Preston North End moved up to fifth in the Championship when they beat Reading to claim their third league win in a row.
After a lack of chances in the first half, Preston took the lead through Ched Evans’ superb header after Robbie Brady’s swinging ball into the area.
Reading equalized with 20 minutes to go as Lucas Joao made no mistake after Brady felled Andy Yiadom.
Evans struck the winner after collecting the ball outside the box before beating Reading goalkeeper Joe Lumley.
The result moves Preston up three places into the Championship’s top six following their win, while Reading remain 11th after their fifth defeat in seven games.
Preston went into the game on the back of a poor defense on their travels, conceding eight goals in their last four away games, but they kept Reading at bay in a torrid first 45 minutes.
Neither side offered much before half-time and seemed to cancel each other out, Brady forcing a good save from Lumley before half-time to give Preston their first meaningful shot.
Brady was involved when Preston broke the deadlock early in the second half when he curled a ball down the right, and Evans did well to glance into the bottom left corner.
Preston’s lead lasted just 20 minutes when Joao slotted his penalty past Preston goalkeeper Freddie Woodman, but there was drama as the game wound down.
Evans, who had earlier scored his first goal in 35 appearances, scored his second of the evening after great work from Ben Woodburn down the right wing, leaving Evans with the ball to hit his decisive low shot.
- 22LumBooked in 56 minutesreplaced byFornahin 59′minutes
- 12Babareplaced byGuinness-Walkerin 81′minutes
- 11Wereplaced bylongin 59′minutes
- 2Carrollreplaced byLucas Joãoin 59′minutes
- 9Lucas João
- 1the woodworker
- 14the floor
- 44PottsBooked in 90 minutes
- 18ledsonBooked in 77 minutes
- 8Brownereplaced byMcCannin 81′minutes
- 11BradyBooked in 23 minutes
- 10Johnsonreplaced byWoodburnin 64′minutes
- 9EvansBooked in 80 minutes
- 19Riisreplaced byMaguirein 74′minutes
End of Match, Reading 1, Preston North End 2.
Second half ends, Reading 1, Preston North End 2.
An empty attempt. Sean Maguire (Preston North End) right footed shot misses the bar. Assisted by Ben Woodburn with a header.
Brad Potts (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Brad Potts (Preston North End) takes a free kick.
Lucas João (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.
An empty attempt. Jeff Hendrick (Reading) saves the shot from the right wing to the right.
Attempt blocked. Thomas Holmes (Reading) right footed shot misses the target. Assisted by Tyrese Fornah.
The attempt has been saved. Tyrese Fornah (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Junior Hoilett.
Ched Evans (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Absence of Tom McIntyre (Reading).
An empty attempt. Tom Ince (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box to the right wing. Assistant: Lucas João.
Sean Maguire (Preston North End) wins a free kick.
Foul by Thomas Holmes (Reading).
Ched Evans (Preston North End) wins a free kick.
Tyrese Fornah (Reading) takes a free-kick.
Change, Preston North End. Alistair McCann replaces Alan Browne.
Alternate, Reading. Nesta Guinness-Walker replaces Abdul-Rahman Baba.
Ched Evans (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card for celebrating too much.
Goal! Reading 1, Preston North End 2. Ched Evans (Preston North End) right footed shot is blocked. Help from Ben Woodburn.