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REPORT - Reading 1 Wigan Athletic 2
READING produced a stirring second-half performance but were unable to overturn a two-goal deficit at home to Wigan Athletic on Saturday afternoon.
The visitors scored twice in the space of two first-half minutes to put Reading on the back foot and while the Royals pulled a goal back after the break, they were unable to pull level.
Wigan's purple patch came early, their goals coming in the 10th and 12th minutes.
A break saw James McArthur and James McClean combine and while the latter's shot was blocked, the ball fell for the same player to tee up Chris McCann for the opening goal.
The lead was doubled just two minutes later, Nick Powell taking advantage of a mistake from Alex Pearce to rifle the ball under Alex McCarthy.
Pavel Pogrebnyak was denied by Wigan 'keeper Ali Al-Habsi and Kaspars Gorkss headed narrowly over before half-time, but Reading wasted a great chance to get back into the game after the break.
Chris Gunter was pulled back in the area and the referee pointed to the spot, but Billy Sharp's penalty flew over the crossbar.
McCarthy then produced a fine save to deny Jordi Gomez and Pogrebnyak gave his side hope on 67 minutes, heading home Danny Guthrie's cross.
The hosts pressed in search of an equaliser, but it never came, meaning they go into the festive period sitting sixth in the Championship table.
It promises to be a tough Christmas period for Reading, who travel to high-flying Leicester City on Boxing Day, visit Middlesbrough on Saturday and host Nottingham Forest on New Year's Day (all kick-off 3pm).
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