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21:45 24th March 2010

Report: Ice cool Gylfi bags dramatic win

Leicester City 1 (Waghorn 40)
Reading 2 (Kebe, 16, Sigurdsson 90)

A late Gylfi Sigurdsson penalty gave the Royals a dramatic win at the Walkers Stadium on Wednesday evening, as Brian McDermott's men continued their rich run of form.

Sigurdsson's magical assist had earlier allowed Jimmy Kebe to race through on goal to open the scoring, though the Foxes levelled through Martyn Waghorn four minutes before the break.

As the clock ticked into injury time substitute Simon Church showed wonderful technique to bring down Gzregorz Rasiak's flick on before turning into the area- and his heels were clipped to grant McDermott's men a vital spot kick.

Leicester City (4-4-2): Weale, Solano, McGivern, Hobbs, Morrison, Oakley (c) (Spearing 70), Wellens, Waghorn, Dyer, King, Gallagher (N'Guessan 74).
Subs: Logan, Adams, Brown, N'Guessan, Kermorgant, Spearing, Howard.
Booked: Dyer

Reading (4-2-3-1): Federici; Griffin, Bertrand, Khizanishvili, Mills (c); Howard (Church 64), Tabb (Gunnarsson 60); McAnuff, Kebe, Sigurdsson; Long (Rasiak 75)
Subs: Hamer, Pearce, Gunnarsson, Karacan, Robson-Kanu, Church, Rasiak.
Booked: Howard, Griffin

Referee: D Foster

Attendance: 20,108

First Half

It was a perfect evening for football at the Walkers Stadium, a mild evening accompanied by a hint of drizzle to add an always appreciated zip to the playing surface.

Brian McDermott made just one change to the side that drew with Middlesbrough last time out and it was enforced, as Zurab Khizanishvili replaced the injured Ivar Ingimarsson - allowing Matt Mills to proudly pull on the captain's armband.

The first ten minutes was largely uneventful as both sides attempted to get the measure of their opposition; Khizanishvili's over ambitious long range volley drifted wide and Paul Gallagher's snapshot missed the target to complete the only real openings of the initial exchanges.

Michael Morrison slipped his man in the box to get his head on a Leicester corner kick with 13 minutes on the clock, but could only meekly nod wide from 12 yards.

The lead however would be granted to the Royals. Some majestic midfield play from Gylfi Sigurdsson made it, as the young Icelander effortlessly controlled a dropping ball before sliding in Jimmy Kebe. The in-form Malian out-paced his marker with ease but was forced way wide by keeper Chris Weale. However, unperturbed, the winger skipped back inside and drove home a shot from a almost impossible angle.

The Foxes almost responded immediately with some find passing football on the edge of the Royals box, though captain Matt Oakley could only fire wide from 20 yards.

Half an hour into the game Reading came close to a second, thanks to an extraordinary blunder from home stopper Chris Weale. Under no visible pressure the City number one flapped and missed at a Sigurdsson free-kick, and in the ensuing scramble Matt Mills' poked effort was only denied by a desperate bit of goal line defending.

The tempo was suddenly picking up, as the home side came close twice in immediate succession. Firstly Andy King headed wide from six yards when it seemed easier to score, before a rather fortunate deflected shot completely bamboozled Adam Federici before crawling inches wide of the Aussie's post.

Seconds later Kebe came close to a brace, again linking up with Sigurdsson before racing clear on goal - though he found himself crowded out before getting a shot away.

The equaliser did come before the break however, as Andy Griffin was unfortunate to lose his footing to allow a break down Leicester's flank - and Lloyd Dyer's cross was inch perfect for Martyn Waghorn to head home.

Nigel Pearson's charges could even have taken a lead into the break, and were only denied by a remarkable stop from Federici. Again Dyer was the danger racing down the left, before squaring for Andy King who looked certain to convert from close range. However his chip was somehow tipped over by 'Feds', who did brilliantly to stay on his feet until the last minute before palming above the bar.

Second Half

Seven minutes after the restart an intricate flick on from Shane Long allowed Kebe to race into the box from the right hand side, and although his cutback left keeper Weale in no man's land Sigurdsson's shot was charged down by the covering Richie Wellens.

Some unsavoury scenes moments later led to a tangle between Andy Griffin and Lloyd Dyer, and both players were booked as referee Mr Foster looked to calm a potential flash point.

A nasty clash from the ensuing drop ball saw a sorry sight for Royals fans as Jay Tabb picked up a nasty looking injury - and as a result was stretchered off the field, replaced by Brynjar Gunnarsson.

That incident seem to cause a lull into the game, but Sigurdsson attempted to ignite it once more as he twisted in the box before stinging the palms of Weale with a left footed drive.

Dyer was still City's star man on the night, and again came close with 73 minutes on the clock as he spun on the right wing before motoring into the area and lashing an effort into the side netting.

Some astute wing play from substitute Simon Church in the 79th minute allowed McAnuff to pick up a ball in space just inside the area, and the wide man jinked inside before seeing a shot deflected wide of goal.

A minute later Ryan Bertrand almost had his second for the club, as he bent a spectacular drive in on goal from 25 yards - only to be denied by a finger tip save from Weale.

That good work form the Leicester stopper was almost undone after 85 minutes, as he again fumbled what should have been a routine take from McAnuff's cross - spilling the ball inches from the incoming Gzregorz Rasiak. Unfortunately for the Royals Sigurdsson's following up was scuffed wide.

Both sides were showing potential to steal all three points with five minutes remaining, as Foxes substitute Danny N'Guessan forced Federici into another marvellous diving save late in the game.

More drama was to come. As fourth official lifted his board to indicate four minutes of added time Church delicately brought down a Rasiak flick on, before turning inside and driving into the area. His heels were clipped before he could get a shot away and a spot kick was awarded to the Royals.

Not for the first time this season the Icelander kept his cool, sending the keeper the wrong way and sending Reading into a heart pounding win.

    Data provided by Press Association