Match Report: 2011/2012 Season

27 September 2011: CHAMPIONSHIP
Reading: McAnuff (72 mins), Le Fondre (75 mins), Manset (90 mins).
Bristol City: Adomah (23 mins), Pitman (59 mins).
Half Time: 1-0.

Attendance: 12,018

Pos Team P Pts GD
13 Leeds 8 11 +1
14 READING 9 11 0
15 Watford 9 10 -3
Reading: A Federici, K Gorkss, A Pearce, J Mills, S Cummings, J McAnuff, M Leigertwood, J Tabb, N Hunt (M Manset, 86), A Le Fondre, S Church (H Robson-Kanu, 67).
Subs not used: J Karacan, A McCarthy, B Gunnarsson.
Bristol City: D James, L Carey, L Nyatanga, J Wilson, R McGivern, J Campbell-Ryce , M Elliott, N Kilkenny, A Adomah (R Taylor, 87), B Pitman, N Maynard.
Subs not used: D Gerken, Y Bolasie, J Spence, J Stead.
Reading: Gorkss, McAnuff, Leigertwood.
Bristol City: Carey, Campbell-Ryce, Pitman.
Ref: Craig Pawson.

Weird, weird game - after being so angry at the utter rubbish on display for 70 minutes to be so elated at the end is surreal and mentally tiring. And for that first 70 mins were really were dreadfully inept. Hunt is not a winger by any stretch of the imagination, and our only real tactic was to hoof it forward and hope he won headers. Most of the time he didn't. If City could shoot on target we'd have bee 5 or 6 down by then - and Federici did make half a dozen top class saves (although by my reckoning 4 of them were on balls that were missing the goal, and were, of course, unnecessarily ostentatious "camera saves"). Midfield was really poor, too - lack of desire, not attacking the ball - Brizzle wanted it more and were winning everything. Defensively the second Brizzle goal was embarrassingly simple, and the defenders look like the only met each other half an hour before the game and yesterday. Summed up nicely by Pearce & Federici getting horribly mixed up when under minimal pressure and Fedders shinning the ball out for an unnecessary corner.
After the substitution, playing with a real winger, made a difference, but it was also a lot down to Tabb pushing forward to play behind the front two. We got the first goal (hardly celebrated by many, BTW) and City's confidence seemed to evaporate as ours grew, whilst their fans went completely silent. I actually think that we got to the point where we knew we'd lost it and at that point the pressure was off us and we started relaxing and playing better, but it needed Bristol to be fragile enough to let us.
My summary - we'll never, ever play this badly and win again, and the highlights shouldn't be on Sky Sports, they should be on Crimewatch.
My biggest worry - people will look at the result and the comeback and think "crisis over" and forget that for 7/9s of this game were were utterly woeful and should have been in a situation where were were too far behind for any comeback to be impossible.
Svlad Cjelli

Truly a game of 2 halves, well the first 70 and then the last 20. First 70 minutes, we could honestly have been 5 down, the back 4 were constantly isolated by quick City breaks, the midfield were miles from the defence and Church, LeFondre and Hunt might well as not been there, especially Church who did absolutely squat diddley all night.
Playing Hunt as a wide man is a complete waste of time, he is a centre forward or on the bench for me. With McAnuff looking fairly disinterested for the first 70 minutes, the 2 full backs were constantly facing one on ones, and if it hadn't been for Federici and the crossbar (twice), this could have been a huge hiding and embarassing.
Suddently McDonut saw the light, realised we had managed to put in so far the worst away performance in years, and decided that Church was sh@te and Hunt was after all a centre forward. On came Robson-Kanu and a more balanced 4-4-2 and we didn't look back. The full backs could go forward knowing that the 2 wide men were capable of helping out the defence, the midfield (well Leigertwood rather than Tabb who I thought was poor) decided to take part in the game and the forwards started to look constantly dangerous. It also helped that David James lived upto Calamity and the City players then froze at the prospect of their first home win of the season. As usual McDonut made great subs at the right time.
Didnt get a great view of the goals, but the mutterings of the homes fans as I left told a story with "f*ck off back to Exeter" being a common expletive to their goalie.
Bristol Paul

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Reading hit three goals in the last 18 minutes to stage a remarkable late comeback and beat Bristol City. Mathieu Manset scored the winner in the fourth minute of injury time, after Jobi McAnuff and Adam Le Fondre had both found the net for the visitors. Albert Adomah and Brett Pitman had put the home side two goals to the good before McAnuff struck. Le Fondre levelled from close range with 15 minutes left and a pulsating contest was won by Manset's flick. Adomah opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when he latched on to Pitman's through ball, outsprinted Joseph Mills and beat Adam Federici with a slightly deflected effort. The two combined again for City's second when Adomah broke down the left and cut back for an unmarked Pitman to slot home. Reading responded in the 72nd minute when McAnuff fired home from 12 yards after David James spilled Jay Tabb's cross. And they turned the game on its head two minutes later, when James parried Hal Robson-Kanu's effort and Le Fondre followed up to tap home. Neither side settled for a point, however, and Manset popped up with seconds remaining to tap a sneaky effort past the despairing James from McAnuff's centre to claim all three for the Royals.
BBC Sport