READING’S Championship play-off hopes were dented as they lost to visiting Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 on Saturday afternoon.

The Royals were always up against it, after they had Alex Pearce sent-off in the ninth minute. The centre-half having bundled over Wednesday striker Benik Afobe in the penalty area.

The Owls’ Chris Maguire slotted home the spot kick and then Afobe netted their second from close range just before the hour mark.

The visitors so nearly added a third, but a great save from Alex McCarthy denied Jeremy Helan, as he tipped his shot on to the post.

Reading manager Nigel Adkins said: "There's only one talking point from the game. The referee, wrongly in my opinion, sent off our centre-half.

"Having looked at the video footage, I'm not sure it's even a penalty. Alex said he didn't touch him. The referee gives a penalty, but there's no way it should have been a red card.”

The Royals are away in their next Championship game at high flyers QPR on Sunday (kick-off 3.30pm).