (Taylor - 33' )
  • 09 Le Fondre (Robson-Kanu - 78' )
  • 07 Pogrebnyak Booked (Blackman - 82' )
  • 11 McAnuff

Substitutes

  • 01 Federici
  • 03 Kelly
  • 10 Drenthe
  • 19 Robson-Kanu
  • 22 Blackman
  • 25 Taylor
  • 35 Hector
Ref: Darren Sheldrake
Att: 11,174

Match Stats

Shots

13 15

On target

3 8

Corners

7 4

Fouls

13 11

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Millwall 0, Reading 3.

90:00 +5:07 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Millwall 0, Reading 3.

90:00 +4:02

Foul by Lee Martin (Millwall).

90:00 +4:02

Nick Blackman (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +0:09

Offside, Reading. Nick Blackman tries a through ball, but Chris Gunter is caught offside.

90:00 +0:06

Attempt blocked. Nick Blackman (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Garath McCleary.

89:54

Attempt blocked. Steve Morison (Millwall) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

89:35

Corner, Millwall. Conceded by Alex McCarthy.

89:34

Attempt saved. Shaun Williams (Millwall) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

88:43

John Marquis (Millwall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

88:43

Foul by Kaspars Gorkss (Reading).

87:04

Foul by Martyn Woolford (Millwall).

87:04

Nick Blackman (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

85:57

Attempt missed. Jermaine Easter (Millwall) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by John Marquis with a headed pass.

85:01

Attempt saved. Daniel Williams (Reading) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

84:11

Foul by John Marquis (Millwall).

84:11

Daniel Williams (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

82:41

Corner, Millwall. Conceded by Alex McCarthy.

81:59

Scott Malone (Millwall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

81:59

Foul by Jake Taylor (Reading).

81:30 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Reading. Nick Blackman replaces Pavel Pogrebnyak.

80:37

Attempt saved. Jobi McAnuff (Reading) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Hal Robson-Kanu.

80:14

Attempt blocked. Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Garath McCleary with a headed pass.

77:56 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Reading. Hal Robson-Kanu replaces Adam Le Fondre.

76:51

Foul by John Marquis (Millwall).

76:51

Jake Taylor (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

74:48 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Millwall 0, Reading 3. Daniel Williams (Reading) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

74:46

Attempt blocked. Daniel Williams (Reading) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jobi McAnuff.

72:28

Ryan Fredericks (Millwall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

72:28

Foul by Adam Le Fondre (Reading).

70:51 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Millwall 0, Reading 2. Alex Pearce (Reading) right footed shot from very close range to the top right corner following a corner.

70:50

Attempt saved. Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) header from very close range is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Daniel Williams with a headed pass.

70:16

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Ryan Fredericks.

69:25 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Millwall. John Marquis replaces Mark Beevers.

63:55 Booking

Booking Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

63:32

Mark Beevers (Millwall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

63:32

Foul by Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading).

62:23

Ryan Fredericks (Millwall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

62:23

Foul by Jobi McAnuff (Reading).

61:15 Booking

Booking Alex Pearce (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

61:08

Jermaine Easter (Millwall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

61:08

Foul by Alex Pearce (Reading).

59:15

Foul by Danny Shittu (Millwall).

59:15

Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.

58:09

Foul by Mark Beevers (Millwall).

58:09

Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

57:45 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Millwall. Jermaine Easter replaces Josh Wright.

57:17 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Millwall. Lee Martin replaces Liam Feeney.

55:51

Corner, Millwall. Conceded by Alex Pearce.

55:00

Ryan Fredericks (Millwall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

55:00

Foul by Jobi McAnuff (Reading).

54:29

Attempt missed. Josh Wright (Millwall) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

51:41

Corner, Millwall. Conceded by Kaspars Gorkss.

50:24

Attempt saved. Liam Feeney (Millwall) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Steve Morison with a through ball.

49:37

Foul by Steve Morison (Millwall).

49:37

Kaspars Gorkss (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00

Second Half begins Millwall 0, Reading 1.

45:00 +2:13 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Millwall 0, Reading 1.

45:00 +0:38

Attempt missed. Adam Le Fondre (Reading) header from very close range misses to the right. Assisted by Jordan Obita with a cross.

41:22 Booking

Booking Shaun Williams (Millwall) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

41:12

Foul by Shaun Williams (Millwall).

41:12

Jobi McAnuff (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

40:37

Steve Morison (Millwall) wins a free kick on the left wing.

40:37

Foul by Alex Pearce (Reading).

40:11

Attempt blocked. Scott Malone (Millwall) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Steve Morison.

38:38 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Millwall 0, Reading 1. Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal.

34:02

Foul by Martyn Woolford (Millwall).

34:02

Kaspars Gorkss (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

33:05

Attempt missed. Martyn Woolford (Millwall) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Steve Morison.

32:30 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Reading. Jake Taylor replaces Hope Akpan because of an injury.

31:28

Ryan Fredericks (Millwall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

31:28

Foul by Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading).

29:57 Booking

Booking DJ Campbell (Millwall) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

29:34

Foul by DJ Campbell (Millwall).

29:34

Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

27:57

Attempt missed. Adam Le Fondre (Reading) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Garath McCleary.

26:06

Attempt missed. Liam Feeney (Millwall) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right is too high. Assisted by Steve Morison.

25:02

Josh Wright (Millwall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

25:02

Foul by Hope Akpan (Reading).

24:03

Martyn Woolford (Millwall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

24:03

Foul by Garath McCleary (Reading).

21:26

Foul by Josh Wright (Millwall).

21:26

Daniel Williams (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

18:12

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Steve Morison.

18:05

Attempt blocked. Kaspars Gorkss (Reading) header from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Jordan Obita with a cross.

17:39

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Danny Shittu.

16:47

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Stephen Bywater.

16:44

Attempt saved. Jordan Obita (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

15:54

Foul by Ryan Fredericks (Millwall).

15:54

Jobi McAnuff (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

10:56

Corner, Millwall. Conceded by Kaspars Gorkss.

10:06

Attempt missed. Steve Morison (Millwall) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right following a corner.

9:36

Corner, Millwall. Conceded by Alex Pearce.

8:46

Attempt missed. Martyn Woolford (Millwall) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ryan Fredericks with a cross.

8:00

Dangerous play by Mark Beevers (Millwall).

8:00

Jobi McAnuff (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:31

Attempt saved. Daniel Williams (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Garath McCleary.

7:05

Attempt blocked. Josh Wright (Millwall) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Steve Morison with a headed pass.

6:31

Corner, Millwall. Conceded by Jordan Obita.

5:49

Attempt missed. Jobi McAnuff (Reading) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Pavel Pogrebnyak.

2:47

Attempt missed. Shaun Williams (Millwall) header from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by Josh Wright with a cross.

2:37

Attempt saved. DJ Campbell (Millwall) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Josh Wright with a headed pass.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers