Classy Royals go top of the tree

Last updated : 25 September 2004 By Rob Cooper
The Royals extracted ample revenge for their midweek Carling Cup humbling at the hands of the Hornets with a classy 1-0 win at Vicarage Road this afternoon.

Steve Sidwell's second half header proved to be enough to give the Royals their third consecutive league win and top spot in the early season Championship table.

And there is double reason for Steve Coppell to celebrate this evening as the win is Reading's third success in the league on the bounce, it comes on the back of home wins over Preston and Gillingham.

The Royals last recorded three league wins on the trot a whopping 19 months ago.

Amazingly the Madejski Stadium side, one of the smaller clubs in the English game, sit top of the Football League tonight for only the second time in their 133-year history.

The only other time the Royals have held the sought after top spot was on the opening day of this season, following our 3-2 win over Brighton.

Steve Coppell's team will be hoping to hold onto their place at the head of the table when they travel to Portman Road to play Ipswich next Tuesday.

Whilst it was all smiles for the Royals at Vicarage Road, Wigan Athletic had a more difficult afternoon. Paul Jewell's side, who had Lee McCulloch sent off, only managed a 1-1 draw at Pride Park this afternoon.

Meanwhile, high-flying Stoke City also only managed to pick up a single point as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Burnley.

It was ten man Ipswich Town who took third place off the Potters. Two late goals from ex-Sheffield Wednesday striker Shefki Kuqi gave the Tractor Boys a dramatic 3-2 win over Plymouth as they kept their good run going.

But the game of the day was at Loftus Road where QPR, who were 2-0 down at half time, fought back spectacularly to defeat Micky Adams' troubled Foxes 3-2.
Lee Cook set the comeback in motion with a goal twenty minutes from time before Paul Furlong found the net twice in quick succession to give ever-improving Rangers an excellent win.

Championship Results:

Burnley 2 Stoke City 2
Derby County 1 Wigan 1
Gillingham 0 Brighton & Hove Albion 1
Ipswich Town 3 Plymouth Argyle 2
Preston NE 1 Crewe 0
Queens Park Rangers 3 Leicester City 2
Rotherham United 1 Millwall 1
Sheffield United 1 Coventry City 1
Watford 0 Reading 1
Wolves 2 Cardiff City 3

Championship Table:

Last game played on
Saturday 25th September 2004
1Reading 105001142033470314821+6
2Wigan Athletic 1032010223010655020820+12
3Ipswich Town 1050012512288622201320+7
4Stoke City 10410831314654112919+3
5Sunderland 1032011520365523171017+7
6West Ham United 9311542116552211917+2
7Queens Park Rangers 1021278311875231515170
8Watford 9212743017251314616+8
9Millwall 9302651212342388140
10Coventry City 102216412278343131213+1
11Preston North End 10401820145114151313130
12Derby County 1021291020355415141513-1
13Plymouth Argyle 102126620389415141513-1
14Burnley 1013186131112629712+2
15Leeds United 921152122463339812+1
16Leicester City 101223421277334101112-1
17Sheffield United 10122442125833491212-3
18Wolverhampton Wanderers 100418921266253141511-1
19Brighton & Hove Albion 10113472125732591411-5
20Gillingham 1020348113610316101810-8
21Cardiff City 1010428122792269178-8
22Nottingham Forest 903147032470638146-6
23Crewe Alexandra 90226911371113513206-7
24Rotherham United 1003226023150553115-8
COLOUR KEY: Promotion place(s) Transfer place(s)
 Play-off place(s) Relegation place(s)