Reading FC Match Report: 2013/2014 Season - Championship


READING 1 CHARLTON 0

Reading: B Sharp (13).
Charlton: --

It is rare to play so poorly and still manage to win. The Royals started brightly with Pogrebnyak and Sharp going past Charlton defenders with ease. Sharp scored what proved to be the winner after fourteen minutes but from that point on there was very little to get excited about. No doubt the three points will keep everyone happy but the performance was cause for concern.

Tactically it was shambles. Reading were obsessed with feeding the ball to Guthrie who had one of his poorer games. He is good on the ball (although he did get caught in possession once or twice) but he had little impact with his distribution. He was not helped by a remarkable lack of width and movement generally. McCleary constantly went inside and seemed reluctant to shoot in the first half, and with Kelly rarely getting forward, there little attacking threat on the right. On the other wing McAnuff was unable to get past his marker and ended up also being forced into the crowded area through the middle. Sharp was able to spin and go past defenders but did not receive particularly good service. Pogrebynak also had a poor game after a very good start. He won nothing in the air and resorted to stumbling around in the vain hope of winning free kicks. Reading might have conceded just before half time when ex Royal Simon Church broke through on the right and, with clear sight of goal, demonstrated why Reading were right to release him. McCarthy saved with relative ease.

Reading’s performance deteriorated as the second half progressed. It seemed only a matter of time before the visitors would equalise as Reading repeatedly squandered possession inviting constant pressure from a Charlton side eager to get players forward but incapable of either creating or taking chances. Robson-Kanu came on and looked good going forward, but with nobody bothering to get forward to support him, apart from one strike at goal which was straight at the ‘keeper, his promising forays in the Charlton half came to nothing. Akpan’s introduction when injury forced Williams off added energy to the midfield, but his distribution was woeful. Charlton did put the ball in the net but Sordell was clearly offside when he deflected the ball past McCarthy. McAnuff capped a disappointing return near the final whistle when he dragged a shot wide when given time and space with only the ‘keeper to beat. Gorkss and Pearce stood firm at the centre of the defence as Reading hung for the three points which takes them into fourth place.

Injuries and suspension severely weakened the team but even so, the performance was well below the standard required to achieve promotion. A win on Saturday is expected but they will need to improve against a Bournemouth side more capable of scoring than this evening’s opponents.
John Wells

This Championship game took place 1750 days ago in the 2013/2014 season.