READING made it five wins in seven games with a 3-1 victory over promotion rivals Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road yesterday afternoon.

The Royals took the lead on 10 minutes, Daniel Williams heading home Adam Le Fondre’s cross from the left. However, QPR levelled 10 minutes later through Reading old boy Kevin Doyle, who pounced when goalkeeper Alex McCarthy was only able to parry Will Keane’s shot.

Alex Pearce restored the visitors’ lead after the break, heading home Jobi McAnuff’s corner, while an excellent goal from Gareth McCleary made it 3-1 just before the hour.

The winger picked the ball inside his own half before racing forward and smashing in an outstanding shot from 25 yards, finding the top corner.

Reading felt they should have had a penalty for handball against Clint Hill but suffered a setback when Kaspars Gorkss was sent off for a lunging challenge on Junior Hoilett with 20 minutes still to play. However, QPR were unable to really threaten the Royals goal in the time remaining.

Reading remain sixth in the Championship table, but they are now four points above seventh-placed Ipswich in the battle for the final play-off place.

Royals manager Nigel Adkins said: “It was a great win, our supporters were brilliant and will leave happy and the spirit between the players is great.

“Today highlighted that we’ve got goals in the team from all over the pitch, we’ve got a good shape and you can see the spirit amongst the players. We’re in a good vein of form and everyone’s enjoying it.”

Reading are in action at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday, hosting mid-table Blackburn Rovers (kick-off 3pm).