Sport : Football

READING MOVE LEVEL WITH SAINTS

16th April 2012, 01:38pm

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Reading celebrate Ian Harte's winner.

Reading celebrate Ian Harte's winner.

Goalkeeper Adam Federici produced an excellent performance to help Reading move back level on points with npower Championship leaders Southampton with a 1-0 win at Brighton.

Having survived an early Brighton onslaught, Reading took the lead in the 14th minute with their first attack, Ian Harte's free-kick taking a huge deflection to wrong-foot Albion goalkeeper Peter Brezovan.

Vicente struck the bar as Brighton responded before the home side missed a glorious chance to level in the 51st minute when Ashley Barnes had his penalty saved by Federici, who made several more fine stops.

The victory - Reading's fourth in a row and 13th in 15 games - means they are also now six points clear of third-placed West Ham as they bid for a return to the Barclays Premier League.

It also sets up a mouth-watering top-of-the-table clash with Southampton at St Mary's on Friday night.

Brighton, meanwhile, were beaten at home for the first time in 10 games - dating back to December 17 - and they stay two points behind Cardiff in sixth after their winless streak stretched to four.

In the night's other match, Millwall moved a step closer to securing their Championship status with a 1-0 victory at Fratton Park over a Portsmouth side who appear condemned to relegation.

Tottenham loanee Harry Kane's 20-yard strike in the first half was enough for Millwall against a toothless Pompey outfit, who are now nine points from safety with only four games to go.

The Fratton Park side last played in the third tier of English football in 1982-83, but Millwall look unlikely to go down after pulling eight points clear of the drop zone.

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