Reading boss Brian McDermott paid tribute to his side after their automatic promotion bid gained further momentum a Scunthorpe with a seventh straight npower Championship victory.

Shane Long swept home Jimmy Kebe's low cross to open the scoring in the 57th minute and then won a penalty which Ian Harte converted to send Scunthorpe closer to relegation following the 2-0 defeat.

Reading now lie in fifth spot - just three points behind second-placed Cardiff - and McDermott said: "It was a great result and we're absolutely delighted. Scunthorpe played some good football in the first half but we bossed the game after the break and probably deserved to win."

He added: "It's been a decent week but to get three points at Nottingham Forest on Saturday and Scunthorpe is a good few days for us. They were big wins."

Reading showed no little character to ride out the first-half storm where Scunthorpe posed the greater goal threat and created a series of decent openings, with striker Joe Garner at the hub of their best moves.

However, they faded badly after the restart and now face a massive clash against relegation rivals Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Knill said: "Up to the first goal it was even and I thought we played pretty well in the first half. We played OK but didn't really push on and it looked like we were waiting for something to happen.

"The first goal killed us and the penalty straight after meant it was game over."

Yet Knill is refusing to throw in the towel just yet.

He added: "We just need to stop making mistakes at the back."

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Topics:
Reading
Football
Scunthorpe United
Championship
Jimmy Kebe
Cardiff City
Ian Harte
Joe Garner
Nottingham Forest
Shane Long
Crystal Palace