Match Report: 2010/2011 Season

28 September 2010: CHAMPIONSHIP
Reading: Church (88 mins).
Ipswich: -
Half Time: 0-0.

Attendance: 15,763

Pos Team P Pts GD
5 Burnley 9 15 +7
6 READING 9 15 +5
7 Ipswich 9 15 +3
Reading: Federici, Mills (sent off 59), Harte, Pearce, Cummings, Armstrong, McAnuff, Kebe (Antonio, 71), Karacan, Robson-Kanu (Church, 86), Long (Hunt, 80). Subs not used: Williams, Ingimarsson, McCarthy, Taylor.
Ipswich: Fulop, McAuley, O'Dea, Peters, Brown, Leadbitter, Norris, Edwards (Wickham, 56), Townsend (Livermore, 80), Hyam(sent off 52), Scotland (Lambe, 56). Subs not used: Murphy, Kennedy, Priskin, Smith.
Reading: Cummings, Mills (two bookings).
Ipswich: Hyam, Norris, Wickham (two bookings).
Ref: P Crossley (Kent)
For the second time in four days the Royals claimed three home points with a battling performance with only ten men following the dismissal of Matt Mills for a second yellow card offence. On this occasion it was made slightly easier by the referee imposing the same handicap on their opponents by sending off Hyam also for a second yellow. Once a again it was Reading's determination and resilience typified by Karacan's magnificent contribution in midfield which earned the victory. It was a game which promised goals which neither side were able to produce but there was no shortage of action.

The opening phase of the game was so tight players on either could barely breathe. The rate at which both sides closed each other down was quite remarkable. Typically of a Roy Keane team Town were certainly not going to shirk any tackles although in spite of the physical nature of the game there was little malice and players in the main, kept their heads. Robson-Kanu played with an assurance that I have not seen before and was taking defenders on and troubling Town with his crosses, one of which was superbly controlled by Kebe but unfortunately lashed wide. Kebe had a quiet game, and although there were rumours of an injury tremendous credit must go to Ipswich full back Peters for containing him so well. It was not a good night for Mills. He seemed to struggle for pace, misplaced his passes and was notably outmuscled by Scotland on the edge of the box. Credit must be given to the Ipswich forward who might have gone down under Mills challenge but decided to stay on his feet. Thankfully he fired wide with only Federici to beat. Robson-Kanu should have done better with a ball which dropped to him close to goal. For some reason he allowed the ball to bounce when a header or a volley might have produced a goal.

By half time the pace of the game had slowed and both teams had developed a healthy respect for each other and were not taking any chances at the back. It was a highly entertaining and absorbing contest and the second half was even better. Early in the second half Hyam was sent of for a second yellow fro kicking the ball away a long time after the whistle had gone. The referee had obviously had enough of Town's constant delaying tactics when free kicks were awarded against them in the first half. Reading seized the opportunity to press for the breakthrough and put the visitors under considerable pressure immediately. The referee evened things up by sending off Mills.

The game proceeded to gain momentum. The reduction in the number of players opened up the game and a goal seemed inevitable as both sides went for the winner. Cummings and Karacan stood out for their contribution in defence and attack. Both made crucial outstanding tackles in the closing stages which in themselves inspired the push for victory. Antonio came on and set up Karacan fro a strike on goal which Fulop did well to divert for a corner. As the end of normal time approached Robson- Kanu was injured and replaced by Church. With his first touch he diverted another Karacan shot past Fulop for the winner. Reading fans then had to suffer the now almost obligatory five minutes of added time. Federici snuffed out Town's last desperate effort when he dropped onto the ball to end a goalmouth scramble.

Brian McDermott was again force to make a change in defence following Khizanishvili's suspension but he also decided to play Robson-Kanu on the left and bring McAnuff in the middle to play behind Long. Once again he got it right as Reading continue to climb the table. Once again the whole team functioned well as a unit. They are playing with pride and passion and getting results, and, although they are not playing pretty football, it is nevertheless great entertainment.
John Wells

Well I really enjoyed it this evening. That was a very hard fought game and I thought we did well to cancel out any of their striking threat. I thought their number 2 was outstanding. Special mentions to Longy who took a lot of unpunished abuse and Church who, as I correctly predicted, scored with his first touch. Lastly to the referee who was a cock. It was interesting to hear both fans singing "You don't know what you're doing". It's games like these define a group of players as a team. They went through a lot this evening and, fair play to them, did exactly what they needed to.
Royal with Cheese

Really enjoyed that. A proper game,tactical battle with some really dirty Ipswich play. The effort and commitment from every player was huge, kept closing down till the last second. Kebe had a late fitness test and he wasnt right, though still produced a few moments,and even gave us a few rare glimpses of the old fall over his own legs routine. Mcanuff did ok in a tight midfield. HRK was good and looks a player. Harte solid at fb and cb. Shane long worked very hard,won every header,held up, defended and showed a better touch. Pearce was an absolute rock,and even managed to bring the ball out like Terry, stretch again excellent in the middle, Cummings actually brilliant at the back and going forward. And Karacan MOM with a repeat of his liverpool A game. Ten out of ten. Immense. Sidwellesque. Subs good. I'm very happy and impressed. This side has real balls along with a fair ammount of attacking flair.

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