READING’S chances of beating Championship title contenders Queens Park Rangers were handed a boost with the news that centre-back Alex Pearce will be available.

The 25-year-old was due to miss the game through suspension after being sent off after just nine minutes of Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat at the hands of struggling Sheffield Wednesday.

The Royals contested the dismissal and their appeal was upheld by an independent panel yesterday, meaning Pearce is able to face QPR at Loftus Road on Sunday (kick-off 3.30pm).

Pearce was shown a straight red after bundling over Wednesday striker Benik Afobe in the penalty area, with Reading’s pleas that there was a covering defender falling on deaf ears.

Chris Maguire slotted home the penalty and Afobe added a second from close range just before the hour mark to give his side a much-needed win.

Reading remain sixth in the table but they are now just one point ahead of seventh-placed Brighton and Hove Albion.