AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
LONDON: Reading earn promotionReading returned to the English Premier League after securing automatic promotion with a 1-0 win at home to Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.
Mikele Leigertwood volleyed in an Ian Harte freekick nine minutes from time for the only goal of the game at the Madejski Stadium. Forest, though, came close to snatching an equaliser in stoppage time but substitute Marcus Tudgay’s header was cleared off the line by Alex Pearce. Victory took the Royals, who have won 46 points from
a possible 51 since January,
back to the top flight for the first time since 2008.
With only the top two sides guaranteed promotion, victory gave Championship leaders Reading an unbeatable eight point lead over third-placed West Ham, with only a maximum of six on offer to the Hammers from their final two league games.
“It’s unbelievable, it puts the cherry on the cake,” goalkeeper Adam Federici told the BBC. “To see all the fans on the pitch is fantastic. “We always believed and we knew what we could achieve as a group.”
Reading manager Brian McDermott, who suffered the agony of a playoff final defeat by Swansea last year, added: “I couldn’t see too much good in losing that playoff final at Wembley, but perhaps this is meant to be. I’m not even bothered about the Premier League tonight, I’m just concerned about the players and staff. It’s a night for the fans.”