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2016/17 English League Championship, 2016/2017 English League Championship
  • Garath McCleary (45'+3' PEN)
  • Daniel Williams (90'+5' PEN)
  • Brett Pitman (50' PEN)

Reading earn controversial win over Ipswich Town on Williams penalty

A stoppage time penalty from Danny Williams earned Reading a controversial late 2-1 Sky Bet Championship victory over Ipswich.

Paul McShane was held back in the area by Jonas Knudsen at a corner and Williams slotted in the resulting spot-kick.

The Royals, who climb up to third place as a result of this win, went in front on the stroke of half-time through a Garath McCleary penalty.

Ipswich levelled in the 50th minute, also from the spot, when Brett Pitman made no mistake after he had been fouled in the area.

Reading cruised through the corresponding fixture last season, almost a year to the day, with a thumping 5-1 victory.

Yet such has been the summer turnover at the Berkshire club, only two of the 14 players who featured for Reading in that game -- Chris Gunter and Paul McShane -- started the rematch.

Ipswich went into the fixture on a three-match unbeaten run, like Reading, and were the first to threaten when Freddie Sears saw his volley saved by goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi.

The hosts, 1-0 winners at Cardiff last time out, responded quickly, with the lively Roy Beerens scampering through -- but as he looked to find the unmarked Yann Kermorgant with a pass, Ipswich keeper Bartosz Bialkowski spread himself to make a vital save.

Reading maintained the pressure, with George Evans heading powerfully over from a Beerens cross.

The Dutch winger then had a go himself, after a lapse in the Ipswich defence, but Bialkowski made a stunning stop to turn away the fierce drive.

Little was seen of Ipswich going forward, with Pitman a lone figure up front.

Sears tried to offer Pitman support but was too often crowded out by the tight-marking home defence.

Three minutes into stoppage-time at the end of the first half, Reading went ahead.

Grant Ward was harshly judged to have handled fractionally in the Ipswich area, in a tussle with Tyler Blackett, and McCleary sent Bialkowski the wrong way from the spot.

Ipswich were level within five minutes of the restart. Blackett nudged Pitman at the far post, as he prepared to meet a Knudsen cross, and Pitman blasted in the resultant penalty.

The Suffolk side could have gone ahead, only for Al-Habsi to save well from Ward, while McCleary should have done better at the other end when heading a Beerens cross weakly at Bialkowski.

As Ipswich mounted late pressure, centre-backs Tommy Smith and Christophe Berra both wasted good chances from close range.

Bialkowski did well to keep out a low effort from home substitute John Swift as the game drifted towards a draw -- until the dramatic climax and Williams' winner.

English League Championship Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 22 +25 51
2 Cardiff City 22 +17 47
3 Bristol City 22 +13 43
4 Derby County 22 +14 41
5 Aston Villa 22 +9 37
6 Sheffield United 22 +7 37
7 Leeds United 22 +8 36
8 Ipswich Town 22 +5 35
9 Preston North End 22 +4 35
10 Middlesbrough 22 +6 32
11 Nottingham Forest 22 -5 30
12 Fulham 22 -1 29
13 Brentford 22 +3 28
14 Reading 22 0 27
15 Sheffield Wednesday 22 -1 27
16 Norwich City 22 -7 27
17 Millwall 22 +2 26
18 Queens Park Rangers 22 -8 25
19 Hull City 22 -3 22
20 Barnsley 22 -10 21
21 Sunderland 22 -11 18
22 Burton Albion 22 -26 17
23 Bolton Wanderers 22 -20 16
24 Birmingham City 22 -21 16

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