Match Report: 2009/2010 Season

5 April 2010: CHAMPIONSHIP
Reading: Rasiak (15 mins), Church (22 mins, pen), Kebe (40 mins).
Coventry: -
Half Time: 3-0
Attendance: 17,435

Pos Team P Pts GD
11 Doncaster 42 55 +1
12 READING 40 55 0
13 Ipswich 42 54 -5
Reading: Federici, Mills, Griffin, Bertrand, Khizanishvili, McAnuff, Tabb, Kebe (Robson-Kanu, 83) , Karacan (Gunnarsson, 68) , Rasiak (Sigurdsson, 78), Church. Subs not used: Long, Hamer, Pearce, Bignall.
Coventry: Westwood, Barnett, McPake (Wood, 89) , Hussey (Cranie, 46), Wright, Bell (Baker, 72), Clingan, Gunnarsson, Deegan, Morrison, Sears. Subs not used: Hall, Konstantopoulos, Clarke, Jeffers.
Reading: Mills, Robson-Kanu.
Coventry: Barnett, Deegan, Gunnarsson, Morrison.
Ref: A Woolmer (Northamptonshire)
Reading swept aside mid table Coventry with a first half display of attacking football which would not have looked out of place in the Premiership. Had the finishing been a little sharper Reading would have doubled their half time lead. Kebe's strike shortly before half time was as good as anything we are likely to see at any level this season. The second half by contrast belonged to the lower reaches of the Football League. City's determination to avoid further humiliation resulted in a scrappy bad tempered affair dominated by the referee's whistle. The result was never in doubt but the Royals were called upon to engage in a physical battle to keep a clean sheet. It was not pretty to watch but a satisfying outcome.

Throughout the first half Kebe and McAnuff tormented the City defence with their pace and skill down the flanks. Karacan was surging forward and winning every loose ball and the back four looked very composed. The inevitable first goal arrived on thirteen minutes when McAnuff mesmerised the City defence before cutting back an intelligent ball to Karacan who's miscued strike was deflected past Westwood by Rasiak. The second followed soon after when Bertand was tripped after a neat exchanges of passes with Church. Church confidently tucked away the spot kick and Reading had the lead their play deserved. Tabb came close with a dipping volley from the corner of the penalty area and Griffin curled a shot just wide. Kebe seemed to go past his man and deliver a good ball into the box every time he received the ball. The quality of Reading's play was outstanding. They looked likely to score every time they attacked. Rasiak should have added a second but his shot struck Church and went wide. The icing on the first half cake came five minutes before the interval. A cross from the left found Kebe on the edge of the box and Westwood, like the rest of us, could only stand and admire the power, control. and accuracy of his first time strike. It was a brilliant goal by any standard, and if he scores a better goal, I hope I am there to see it!

City took such a long time to return to the pitch after half time I began to wonder if they had slipped out the back door and gone home. When they did return their mood had become understandably ugly. In an attempt to salvage some pride City pressed harder and kept the Royals back four far busier than they had earlier, but the damage was already done. Suffice it to say the main talking point of the half was the melee which followed a poor challenge from Mills to halt a City attack with Khizanishvili lying injured upfield. To say Morrison over-reacted would be an understatement. He sprinted some distance to remonstrate with Mills. Amidst the jostling that followed we discovered just what a sensitive young man he is, as obviously someone touched upon a nerve with a few well chosen words (allegedly it was Griffin) and he began hopping around as if he had been stung by wasp. Mills was booked but Morrison can count himself lucky he only received a yellow. He was probably spared from a red card by former team mate McAnuff who managed to restrain him as he reached the peak of his embarrassing tantrum.

In the end it was an easy three points for the Royals. Bignall and Robson-Kanu had a brief run out, Sigurdsson had a rest, and everyone went home happy, unless home happened to be Coventry that is.
John Wells

All a bit too easy first half really. They received an absolute pasting, and could easily have been on the back end of a hiding akin to Luton's against Hayes & Yeading. Three flattered them. Thoroughly impressive display of attacking football with the Coventry full backs having absolutely no answer to Kebe and McAnuff. The tone was set when Kebe first got the ball, rinsed the defender for pace and the defender just wiped Kebe out - you didn't see our players going nuts at the defender as a result like Morrison though did we. Second half they looked better, although not much. It was merely a containment exercise more than anything for them, and although I'm disappointed to not have won by more, I'm happy to keep a clean sheet. I thought that the referee was in danger of losing control of what appeared to be a very easy match to officiate in, and I'd be interested to read people's views on the Gunnarsson challenge on Bertrand. Then cue Morrison's absolutely atrocious reaction to Mills taking out their attacker, the man really is a first class tool. There is absolutely NO excuse for behaviour like that on a football pitch. Yes, he's annoyed that Mills did what he did, but to go charging in like that is just out of order. It's worse than some of my behaviour on a football pitch! And to mention a discussion between myself and floyd at half time - those people saying that Rodgers's football was entertaining, I beg to differ. The first half today was entertaining football, pacey, direct, skilful, intense, thoroughly enjoyable to watch. But if people want to watch plod-plod football with the ball being passed casually around the back four and midfield, that's up to them
Handbags Harris

Got an opinion? E-Mail us at
Appropriate submissions will appear on match report pages

Reading boss Brian McDermott:
"We were scintillating in the first half but credit to Coventry because they came into it more in the second. The first half was really pleasing on the eye but it was also important to tough it out in the second and keep a clean sheet."

BBC Sport