Jamie Mackie’s double fired Reading to a crucial 2-1 victory over Brighton on Tuesday night.
The win saw Steve Clarke’s side move 13 points above the relegation zone, meaning it would take a minor miracle to see them get dragged back into the battle to stay in the Championship.
With Wigan and Millwall, who currently occupy the final two relegation spots, in extremely poor form, Reading are now sitting comfortably in mid-table on 44 points.
Mackie scored his first after making the most of a poor David Stockdale pass before cutting inside and firing a left footed drive into the far corner for the winner after Chris O’Grady’s penalty had drawn the Seagulls level.
It wasn’t the greatest of spectacles and the visitors may have dominated possession for large periods of the game but Mackie’s brilliance in the final third was enough to seal all three points.
It was a welcome relief for Clarke and his men as they can now fully focus on Reading’s FA Cup run which sees them host Bradford City in a quarter-final replay next Monday night.