LONDON - Reading moved closer to a place in the Premier League as the Royals went top of the Championship after Adam Le Fondre's late double clinched a 2-0 win over 10-man Leeds.
Le Fondre came off the bench to net twice in the final six minutes at the Madejski Stadium as Brian McDermott's side finally made their numerical advantage count following the first half dismissal of Leeds defender Zac Thompson.
Reading are one point clear of second-placed Southampton, who face local rivals Portsmouth on Saturday.
Thompson was sent off by referee Darren Drysdale after just 12 minutes following a wild lunge on Reading winger Jobi McAnuff that brought a stern rebuke from Leeds boss Neil Warnock as the defender left the pitch.
Substitute Le Fondre thought he had put Reading ahead with eight minutes remaining, only to be denied by an offside flag.
But Reading finally found a way through in the 84th minute. Jimmy Kebe's deep cross to the back post was met by Hal Robson-Kanu who sent a looping header back across goal for Le Fondre to chest home from almost on the goalline.
Le Fondre then sealed the points in stoppage-time as he turned in a Jason Roberts' cross-shot from close-range.
"If you want someone to score a goal for you to win a game, we've got the perfect man in Adam and he's done it again," McDermott said.
"I just thought he could nick us a goal and that's what he's done. He's come off the bench before and won us games.