20 April 2013 18:13
Norwich City took an enormous step away from the relegation zone and kept Reading rooted to the bottom of the table with a 2-1 win.
The first half was largely lacking in quality, although both sides created a smattering of chances at Carrow Road on Saturday.
The encounter improved in the second half as Ryan and then Elliott Bennett scored within moments of each other before Garath McCleary scored what proved to be a consolation for Reading.
Reading are 10 points from safety and almost certain to be relegated, while Norwich jump to 13th and seven points clear of Wigan.
The home side started the stronger and went close in the fourth minute when Elliott Bennett shot just wide.
Norwich were enjoying almost total domination and nearly took the lead in the 12th minute, as Javier Garrido hit a low shot that had Alex McCarthy scrambling.
But Reading began to exert more influence on proceedings as the half went on as they took the sting out of Norwich’s early pressure.
The visitors created their best chance in the 42nd minute as a driven Adrian Mariappa cross was turned over the bar by Pavel Pogrebnyak with the goal gaping.
Moments later, Norwich created a good chance as Kei Kamara took advantage of a knockdown to hammer a shot that was saved well by McCarthy.
The home side began the second half as they ended the first, with Kamara forcing a good save from McCarthy after a superb break forward.
Norwich took the lead in the 50th minute, as a Robert Snodgrass corner caused havoc in the Reading penalty area and substitute Ryan Bennett was on hand to sweep home.
Just two minutes later, Norwich had a second as a cross found Grant Holt’s head with McCarthy uncertain in the challenge, and Elliott Bennett put away the chance.
The hosts conceded in the 72nd minute slightly against the run of play as McCleary let fly with an ambitious shot that Mark Bunn could only parry into his own net.
Reading were given hope by their goal as they went searching for the crucial equaliser, but Norwich clung on for an important win.