Reading defender Alex Pearce has been named npower Championship Player of the Month for December.

Pearce scored twice and helped keep four clean sheets in five games as the Royals secured 12 points from a possible 15.

Reading boss Brian McDermott said: "I'm delighted for Alex. He has been at the club for a number of years after coming through the academy and is now establishing himself in the first team.

"He's not only helped the team with clean sheets, he's scored some important goals too. I'm very happy that he has won this award."

Sky Sports' Football League expert Peter Beagrie sits on the npower Player of the Month judging panel.

He said: "Alex has more than repaid his manager's faith in him. He is still a young player but he put in some magnificently mature performances in December.

"He's been a colossus in both penalty areas, constantly thwarting attackers and scoring twice himself."

npower Head of Sponsorship Emma Collins said: "Reading jumped into the Play-Off places during December, partly thanks to Alex's impressive performances.

"He played an integral part in his side's miserly defence last month and even chipped in with a vital winning goal at home to Ipswich Town.

"On behalf of npower, I'd like to congratulate Alex, and wish him the best of luck for the rest of the season."

The judging panel comprises Sky Sports Football League expert Peter Beagrie, Football League Head of Communications John Nagle, BBC Sport's Mark Clemmit and npower Head of Sponsorship Emma Collins.