ON THIS DAY: Graham Alexander hits the spot to give Clarets upper hand over Reading in Championship play-off semi-final

Former Burnley skipper Graham Alexander kept his cool to give Burnley the advantage over Reading in the Championship play-off semi-final.

Saturday, 9th May 2020, 8:00 am
Graham Alexander of Burnley scores from the penalty spot during the Coca-Cola Championship Play-off Semi Final First Leg match between Burnley and Reading at Turf Moor on May 9, 2009 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The ex-Scotland international, who had joined from Preston North End, beat Marcus Hahnemann from the spot in the 84th minute.

Alexander, who had helped to seal Burnley's place in the top six when netting two penalties against Bristol City just six days earlier, sent the American stopper the wrong way to clock up his 11th goal of the campaign.

Robbie Blake and Kevin McDonald were off target for the home side in the first half as the Royals went closest to breaking the deadlock.

Andre Bikey of Reading rips off his shirt after being given a red card during the Coca-Cola Championship Play-off Semi Final First Leg match between Burnley and Reading at Turf Moor on May 9, 2009 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Brian Jensen saved well from Jay Tabb and Martin Paterson cleared Kevin Doyle's effort off the line after Andre Bikey's header was blocked from a corner.

The first leg was heading for a stalemate until Bikey handed Owen Coyle's side the initiative late on.

The Cameroonian defender was penalised for a shirt pull on Steven Thompson inside the area, which led to Alexander's opener.

And then the Royals defender left the pitch in disgrace as he kicked out at Robbie Blake, leaving referee Martin Atkinson with no alternative than to brandish the red card.