ROYALS HAMMER ON

Reading came from a goal down to beat West Ham United 4-2 in their npower Championship promotion clash at Upton Park.

Carlton Cole broke the deadlock for the Hammers in the ninth minute with a left-footed finish after a headed knockdown from Kevin Nolan, who had hit a post just seconds earlier. But Kaspars Gorkss headed home Ian Harte's inswinging corner in the 44th minute before Noel Hunt converted on the stroke of half-time to give the Royals the lead.

Harte added a penalty after 59 minutes to further stretch their advantage, but the Hammers responded with a Ricardo Vaz Te header after 77 minutes. Mikele Leigertwood's strike six minutes from time eventually wrapped up the win for Reading, who move four points clear of their opponents in the second automatic promotion place.

SEAGULLS HELD

Brighton and Hove Albion and Middlesbrough had to settle for a 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium in the clash between fifth and sixth. Marvin Emnes gave Boro a 62nd-minute lead but that was cancelled out by Inigo Calderon 12 minutes later.

At the other end, Coventry City climbed out of the drop zone for the first time since October with a 2-0 win at out-of-form Hull City. The Sky Blues led thanks to Liam Cooper's own goal after 13 minutes, with Cody McDonald securing their first away victory of the season four minutes from time.

ELSEWHERE IN THE DIVISION

Bristol City slipped into the bottom three despite a 1-1 draw at home to Derby County. Craig Bryson scored in the 20th minute for the Rams but Brett Pitman replied after 74 minutes.

Fellow strugglers Portsmouth suffered a humiliating 5-1 loss against Burnley at Fratton Park.

The scores were all square at the interval after David Norris' close-range finish cancelled out Kieran Trippier's strike for the Clarets. But Danny Ings fired Burnley in front once more two minutes into the second half before a Charlie Austin hat-trick - including two goals in the final minute - left Pompey humiliated.

Two goals from Chris Iwelumo earned Watford a 2-0 win at Leeds United, who had Paul Connolly sent off in the dying stages, while Radoslaw Majewski scored a second-half hat-trick as Nottingham Forest eased their relegation fears with a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Cardiff' City's Play-Off challenge took a further dent as they recorded their fourth successive draw in a goalless stalemate with Millwall, Daryl Murphy scored the only goal as Ipswich Town beat Barnsley 1-0, while Peterborough United were also 1-0 winners over Leicester City courtesy of Paul Taylor's strike.

QUICK LINKS: RESULTS | TABLES | LINE-UPS | STATS | FIXTURES