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Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Championship: Royals hit 30 unbeaten, Preston soar

Reading demonstrated their superiority in the Coca-Cola Championship by hammering Norwich 4-0 at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Canaries were caught cold in the fifth minute when Nicky Shorey drilled in a free-kick from 25 yards and the leaders' second followed 11 minutes later when Steve Sidwell sprinted into the box to head home Glen Little's cross.

Leroy Lita added the Royals' third when he turned in Kevin Doyle's cross and Bobby Convey gave the scoreline an even more emphatic look by firing in the fourth in the 69th minute. The win put Reading 10 points clear of Sheffield United in second.

An 88th-minute equaliser from the penalty spot by substitute David Healy at Ipswich helped Leeds up to third on goal difference above Watford, Danny Haynes having put the Tractor Boys ahead early in the second half.

Preston leapfrogged Crystal Palace into fifth by beating the Eagles 2-0 at Deepdale. Brett Ormerod lashed in North End's first in the 13th minute and Gary O'Neil headed home the second from Graham Alexander's corner.

Cardiff missed the chance to close in on the top six as they were held 1-1 by Millwall at Ninian Park. Highly-rated striker Cameron Jerome latched on to a Jason Koumas pass to put the Bluebirds ahead but Lions debutant Berry Powel equalised in the second half.

Luton are a point behind Cardiff in eighth after beating Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 at Hillsborough. Kevin Nicholls notched the Hatters' first with a 52nd-minute penalty and Rowan Vine added a quickfire second (56).

Leicester, still searching for a permanent successor to Craig Levein, won an entertaining match against QPR 3-2.

The winner came in the 88th minute as Stephen Hughes found the net from Richard Stearman's cross.

Brighton and Burnley produced a stalemate at the Withdean Stadium, while Coventry came from behind to beat Hull 2-1, Dennis Wise and Stern John on the mark for the Sky Blues.

Paul Wotton's 84th-minute penalty earned Plymouth all three points as they overcame Southampton 2-1 at Home Park after kick-off was delayed by floodlight failure.




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