Reading FC Match Report: 2014/2015 Season - Championship


Reading: --
Bournemouth: C Wilson (4).

Reading deserved at least a point against table-topping Bournemouth having matched them in every department apart from the one that really mattered. Bournemouth scored from their first attack but the league’s highest scorers could only muster one more attempt on target throughout the entire match and that was comfortably saved by Federici. Reading’s best attempt from Jamie Mackie drew a quite remarkable save from Boruc which ultimately proved to be crucial in maintaining the visitors’ position at the top of the league.

In contrast to the most recent home game against Blackburn, the stakes were very high for the away team and the atmosphere was charged with a whiff of promotion. With the Premier League tantalisingly close for Bournemouth, their travelling fans filled the South Stand. Bournemouth were so pumped up it took three attempts to get the game under way as their forwards encroached into the Reading half before the kick taken. Their sense of urgency paid immediate dividends as their first attack drove straight at the heart of the Reading defence. Surman unleashed a shot which cannoned back off the base of the upright and Wilson tucked away the rebound.

“We are AFC Bournemouth we score when we want” sang the away fans, but that was not how it turned out, as they hung on desperately defending a narrow lead right to the end of stoppage time. If Bournemouth thought it was going to be an easy three points they were given food for thought when Jamie Mackie stretched to deflect a left wing cross for what looked to be a certain goal until Boruc kept the ball out with a truly amazing one-handed save. Bournemouth dominated possession but Reading were more direct and penetrative with their passing and created more chances in the first half. Chalobah, Obita and Robson-Kanu all might have found the net with a little more composure.

With Ake filling in superbly at left back, Obita was pushed forward and looked as uncomfortable as he always does in midfield. When Chalobah limped off with just over twenty minutes to go he was able to return to the comfort of left back as Ake moved into the centre of midfield. Reading saw more of the ball in the second half and although Bournemouth always looked menacing going forward Reading’s defence was more than a match for them. Hector was absolutely outstanding but there was a worrying moment for him when Wilson feigned injury following his perfectly timed challenge over by the touchline. Hector had already been inappropriately booked when showed a flicker of reaction provoked by a display of petulance by Wilson earlier in the half. Wilson was aggrieved when the referee had correctly ignored his dive as Hector closed him down.

Bournemouth may have played some good football this season but their tendency to cheat did little to endear them to the Reading fans. In fact it merely cranked up the atmosphere even more at a time when they would have wanted to see the game out calmly. Kermorgant didn’t help when he had tried to persuade referee Stroud to book Chalobah in the first half for an offence which admittedly probably warranted a yellow card.

As the game wore on Bournemouth became increasingly desperate with Boruc and Francis going into the book for blatant time-wasting. Eddie Howe had no grounds for complaint but that didn’t stop him. Williams, Appiah, and Yakubu were thrown into the mix to conjure up an equaliser, and although there were anxious moments in the Bournemouth defence, they held out. Mackie was always a thorn in their side but just like the rest of the team he was unable to compliment effort and commitment with a touch of quality and so the goal scoring drought continued.

In spite of the defeat, it was a morale boosting performance ahead of the Semi-Final encounter with the Gunners. It was probably the most entertaining game of the season in spite of the result and there seems to be a very positive mood within in the squad. Reading passed the ball well at times and their defence is currently looking very secure, which is just as well given they are about to be subjected to the biggest test of their careers so far on Saturday.
John Wells

This Championship game took place 1343 days ago in the 2014/2015 season.