Mikele Leigertwood scored in the 81st minute to send Reading back into the Barclays Premier League as they recorded a 1-0 victory over Nottingham Forest at the Madejski Stadium.
Leigertwood's late strike, coupled with West Ham's inability to beat Bristol City at Ashton Gate, means Brian McDermott's men cannot now be caught by the third-placed Hammers with two games to go.
Neil Adkins' Southampton also took a giant stride towards the top-flight with a 3-1 win at Peterborough to move five points clear of the Hammers. Jos Hooiveld and Billy Sharp settled any nerves by putting Saints 2-0 up inside the opening 10 minutes, and after Sharp added his side's third in the 57th minute, Tommy Rowe struck a late consolation.
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