Reading FC Match Report: 2014/2015 Season - Championship
IPSWICH 0 READING 1
Reading: J Mackie (14)
An early Jamie Mackie goal inspired Reading FC to grab an unexpected victory at Portman Road. The low strike in the 13th minute was enough to split the sides in a scrappy contest, bringing the Royals a fifth victory in the last eight away games.
Two changes were made following the disappointing Wigan game. McCleary and Norwood dropping to the bench, with Mackie and Hector returning to the line-up. Chalobah pushed back into his usual centre midfield position.
Ipswich started the game brightly with Daryl Murphy causing problems with his movement and direct running. In the 5th Murphy drove through the middle of the Royals defence but weakly pushed his shot straight to Adam Federici. In the 12th minute Murphy pulled out wide and delivered a cross onto the head of an unmarked Freddie Sears. Sears was unable to get any momentum into his header, looping the ball high across the goal.
With Reading making no early attacking intent they grabbed the lead against the run of play in the 13th minute. Pogrebynak pushed a pass to Jamie Mackie on the right hand side. Mackie was allowed to drive to the edge of area with Mings backing away. Mackie had a sight on goal and took his opportunity by smashing a low shot across Bialkowski into the bottom corner. Jamie Mackie celebrated the goal by sprinting the full length of the pitch, before doing a Michael Jackson turn and spin in front of the 433 travelling Royals fans.
With the goal it brought confidence back into the Reading team. Following the disastrous performance against Wigan on Tuesday night the Royals showed all the attributes that were missing. They played with tempo when in possession and aggression without the ball. Danny Williams was colossus in the middle, able to carry the ball forward as well as tough without.
In the 16th minute Mackie played in Hal Robson-Kanu. Hal was unable to control his shot and saw it go high over the top. A chance for Chalobah followed, Obita and Robson-Kanu worked an opening for Chalobah. His shot was high and wide.
On his birthday the former Royal Jay Tabb should have brought Ipswich level in the 20th minute. Murphy, again, finding space out wide. His cross was perfect for Tabb at the back post. Tabb failed to connect properly with the header and saw the ball dropped wide. With Reading battling for every ball, clear chances were far and few between and the game became scrappy. Michael Hector had an injury scare in the 24th minute and for a period it looked as if Cooper was going to replace him.
Freddie Sears was denied by a fine block from Alex Pearce in the 33rd minute. Simon Cox had a weak shot into the arms of Bialkowski in the 40th minute. Bishop turning and shooting straight at Federici in the 43rd minute.
As the second half started Danny Williams, following a forceful run, won a free kick in a dangerous position in the 49th minute. Chalobah smashed a shot through the wall but saw a good save from Bialkowski.
A succession of corners followed with a good chance for Simon Cox after being put through by Chalobah. Ipswich had a chance as they broke from the third successive Reading corner. Mings ending the move by shooting directly at Federici.
Ipswich started applying pressure without working Federici. Jay Tabb dragged a shot wide in the 54th minute. Bishop skimming the outside of the post in the 56th minute. Paul Anderson shooting straight at Federici in the 68th minute and Sears with a weak shot in the 72nd minute. As the game entered the final stages the Royals looked comfortable. Akpan and McCleary replaced Simon Cox and Hal Robson-Kanu in the 75th minute. Before being replaced by Cooper Mackie had a chance to grab a second in the 84th minute. His shot going wide when released by McCleary. McCleary himself firing high and wide when well placed in the 90th minute.
Ipswich pushed for an equaliser in the final minutes. A combination of poor finishing and desperate defending kept the chances to a minimum. It was a fine result but maybe brought more questions than answers. Why is a team that looks solid and confident away from home, so different when playing at home? The tempo of Reading’s play seemed a big difference. When in possession the Royals looked to move the ball quicker. Danny Williams the focal point of the midfield with his direct running and determination.
Without the ball, Reading worked as a unit. Whilst Ipswich looked toothless upfront they were never allowed to settle into a rhythm. Michael Hector was impressive at the back, his anticipation of the pass and movement of the opposition his greatest attribute. The form needs to continue into the next game, with that being an away game at Huddersfield you can’t help but feel confident for a result.
This Championship game took place 1122 days ago in the 2014/2015 season.