Match Report: 2010/2011 Season

22 January 2011: CHAMPIONSHIP
Reading: Harte (80 mins, pen).
Hull: Evans (51 mins).
Half Time: 0-0.

Attendance: 16,494

Pos Team P Pts GD
7 Watford 26 42 +13
8 READING 27 41 +13
9 Millwall 27 39 +7
Reading: Federici, Mills, Harte, Griffin, Pearce, McAnuff, Leigertwood, Kebe, Karacan (Robson-Kanu, 73), Long, Church (Manset, 62) Subs not used: Tabb, Howard, Ingimarsson, Cummings, McCarthy.
Hull: Guzan, Rosenior, Gerrard, Dawson, Chester, Koren, Ashbee, Stewart (Evans, 45), Harper, McLean (Barmby, 83), Fryatt Subs not used: McShane, Simpson, Oxley, Devitt, Bullard.
Reading: -
Hull: Ashbee, Dawson, Rosenior
Ref: James Linington (Newport)
Reading are still proving a very difficult side to beat, but today a lack of penetration prevented them from claiming all three points. Having dominated the first half they failed to convert possession into goals, then they gifted a goal to City early in the second half and were grateful to salvage a point with a Harte penalty ten minutes from the end. For all their possession Reading only managed match City's five goal attempts on target over the ninety minutes. Reading were not at their best today but were still far superior to City in all departments. It was a missed opportunity to pick up three points.

McDermott wisely stuck with his tried and tested line up apart from the enforced replacement of the injured Hunt with Church. The change provided the opportunity include Manset, signed less than twenty-four hours before kick-off, amongst the substitutes. Mills returned from injury to replace Ingimarsson. Reading were on top from the start, and were far more direct in their approach play but there were few clear-cut chances created. A combination of poorly timed runs by Church and some equally poor decisions by the referees assistant frustratingly brought promising attacks to a halt. A hopeful appeal for a penalty was ignored when Kebe was blocked but it seemed likely that the Royals were going to take the lead. Long was subjected to a heavy and clumsy challenge which required a lengthy spell of treatment (a minute according the referee!). Having recovered, he resumed his role as Reading's greatest threat. He struck a shot which forced a save from Guzan and then drew a superb save with a powerful and well placed header from a ball from Harte. He then stumbled when in good position to score and miscued. McAnuff went on a run which took past several City defenders but could not apply the finish it deserved.

Reading started the second half brightly and Church intelligently found Liegertwood on the edge of the box. Sadly his shot did not match the quality of his excellent midfield play. Completely against the run of play City took the lead. A cross which should have been dealt with easily, resulted in Evans giving them the lead. Harte was clearly at fault. It could be argued that Federici could have come to claim it, or called for Harte to clear it, but it appeared that Harte simply left it for his 'keeper. With a player of his experience he should know better. If there is no call from the 'keeper (and Federici's reaction would imply that there was not) there is only one thing to do in that situation - hoof it. Now the result was in doubt, and for the first time in the game Hull looked interested and passed the ball around with greater urgency. McDermott reacted by moving McAnuff into midfield and replacing Karacan with Robson-Kanu to fill the spot wide on the left. Manset came on for Church to give a different dimension to the attack with his height. The new signing looked full of confidence, won the ball in the air, demonstrated good touch and passed the ball well. He looks a promising prospect, but time will tell. It was left to the more established players to rescue a point. A good ball into the box ffrom McAnuff found Long, and Guzan rashly clipped his legs as he ran away from goal. Harte clearly eager to make amends for his earlier costly error, demanded the ball, and whacked the spot kick past Guzan bringing a sense of relief to all concerned.

The next three league games are against the top three sides. The results of these games will not break the season for the Royals, but they could make it. I would give them a good chance of picking up a few points, but Cardiff away is the fixture which concerns me the most. City revealed how cynical and brutal they can be against Watford yesterday in the way they systematically battered Buckley (black and blue after being fouled ten times by different players according to Malky Mackay). In front of a hostile crowd and with a weak referee the likes of Kebe and McAnuff may well be similarly targeted.
John Wells

Ended up as a bit of a stalemate. Hull defended well, we had plenty of possession but didn't really create many clear cut changes. Poor comm from Harte for their goal. Too hard to judge Manset - he's only just met his team mates. No really poor performances, for me only Legs stuck out - he's been a great addition. Church didn't look great, good runs but noone in the team had the pin point passes to pick them out, his first touch was poor tho. Ref was shocking, Long got battered today. If Hunt is out for a while I'm glad we have back up in Manset.

Frustrating match to watch as Hull are yet another Championship side that arrived with the ambition of getting a point - or maybe a breakaway win if they get lucky. This seems to happen all too often these days and teams that defend well are hard to break down. You can see why they concede so few goals - but they also will not make the play offs as they are not adventurous enough. If it had not been for the catastrophic error I think we may have nicked it towards the end - but as it was I was quite grateful for a draw in the end as I did not really see us getting back into it.

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Ian Harte struck from the penalty spot 12 minutes from full-time to atone for an earlier error and rescue a point for Reading against promotion rivals Hull. The defender was at fault when his tame header back to keeper Adam Federici fell to on loan midfielder Corry Evans, who tapped in for a debut goal. But Harte went from villain to hero when he scored the crucial penalty after Shane Long was felled in the box. A point was little more than Reading deserved against a lacklustre Hull. It was the hosts who made the brighter start and they had strong penalty claims waved away when Andy Dawson appeared to bring down Jimmy Kebe in the 18th minute.

Jobi McAnuff then twice thrashed off target, while Long forced a smart low stop from Hull keeper Brad Guzan with a glancing header as the hosts dominated the first half. Evans' second-half introduction swung the tide, though, as the man on loan from Manchester United made the most of a simple finish from Harte's poor defensive header. And Matt Fryatt came close to doubling their advantage when he shot wide in the 65th minute. But just as Reading's challenge appeared to be petering out, McAnuff's pass sent Long through on goal and the Republic of Ireland international was brought down by Guzan. This time referee James Linington did not hesitate in pointing to the spot and Harte emphatically slammed home his fifth goal for Reading this season.

BBC Sport