16th April 2012, 2:37am
Championship Betting: Reading into 2/9 to win the title after picking up the three points at Southampton
Reading took a giant step not only to Premier League football but also the Championship title when they won a thrilling top two battle at St Marys against Southampton on Friday night. That win moved Reading three points clear at the top of the table and now needing just seven more points to win the title. They are no bigger than 2/9 with Coral to win the division now having opened up the three point gap.
In the early stages of their match with Southampton the Royals were under all sorts of pressure with their keeper Adam Federici having to keep out of a couple of Rickie Lambert efforts but Reading took the lead with almost their first attack when Jason Roberts nodded home a pinpoint Jimmy Kebe cross to put last year’s beaten playoff finalists 1-0 in front. That was a lead they were to hold onto until half time.
Southampton were sent out with a purpose after half time and were level within five minutes when Rickie Lambert fired home from the edge of the box. Most judges thought the two sides would settle for a point once the game got past 70 minutes all square but nobody gave that script to Brian McDermott who sent Adam le Fondre on as a sub and saw the former Rotherham man score twice to give Reading a convincing 3-1 win.
That result has left Southampton three points behind Reading in the chase for the title which they are now 4/1 to win with Paddy Power. More importantly West Ham were able to close to within three points of them with their 6-0 win over Brighton on Saturday. West Ham are six points behind Reading with three matches left so their title hopes look every bit the 50/1 chance Boylesports have it priced up as.