Championship Betting Review - 1 May 2006
Reading finished their Championship winning campaign in style, by beating Sunderland’s points record by one point. Graeme Murty’s late penalty, only his second goal for the club and first of the season, ensured the Royals beat Queens Park Rangers 2-1 and finished the season on 106 points. Dave Kitson gave Reading the lead five minutes before the break but veteran Paul Furlong looked set to spoil the party when he equalised for the Hoops on 72. But Murty secured victory with six minutes left from the penalty spot, scoring 3/10 Reading’s 99th goal of the season. Sheffield United beat Crystal Palace 1-0 to ensure the Eagles finished in the sixth and final play-off spot. Chris Morgan scored the only goal of the game with nine minutes remaining for the 20/21 Blades.
Watford got the point they needed to finish third in the table after a goalless draw against Hull at Vicarage Road. The 5/2 draw means Adrian Boothroyd's men now take a five-match unbeaten run into the play-offs semi final against Crystal Palace. Preston earned a psychological edge over play-off opponents Leeds after beating them 2-0 at Deepdale. Brian Stock scored direct from a free kick after 38 minutes for the 6/5 Lillywhites and Brett Ormerod added a second on 77. Wolves finished the season one place off but eight points adrift of the play-off places with a 2-1 win at Norwich.
Denes Rosa opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time and Mark Kennedy doubled Wolves’ advantage on 71. Robert Earnshaw hit back for the Canaries two minutes later but Glenn Hoddle’s side held firm at 14/5. Coventry finished the season strongly at the expense of out-of-form Cardiff. Stern John broke the deadlock for the Sky Blues after eight minutes but the Bluebirds levelled through Steve Thompson on 21. Dele Adebola on 65 and Dennis Wise in stoppage time sealed a convincing Even money win at the Ricoh Arena. Stoke boss Johan Boskamp ended his tenure in charge on a high after thumping Brighton 5-1, making a nonsense of the 8/5 odds available. Youngster Adam Rooney scored after 6 and 22 minutes before Mamady Sidibe made it three a couple of minutes before the break. Rooney completed his hat-trick on 63 and Peter Sweeny struck his first form the club on 82. Doug Loft grabbed a consolation two minutes later but the result condemned the Seagulls to bottom position in the table. Crewe won the battle of the relegated sides as they beat Millwall 4-2 at Gresty Road.
Ben May drew first blood for the Lions after 15 minutes but Eddie Johnson equalised two minutes before half-time. Crewe went ahead through Nicky Maynard on 46 but Millwall drew level May on 58. Parity last just one minute as the Alex went in front again through Luke Varney and Steve Jones made sure of the 11/10 win six minutes before full-time.