Reading 2 Coventry City 0

Last updated : 14 January 2006 By Footymad Previewer
Reading moved nine points clear at the top of the Championship and 21 ahead of third placed Leeds as Dave Kitson's double sealed a 2-0 win over Coventry.

Kitson took his tally for the season to 17 goals as Reading extended their unbeaten league run to 28 games.

But it could have been very different against a Coventry side who had won their previous two games without conceding a goal and came to Reading with a bold three-pronged strikeforce.

Reading, though, controlled the first half and strike partnership Kevin Doyle and Kitson carried a real threat.

Doyle brilliantly played Kitson in with a chipped pass over the top of the Coventry defence, but Kitson's attempted lob went straight into the arms of grateful keeper Marton Fulop.

Kitson also saw two headers fly over the bar, both from inviting crosses by left-back Nicky Shorey.

But the best chance of the half fell early on to the visitors, Stern John's header from a Gary McSheffrey free-kick brilliantly pushed away by the alert Marcus Hahnemann.

Reading made the breakthrough with a fine goal two minutes into the second half.

Winger Bobby Convey skipped clear of a tackle on the halfway line and set off on a threatening run that put Coventry on the back foot. Doyle made a clever dummy run to split the visitors' defence and Convey played Kitson into the space, the striker controlling well and clipping a neat finish over Fulop's outstretched arm.

Reading had chances to cement the three points following that vital breakthrough, Doyle slicing wide from Shorey's cutback and Convey repeating Kitson's earlier trick by chipping straight to Fulop from a one-on-one with the keeper.

Those misses could have proved costly, as Coventry responded with their best spell of the match to force some heroics from Hahnemann.

The big American keeper made another remarkable save to push away a free-kick from substitute Don Hutchison, whose shot came through a crowd of players before Hahnemann saw it late.

A minute later, James Scowcroft's flick from McSheffrey's cross-shot seemed to have caught the keeper out as it looped towards the top corner, but Hahnemann arched his back to somehow clear the ball to safety.

And when Coventry did finally beat the keeper they were denied by the woodwork, Marcus Hall's thunderous strike smacking against the crossbar and over.

Reading's relief was underlined when they killed the game off with a second goal.

Sub Stephen Hunt superbly tricked his way past Richard Duffy and rolled the ball across the goal for Kitson to cleverly flick home his second of the game.