Adam Le Fondre's 14th goal of the season and a George Friend own goal helped Reading climb back into the play-off places as they brushed Middlesbrough aside.

The Royals recorded only a second win in seven matches to move into sixth, a point ahead of Brighton with two games of the regular season remaining.

Nigel Adkins' side surged into a comfortable two-goal lead inside 15 minutes, and should have won with more to spare as they outclassed mid-table Boro.

Reading top scorer Le Fondre bundled home the opener from close range after nine minutes following good work by Jordan Obita and Garath McCleary.

Before the visitors had time to recover, they were two goals down, defender Friend heading Obita's cross into his own net.

Royals' run-in

Reading's remaining league games

Apr 26: Doncaster (a)

May 3: Burnley (h)

After Hal Robson-Kanu went off with a nasty head wound following an accidental first-half clash with Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson, the visitors gained more of a foothold.

Midfielders Emmanuel Ledesma and Albert Adomah both went close to pulling a goal back for Aitor Karanka's side.

But Reading were soon back on top after the break, as Middlesbrough struggled to keep pace in their bid to record a third consecutive away win.

Only a good save from busy goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos prevented Le Fondre from doubling his tally as the hosts dominated.

The Royals striker hit the bar late on, with substitute Pavel Pogrebnyak also going close to making it three.

Reading manager Nigel Adkins:

"Our destiny is in our own hands. We were excellent: we had passion, we had hunger, we had walking wounded out there again and all credit to them.

"We started well, got two great goals and played some good football. You saw the togetherness of the team.

"Middlesbrough are a good side so it's an excellent result and it puts us in a play-off position with two tough games to come.

"We are still in the race and everyone knows when you get to the play-offs it's anyone's game."

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka:

"One team was playing for the points, the other team was playing for nothing.

"If Reading had needed more goals they could have scored them.

"It was my fault. It's difficult when you don't play for points but I didn't choose the right players and I couldn't motivate them. As a player I was competitive and I want competitive players."

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (4)

Reading

  • 21 McCarthy
  • 02 Gunter
  • 37 Obita
  • 23 Williams
  • 15 Morrison
  • 05 Pearce
  • 12 McCleary
  • 20 Guthrie (Akpan - 50' )
  • 19 Robson-Kanu (Pogrebnyak - 29' )
  • 09 Le Fondre
  • 11 McAnuff Booked

Substitutes

  • 01 Federici
  • 07 Pogrebnyak
  • 08 Leigertwood
  • 10 Drenthe
  • 16 Akpan
  • 24 Cummings
  • 35 Hector

Middlesbrough

  • 13 Konstantopoulos
  • 08 Varga Booked
  • 03 Friend Booked
  • 18 Whitehead Booked
  • 25 Omeruo
  • 22 Gibson
  • 27 Adomah
  • 24 Chalobah (Leadbitter - 45' )
  • 14 Williams
  • 09 Graham
  • 11 Ledesma (Tomlin - 64' Booked )

Substitutes

  • 01 Steele
  • 06 Butterfield
  • 07 Leadbitter
  • 10 Tomlin
  • 23 Main
  • 26 Ayala
  • 39 Woodgate
Ref: James Adcock
Att: 17,228

Match Stats

Shots

16 10

On target

4 3

Corners

8 2

Fouls

8 14

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Reading 2, Middlesbrough 0.

90:00 +4:07 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Reading 2, Middlesbrough 0.

89:48

Attempt missed. Chris Gunter (Reading) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Pavel Pogrebnyak.

89:42

Attempt missed. Garath McCleary (Reading) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

87:10 Booking

Booking Lee Tomlin (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card.

84:45

Attempt missed. Lee Tomlin (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

83:53

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Albert Adomah.

83:48

Attempt blocked. Garath McCleary (Reading) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

82:43

Danny Graham (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

82:43

Foul by Alex Pearce (Reading).

82:17

Attempt missed. Alex Pearce (Reading) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Garath McCleary with a cross following a corner.

81:52

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Albert Adomah.

80:11

Attempt saved. Luke Williams (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Dean Whitehead.

77:26

Foul by Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough).

77:26

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

76:45

Foul by Danny Graham (Middlesbrough).

76:45

Sean Morrison (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

76:09

Attempt missed. Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jobi McAnuff.

73:05

Adam Le Fondre (Reading) hits the bar with a header from the left side of the six yard box. Assisted by Garath McCleary with a cross.

71:22 Booking

Booking George Friend (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

71:08

Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).

71:08

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

70:27

Attempt missed. Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Jobi McAnuff with a cross.

68:19

Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).

68:19

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

67:48

Offside, Middlesbrough. Lee Tomlin tries a through ball, but Danny Graham is caught offside.

66:26 Booking

Booking Jobi McAnuff (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

66:16

Lee Tomlin (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

66:16

Foul by Jobi McAnuff (Reading).

64:45

Attempt missed. Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Lee Tomlin.

63:56 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. Lee Tomlin replaces Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma.

62:24

Attempt saved. Adam Le Fondre (Reading) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Chris Gunter with a cross.

60:44

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Kenneth Omeruo.

60:32

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

59:40

Foul by József Varga (Middlesbrough).

59:40

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

55:07

Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).

55:07

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

50:40

Foul by Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough).

50:40

Jobi McAnuff (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.

50:02

Foul by Alex Pearce (Reading).

50:02

Danny Graham (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

49:22 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Reading. Hope Akpan replaces Danny Guthrie because of an injury.

49:10

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

48:23

Delay in match Danny Guthrie (Reading) because of an injury.

45:00

Second Half begins Reading 2, Middlesbrough 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. Grant Leadbitter replaces Nathaniel Chalobah.

45:00 +7:13 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Reading 2, Middlesbrough 0.

45:00 +6:59

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

45:00 +6:02

Delay in match Jobi McAnuff (Reading) because of an injury.

45:00 +3:14

Foul by Danny Guthrie (Reading).

45:00 +3:14

Nathaniel Chalobah (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:00 +1:47

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

45:00 +1:15

Delay in match Adam Le Fondre (Reading) because of an injury.

42:35

Foul by Sean Morrison (Reading).

42:35

Luke Williams (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

40:54 Booking

Booking József Varga (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

40:40

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

40:40

Foul by József Varga (Middlesbrough).

40:32

Attempt saved. Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Luke Williams.

38:31

Attempt missed. Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Luke Williams.

36:58

Attempt saved. Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Dean Whitehead.

35:51

Foul by Jobi McAnuff (Reading).

35:51

József Varga (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

33:56

Attempt missed. Sean Morrison (Reading) header from very close range misses to the right. Assisted by Alex Pearce with a headed pass following a corner.

33:28

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Ben Gibson.

32:55 Booking

Booking Dean Whitehead (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

32:42

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

32:42

Foul by Dean Whitehead (Middlesbrough).

31:39

Attempt missed. Sean Morrison (Reading) header from very close range is too high. Assisted by Danny Guthrie with a cross following a corner.

31:17

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Kenneth Omeruo.

31:14

Attempt blocked. Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) header from the left side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Jordan Obita with a cross.

30:40

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Dimitrios Konstantopoulos.

30:37

Attempt saved. Daniel Williams (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Adam Le Fondre.

29:45

Foul by Alex Pearce (Reading).

29:45

Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

29:11

Corner, Reading. Conceded by József Varga.

28:30 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Reading. Pavel Pogrebnyak replaces Hal Robson-Kanu because of an injury.

28:24

Adam Le Fondre (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

28:24

Foul by Nathaniel Chalobah (Middlesbrough).

27:14

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

23:25

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

21:45

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Sean Morrison.

21:44

Attempt blocked. Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Luke Williams.

20:42

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Danny Guthrie.

16:25

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

15:13

Attempt missed. Danny Graham (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Albert Adomah.

13:38 Goal scored

Goal! Own Goal by George Friend, Middlesbrough. Reading 2, Middlesbrough 0.

12:52

Chris Gunter (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

12:52

Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).

12:26

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

12:26

Foul by Dean Whitehead (Middlesbrough).

11:59

Attempt missed. Danny Graham (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Luke Williams.

10:10

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Kenneth Omeruo.

10:06

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

8:47 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Reading 1, Middlesbrough 0. Adam Le Fondre (Reading) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Garath McCleary with a headed pass.

4:40

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

4:40

Foul by Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough).

3:40

Sean Morrison (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

3:40

Foul by Danny Graham (Middlesbrough).

3:04

Offside, Reading. Daniel Williams tries a through ball, but Adam Le Fondre is caught offside.

2:04

Attempt saved. Daniel Williams (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Hal Robson-Kanu.

1:12

Foul by Danny Guthrie (Reading).

1:12

Luke Williams (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:26

Attempt blocked. Luke Williams (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Albert Adomah.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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