Substitute Adam Forshaw’s stoppage-time winner carried Middlesbrough to the top of the Championship as they secured a dramatic victory over Reading.
Boro went in front when Emilio Nsue slotted home from close range after Ali al-Habsi thwarted Jordan Rhodes.
Simon Cox dinked in an equaliser when Dimi Konstantopoulos could not hold sub Andrew Taylor’s powerful drive.
But the hosts went two points clear of Burnley at the summit when Forshaw turned home after a goalmouth scramble.
Aitor Karanka’s side are now also four points ahead of third-placed Brighton in the race for automatic promotion, with all three sides having played 41 games.
Middlesbrough can now guarantee a place in the Premier League next season, for the first time in seven years, should they win four of their last five matches.
On a foggy night, the hosts started full of confidence after winning their previous four games, but they failed to build on Nsue’s opener.
Albert Adomah missed a golden chance to double the lead soon after the break, before Cox levelled with what was only the seventh league goal Boro have conceded at home this season.
As Middlesbrough piled forward in the closing stages and went close through Ben Gibson and David Nugent headers, they almost paid for their attacking intent when Matej Vydra broke clear in added time, only to shoot over from inside the box.
And the home side took full advantage in the fourth added minute when Forshaw was on the spot to force the ball in from a tight angle.