Match Report: 2009/2010 Season

10 March 2010: CHAMPIONSHIP
Reading: Long (8 mins), Kebe (34 mins), Bertrand (69 mins), Church (84 mins).
Derby: Sunu (21 mins).
Half Time: 2-1
Attendance: 14,096

Pos Team P Pts GD
16 Derby 35 42 -10
17 READING 33 41 -6
18 Ipswich 35 41 -7
Reading: Federici, Mills, Griffin (Khizanishvili 84), Ingimarsson, Bertrand, Tabb, Howard (Church 75), Kebe, Sigurdsson, Rasiak (Gunnarsson 75), Long. Subs not used: Hamer, Matejovsky, Henry, Robson-Kanu.
Derby County: Bywater (Deeney 13 (sent off 41)), McEveley, Hunt, Buxton, Barker, Tonge, Savage, Green, Pearson, Hulse (Davies 85), Sunu (Martin 77). Subs not used: Leacock, Moxey, Anderson, Pringle.
Reading: Ingimarsson.
Derby County: -. Sent Off: Deeney (41 mins).
Ref: Kevin Wright (Cambridgeshire).
Reading climbed further away from the relegation zone with a convincing win at home to Derby. Reading overwhelmed a sluggish County with direct and pacy football which should have put the result beyond doubt by half time. Jimmy Kebe continued his remarkable recent form creating numerous chances and adding to his goal tally with a fine finish. Derby were reduced to ten men just before the interval when 'keeper Deeney brought down Tabb. Long skied the penalty adding to a catalogue of squandered chances. Reading made hard work of finishing the job in the second half but the result was never in doubt.

Reading should have taken the lead in the first minute when Kebe whipped in a superb cross which Sigurdsson headed just over the bar. Derby simply could not cope with the pace of Reading's attack. Long opened the scoring on eight minutes taking a through ball from Kebe in his stride before accelerating past the last defender and placing a powerful low drive past Byfield. Sigurdsson had another chance but lost his composure and fired over. It was all too much for Derby 'keeper Byfield who limped off with a bad back. Completely against the run of play Count equalised when Sigurdsson lost concentration allowing Sunu to score unchallenged from the edge of the box. Gyfi is having a good season but he was not at his best this evening. Kebe set up Long with another brilliant run and cut back but his finish was tame. On this occasion the in-form striker possibly should have opted for power. It didn't matter because Kebe restored Reading's lead on thirty-five minutes as his pace once again took him past the last defender when he received a good ball from Tabb and slipped the ball under the advancing County 'keeper. The outcome of the game was determined in the final minutes of the half. Tabb nipped in to relieve the tortured Derby back four of possession and was tripped as he rounded replacement 'keeper Deeney. Referee Wright produced a red card and Savage replaced him. Long stepped up after a lengthy delay and hoofed the penalty over the bar.

As on Sunday Reading looked very edgy at the beginning of the second half. Reading took a long time to test Savage in goal but when they did he rose to the occasion making a very good save from Sigurdsson's free kick. Derby sat back and defended with greater determination and stifled the Royals who also began to had begun to make numerous unforced errors. It was fitting that the crucial third goal should come from Bertrand who had been by far the most effective player in the second half driving a shot through a crowded penalty area. Substitute Simon Church completed the scoring sliding in to poke home at the second attempt from yet another intelligent pass from Kebe.Today's game was further evidence that there are many ordinary teams in this league and had Reading had a better man in charge at the start of the season would be chasing a play-off place by now. It is too late for this season but it looks increasing hopeful for the next.

John Wells

First half I thoroughly enjoyed, flukey goal by Derby with their first shot on goal and we deserved to be 2-1 up at the break. Sending off killed the game and it was horrible to watch. We came out second half appallingly and thought we could play with no tempo and score at will, very complacent and very poor attitude from our players. When the opposition are down to 10 men with a midfielder in goal you want to put them under severe pressure and keep the tempo up - the opposition have one less man and will tire a lot quicker. Quite why we were pottering around and hoofing the ball forward every now and then I don't know. Howard was horrendous and has to be a candidate to be d ropped after a couple of bad games now, can't believe Ivar started when Zurab has proven he's a class above also. I really hope BMD isn't going to get into the Coppell habit of playing long term players out of loyalty as ivar is not in there on merit at the moment. He once again made the easy things look hard by misplacing comfortable headers and slicing passes all over the shop. Woeful against villa as has been said the other day as well. Happy with the 4-1 win, sets us up nicely but if it comes down to goal diff at the end of the season we'll wonder why our players were so half arsed against a team on the ropes. Kind of wish Derby never had a man sent off. Not a great performance by any means but 4-1 on paper is solid.

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Reading hammered Derby in an eventful match which saw Rams midfielder Robbie Savage play in goal after substitute keeper Saul Deeney was sent off. Striker Shane Long opened the scoring for the hosts but Clough's side rallied through Gilles Sunu's poked finish. Deeney replaced the injured Stephen Bywater but was beaten by Jimmy Kebe's finish before hauling down Jay Tabb to concede a penalty which Long put over. Ryan Bertrand beat the impressive Savage before Simon Church's fourth.

Reading boss Brian McDermott:
"We'd had a tough game against Aston Villa on Sunday but we came out all guns blazing and at times we were excellent. It's difficult to play against 10 men and we had a sticky spell but once we got the third it was comfortable. There were no special instructions to shoot at Savage, I just wanted us to keep our shape and the chances would come. We are edging towards safety now. We've taken 18 points from 21 and we are not far away from mid-table."

BBC Sport