Captain Jobi McAnuff scored twice to move Reading into the play-off places and inflict more home woe on struggling Birmingham in the process.

McAnuff opened the scoring against the run of play, finding the bottom corner before the break after the hosts failed to clear a Royston Drenthe cross.

Birmingham quickly equalised through a Paul Caddis penalty after Callum Reilly was fouled by Kaspars Gorkss.

But McAnuff converted Chris Gunter's low cross to secure a late win.

The victory ensured Reading capitalised on Nottingham Forest's heavy 5-0 defeat by Derby to leapfrog the Midlanders in the table and occupy the sixth and final play-off spot.

At the other end of the table, Birmingham are five points clear of the relegation zone and remain without a home win since October.

The Blues have now lost four of their last five games, with their last win a 2-1 victory at Blackpool on 22 February.

Birmingham began well, with Federico Macheda forcing Alex McCarthy into a reflex save. But after a promising period, the hosts fell behind.

Drenthe made inroads down the right for Reading before crossing into the box and when the home side failed to clear, McAnuff had time and space to hit the target.

Four minutes later, however, parity was restored as Gorkss was penalised for tripping Reilly inside the box. Referee Dean Whitestone pointed to the spot and Caddis levelled.

Birmingham were lively going forward and Macheda again went close, heading onto the crossbar.

But Reading were more clinical in front of goal and McAnuff struck at the far post eight minutes from time to earn his team a valuable win.

Birmingham manager Lee Clark:

"I feel really disappointed for the players because the one result that shouldn't have happened was a defeat for us.

"The minimum we should have got was a point. We played good stuff, we competed with a really good team and it's tough for the players to take.

"We have to regroup. There were a lot of positives to take from this but the lads are hurting and it's a quiet dressing room."

Reading manager Nigel Adkins:

"They were two excellent goals and, watching it back, two excellent footballing goals.

"I'm surprised [McAnuff] hasn't scored more and it's not as if he's not had chances but it's great that he's gone and scored them here and all being well he'll go on a nice run now.

"We wanted to win the division but great credit to Leicester and Burnley for what they've done so far this season. We're in the play-off race and it's a very exciting time in the season for everybody."

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

Birmingham City

  • 01 Randolph
  • 31 Caddis
  • 17 Reilly
  • 36 Huws (Blackett - 29' )
  • 14 Packwood
  • 04 Robinson
  • 07 Burke
  • 23 Spector
  • 09 Macheda
  • 12 Novak (Ibe - 45' Booked )
  • 22 Shinnie (Zigic - 76' )

Substitutes

  • 08 Ibe
  • 11 Lovenkrands
  • 13 Doyle
  • 19 Zigic
  • 20 Lee
  • 35 Rusnák
  • 37 Blackett

Reading

  • 21 McCarthy
  • 02 Gunter
  • 37 Obita
  • 20 Guthrie Booked
  • 05 Pearce
  • 17 Gorkss
  • 19 Robson-Kanu (McCleary - 55' )
  • 16 Akpan
  • 09 Le Fondre (Pogrebnyak - 55' )
  • 10 Drenthe (Blackman - 87' )
  • 11 McAnuff

Substitutes

  • 01 Federici
  • 03 Kelly
  • 07 Pogrebnyak
  • 12 McCleary
  • 22 Blackman
  • 25 Taylor
  • 35 Hector
Ref: Dean Whitestone
Att: 13,409

Match Stats

Shots

20 17

On target

6 4

Corners

8 2

Fouls

11 10

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Birmingham City 1, Reading 2.

90:00 +3:30 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Birmingham City 1, Reading 2.

90:00 +2:40

Foul by Garath McCleary (Reading).

90:00 +2:40

Jordon Ibe (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +2:01

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

90:00 +2:01

Foul by Callum Reilly (Birmingham City).

90:00 +0:56

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Kaspars Gorkss.

90:00 +0:55

Attempt blocked. Chris Burke (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Nikola Zigic.

89:16

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Alex McCarthy.

89:15

Attempt saved. Nikola Zigic (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Chris Burke with a cross.

87:58

Offside, Birmingham City. Darren Randolph tries a through ball, but Federico Macheda is caught offside.

86:03 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Reading. Nick Blackman replaces Royston Drenthe.

83:11

Offside, Reading. Alex McCarthy tries a through ball, but Pavel Pogrebnyak is caught offside.

81:40 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Birmingham City 1, Reading 2. Jobi McAnuff (Reading) left footed shot from very close range to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Chris Gunter following a fast break.

79:58

Attempt missed. Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

79:56

Attempt saved. Chris Gunter (Reading) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal.

79:53

Attempt saved. Jobi McAnuff (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Danny Guthrie.

78:00

Attempt missed. Alex Pearce (Reading) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Danny Guthrie with a cross following a set piece situation.

77:25

Royston Drenthe (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

77:25

Foul by Paul Robinson (Birmingham City).

76:52

Attempt missed. Jordon Ibe (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Nikola Zigic with a headed pass following a set piece situation.

76:16

Offside, Reading. Jordan Obita tries a through ball, but Pavel Pogrebnyak is caught offside.

75:53 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Birmingham City. Nikola Zigic replaces Andrew Shinnie.

73:36

Attempt blocked. Federico Macheda (Birmingham City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Chris Burke.

73:05

Attempt blocked. Jordon Ibe (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Paul Caddis.

71:51

Attempt missed. Jordan Obita (Reading) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Chris Gunter with a cross.

71:26

Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

71:26

Foul by Will Packwood (Birmingham City).

70:17 Booking

Booking Jordon Ibe (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

70:08

Chris Gunter (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

70:08

Foul by Jordon Ibe (Birmingham City).

69:12

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Alex McCarthy.

69:09

Attempt saved. Chris Burke (Birmingham City) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jordon Ibe.

68:44

Attempt missed. Alex Pearce (Reading) header from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Danny Guthrie with a cross following a corner.

68:15

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Darren Randolph.

68:10

Attempt blocked. Kaspars Gorkss (Reading) header from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Danny Guthrie with a cross.

67:39

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Paul Caddis.

66:06 Booking

Booking Danny Guthrie (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

65:36

Foul by Danny Guthrie (Reading).

65:36

Chris Burke (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

64:44

Offside, Reading. Jobi McAnuff tries a through ball, but Pavel Pogrebnyak is caught offside.

64:11

Federico Macheda (Birmingham City) hits the bar with a header from very close range. Assisted by Will Packwood with a headed pass following a corner.

63:45

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Alex Pearce.

62:37

Danny Guthrie (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.

62:37

Foul by Federico Macheda (Birmingham City).

60:37

Attempt saved. Chris Burke (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

60:06

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Chris Gunter.

58:40

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Garath McCleary.

58:39

Attempt blocked. Chris Burke (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Tyler Blackett.

58:12

Attempt blocked. Garath McCleary (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordan Obita.

56:57

Attempt missed. Andrew Shinnie (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Chris Burke with a cross.

54:56

Offside, Birmingham City. Callum Reilly tries a through ball, but Federico Macheda is caught offside.

54:19 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Reading. Pavel Pogrebnyak replaces Adam Le Fondre.

54:11 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Reading. Garath McCleary replaces Hal Robson-Kanu.

53:43

Attempt missed. Callum Reilly (Birmingham City) header from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Andrew Shinnie with a cross following a corner.

53:15

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Alex McCarthy.

53:14

Attempt saved. Federico Macheda (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Paul Caddis with a cross.

51:39

Foul by Hope Akpan (Reading).

51:39

Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

48:40

Foul by Adam Le Fondre (Reading).

48:40

Will Packwood (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

48:08

Offside, Birmingham City. Paul Caddis tries a through ball, but Federico Macheda is caught offside.

46:06

Foul by Royston Drenthe (Reading).

46:06

Andrew Shinnie (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

45:14

Offside, Reading. Hal Robson-Kanu tries a through ball, but Royston Drenthe is caught offside.

45:00

Second Half begins Birmingham City 1, Reading 1.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Birmingham City. Jordon Ibe replaces Lee Novak because of an injury.

45:00 +3:30 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Birmingham City 1, Reading 1.

45:00 +2:53

Attempt missed. Jobi McAnuff (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a set piece situation.

45:00 +2:30

Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:00 +2:30

Foul by Callum Reilly (Birmingham City).

42:46 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Birmingham City 1, Reading 1. Paul Caddis (Birmingham City) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

41:45

Penalty conceded by Kaspars Gorkss (Reading) after a foul in the penalty area.

41:45

Penalty Birmingham City. Callum Reilly draws a foul in the penalty area.

40:25

Attempt blocked. Hope Akpan (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Hal Robson-Kanu.

39:00 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Birmingham City 0, Reading 1. Jobi McAnuff (Reading) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

36:04

Attempt blocked. Federico Macheda (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lee Novak.

34:48

Attempt missed. Chris Gunter (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

33:56

Attempt blocked. Lee Novak (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Paul Caddis with a cross.

32:55

Attempt blocked. Callum Reilly (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Paul Caddis.

32:08

Attempt missed. Andrew Shinnie (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Chris Burke.

30:48

Foul by Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading).

30:48

Callum Reilly (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

29:51

Offside, Birmingham City. Will Packwood tries a through ball, but Federico Macheda is caught offside.

29:41

Adam Le Fondre (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

29:41

Foul by Will Packwood (Birmingham City).

28:18 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Birmingham City. Tyler Blackett replaces Emyr Huws because of an injury.

27:49

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Alex McCarthy.

27:48

Attempt saved. Federico Macheda (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

26:00

Attempt blocked. Lee Novak (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

25:30

Royston Drenthe (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

25:30

Foul by Andrew Shinnie (Birmingham City).

24:44

Attempt missed. Royston Drenthe (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left following a set piece situation.

24:42

Attempt blocked. Royston Drenthe (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

23:47

Royston Drenthe (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

23:47

Foul by Andrew Shinnie (Birmingham City).

20:59

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

19:25

Delay in match Callum Reilly (Birmingham City) because of an injury.

16:44

Attempt missed. Royston Drenthe (Reading) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Chris Gunter.

15:36

Attempt missed. Royston Drenthe (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a fast break.

13:29

Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

13:29

Foul by Paul Robinson (Birmingham City).

12:29

Foul by Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading).

12:29

Will Packwood (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:40

Attempt missed. Adam Le Fondre (Reading) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Jobi McAnuff with a cross.

7:00

Callum Reilly (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:00

Foul by Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading).

6:06

Offside, Reading. Chris Gunter tries a through ball, but Adam Le Fondre is caught offside.

5:26

Attempt missed. Lee Novak (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Andrew Shinnie with a headed pass following a set piece situation.

4:59

Emyr Huws (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

4:59

Foul by Hope Akpan (Reading).

2:01

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

0:29

Delay in match Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading) because of an injury.

0:09

Foul by Paul Robinson (Birmingham City).

0:09

Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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