Relegation-battling Reading beat Sheffield United after dramatic ending
A dramatic late winner from Tom McIntyre helped Reading beat promotion-chasing Sheffield United and take a giant step towards Championship safety.
The Blades thought they had rescued a point in the 90th minute when substitute Iliman Ndiaye finally cancelled out Lucas Joao’s first-half opener.
But McIntyre quickly struck at the other end of the pitch to move Paul Ince’s side nine points clear of the bottom three.
United remained in the top six despite the setback, but four teams sit within three points of them in a crowded play-off race.
Oliver Norwood had the first opportunity in a game that took a while to get going, with his speculative effort from range flying over the bar.
Joao gave Reading the lead in the 17th minute when he collected Josh Laurent’s through ball and beating Wes Foderingham at the goalkeeper’s near post.
Foderingham was soon forced to make a great save, diving to his right to keep out Tom Ince’s long-range effort.
Reading had a good chance when Laurent drove down the right side of the United defence, but his attempt hit the side netting.
Joao came agonisingly close to doubling his tally when he drove into the box, beat his man, but saw his effort hit a post.
Reading’s defence held firm in the first half, with George Baldock and Ben Osborn both having attempts blocked.
The visitors had a penalty appeal waved away by the referee when Ovie Ejaria was seemingly brought down in the box by Osborn in the second half, while Laurent could not direct a header on target from Ince’s free-kick.
Reading continued to defend well, limiting United to very few chances and frustrating the home crowd, with some deciding to leave with five minutes of normal time left to play.
Blades Substitute Daniel Jebbison glanced a header over the bar before Reading goalkeeper Orjan Nyland was forced into making his first save of the contest when he gathered John Egan’s tame header.
But the hosts managed to grab an equaliser in the 90th minute when substitute Ndiaye found space inside the box and slotted the ball into the bottom right corner.
But Reading responded to take all three points. Michael Morrison laid the ball off with his head to McIntyre inside the box and he poked the ball past Foderingham to spark wild scenes from the away end.
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