Match Report: 2010/2011 Season

3 January 2011: CHAMPIONSHIP
Reading: Long (38 mins, 68 mins).
Burnley: Wallace (28 mins).
Half Time: 1-1.

Attendance: 16,151

Pos Team P Pts GD
7 Nottm F 23 37 +11
8 READING 25 37 +10
9 Millwall 25 36 +8
Reading: Federici, Mills, Harte, Griffin, Pearce, McAnuff, Leigertwood, Kebe, Karacan (Robson-Kanu, 67), Hunt (Church, 72), Long Subs not used: Tabb,Howard,Cummings,McCarthy,Khizanishvili,
Burnley: Grant, Mears, Duff, Carlisle, Easton (Iwelumo, 84), Wallace, Marney (Rodriguez, 71), Eagles, Elliott, Cork, Thompson (Guidetti, 79) Subs not used: Bikey, Alexander, Edgar, Jensen,
Reading: Kebe.
Burnley: Duff, Mears, Thompson
Ref: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire)
Reading rounded off their packed holiday programme with a highly entertaining home victory over an impressive Burnley side which keeps them hovering around the play off places. After making several changes for the away defeat at Swansea Brian McDermott was able to retore Leigertwood, Karacan, Hunt and McAnuff to the starting line up. Shane Long continued to make a mockery of recent assertions that he is not a goalscorer with another well taken brace, but it was Leigertwood who stole the limelight with an exemplary display in midfield. There was little to choose between the teams overall, and although the Royals deserved their win, Burnley created more chances than any other side to visit the Madejski this season so far.

Throughout the first half Burnley stretched the Royals defence with their movement and slick passing. Mears and Eagles were combining well to give Harte a very uncomfortable time. Burnley should have taken the lead when a superb move ended with Marney shooting straight at Federici. It was no surprise when Wallace put Burnley ahead when he was given all the time in the world to smash the ball across Federici into the far corner as Pearce and Mills resembled Laurel and Hardy colliding with each other in the confusion over who was going to close him down. The lead did not last long. A couple of minutes later a delightful flick by Hunt sent Long racing clear on goal. It was not an easy chance but the in from striker kept his head a slid the ball past Grant. It was perfect timing as Burnley had threatened to score every time they attacked. The goal settled Reading's nerves and gave the visitors reason to be wary. Burnley nearly restored their lead when Marney rattled the post with a great first time shot.

The second half started well for Reading as a brilliant touch from Kebe as he collected a long diagonal pass took him past the full back. His fiercely driven cross eluded everyone but it was good chance. Reading were getting on top and Karacan clipped a really good pass over the Burnley defence to Long who controlled the ball superbly and accelerated past the last defender. Sadly he failed to pull the trigger soon enough and was nudged as he shot and the ball trickled wide. Harte came close with a measured low strike which whistled past the far post and it seemed only a matter of time before Reading added a second goal. Kebe was next to be foiled as his well struck shot cannoned off a Burnley body. The breakthrough finally came with just over twenty minutes left to play. McAnuff drove a corner to the far post where Long was waiting to plant his header firmly into the net.

Burnley became increasingly desperate, and vulnerable to Reading counter attacks, as Leigertwood in particular won the ball and initiated some promising moves. Kebe had another shot blocked. Robson-Kanu raced clear and should of scored but indecision slowed him down and he wasted a great opening by overrunning the ball into a Burnley defender. It was a golden opportunity to settle the game so he must have been mightily relieved when Wallace's free kick dropped onto the bar, instead of under it, in added time. Confidence and team spirit is soaring at the moment. The Cup match against West Brom on Saturday promises to be very entertaining indeed.
John Wells


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Shane Long's double was enough to give Reading a win which saw them leapfrog Burnley in the Championship table. Burnley, with Stuart Gray in charge as caretaker boss after Brian Laws' sacking, took the lead as Ross Wallace finished from Tyrone Mears' cross. But the Royals levelled within three minutes as Shane Long hit his 11th goal of the campaign with a cool finish. And Long headed in the winner from Jobi McAnuff's corner in the 68th minute to secure the points for the home side. It made it six goals in five games for Long as Brian McDermott's side kept up the pressure on the play-off pack. Reading began well and Long sliced a left-footed strike wide and sent a header past the post early on. But the visitors began to control midfield and Jack Cork and Chris Eagles combined to create the opener in the 28th minute. Eagles then fed a fine overlapping run from Mears and the full-back was able to cut the ball back perfectly for Wallace to strike home powerfully from 15 yards.

But Reading soon levelled as Noel Hunt won a header on the halfway line and Long had the pace to race clear of the defence and the composure to slide the ball past goalkeeper Lee Grant. Clarets midfielder Dean Marney then smashed a strike against the crossbar as an end-to-end half came to a close. The home side began the second-half strongly, but Hunt and Long both missed chances before Long's second goal arrived in the 68th minute. McAnuff delivered the ball from the right and Long got across his marker to power in a header which gave Grant no chance. Marney had the best chance to equalise for the Clarets when he arrived on to a deep cross but could only steer his volley wide.

BBC Sport