Nottingham Forest narrowed the gap on Coca-Cola Championship leaders Newcastle to two points after extending their unbeaten league run to 18 matches with a 2-1 victory against Reading at the City Ground.

Paul Anderson and Robert Earnshaw, recalled in two of eight changes made by Reds boss Billy Davies following the FA Cup defeat at Birmingham, scored first-half goals but Lee Camp stole the show with another superb goalkeeping display.

The former England Under-21 international produced two superb second-half stops to deny Simon Church before saving Brian Howard's 68th-minute penalty in an incident that saw former Reading full-back Nicky Shorey sent off.

Substitute Jimmy Kebe scored deep into injury time but it was mere consolation for the relegation-threatened Royals, who have now gone six league games without a win.

With Newcastle not hosting third-placed West Brom until Monday night, it consolidated Forest's position in the automatic promotion places.

Reading succeeded where Forest failed in midweek by humbling Barclays Premier League opposition in a third-round cup replay but their momentous victory at Liverpool was soon to feel a long time ago.

Earnshaw was narrowly caught offside and went through again only to get the ball stuck under his feet before the hosts' early pressure paid dividends after 11 minutes.

Chris Cohen, one of only three players - along with Camp and centre-half Wes Morgan - to play at St Andrew's on Tuesday night, linked up with Earnshaw down the right side of the area.

It looked like Cohen would go for goal himself but he calmly slipped the ball to Anderson, who fired home from 12 yards.

Adam Federici pushed away a volley from Earnshaw on the half-hour mark but the Wales international scored for the sixth time in his last five home appearances four minutes before the break.

Reading could only clear the ball as far as Radoslaw Majewski on the left wing. The on-loan Pole picked out Earnshaw on the penalty spot and he steered the ball into the bottom corner.

Reading showed signs of a revival in the second half but Camp excelled twice in quick succession to deny Church.

Church met Ryan Bertrand's cross but Camp stuck out a foot to keep out his header. Then the same combination saw Camp somehow flick another Church header over the crossbar with his foot as he dived the wrong way.

It was to be Church's last contribution before he was replaced by Kebe after 66 minutes and the substitute made an immediate impact by winning a penalty.

Shorey's late lunge on the Malian resulted in a red card for the full-back in the final appearance of his loan spell from Aston Villa.

However, Camp enhanced his growing reputation once more by saving half-time substitute Howard's spot-kick.

Kebe headed home Jem Karacan's cross in the fourth minute of added time at the end of the game.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
#Paul Anderson
#West Bromwich Albion
#Reading
#Internationals
#Wes Morgan
#Championship
#Jimmy Kebe
#Nicky Shorey
#Brian Howard
#Premier League
#Robert Earnshaw
#Lee Camp
#Jem Karacan
#Adam Federici
#Nottingham Forest
#Radoslaw Majewski
#Aston Villa
#Simon Church
#Chris Cohen
#Birmingham
#FA Cup
#Ryan Bertrand
#Liverpool
#Anderson
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