Sonko nicks win for Royals
By Andy Clarke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Ibrahima Sonko scored a late winner for Reading against Palace.Ibrahima Sonko scored a late winner for Reading as they beat Crystal Palace 3-2 in a thrilling match at the Madejski Stadium.
Sonko rose highest to meet Glen Little's cross three minutes from time to put Steve Coppell's side ahead for the second time in the match and nick all three points.
Reading had gone ahead through Kevin Doyle but Andy Johnson, who later went off injured, levelled for the visitors before the second goal of Clinton Morrison's second spell with the club put them ahead.
Leroy Lita pulled the Royals level and after Gabor Kiraly had saved Glen Little's penalty, Sonko came to the rescue for the home side.
Doyle had made a bright start to the match, bringing two saves from Kiraly early on, and it was no surprise that it was the young Irish striker who made the breakthrough after 26 minutes when he beat the Palace keeper with a low shot from 20 yards.
But Reading's lead was short-lived, as Johnson again showed his Premiership class, darting into the penalty area and angling a shot past Marcus Hahnemann.
Lita went close with a header for Reading and Aki Riihilahti blazed over for Palace after good work from Tom Soares, before Palace went ahead when a long throw-in reached Morrison six yards out and he volleyed smartly home.
With Glen Little in outstanding form, Reading always looked likely to hit back and they did so in spectacular fashion, as Lita scored his sixth goal of the season with a wonderful overhead kick.
His seventh goal should have followed when the hosts were awarded a penalty for Fitz Hall's trip on Doyle, but for the second match in succession he saw a spot kick saved.
Referee Brian Curson ruled that Kiraly had moved from his line and ordered a retake and this time Little stepped up and saw his powerful kick brilliantly held by Kiraly.
But Reading were not to be denied and they grabbed a winner three minutes from time through Sonko.