News and Views

Another Blank For Reading As Madejski Season Ends

25 April 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading's home league campaign finished in a fashion that typified the season under the control of Steve Clarke. Play-off hopefuls Brentford visited the Madejski Stadium and were the fourth consecutive team to come away with a clean sheet against a Reading side that rarely looked like scoring. Reading's home performances, particularly in recent months, have been insipid to say the least and the home fans weren't so much looking for any points against Brentford but the chance to celebrate that elusive home goal.

The game was a reasonably even encounter but the visitors were, obviously, sharper up-front. They scored a goal in each half to record a 0-2 victory, but could have run out bigger winners after hitting the post in the last few minutes. That incident that saw the home fans stream towards the exits well ahead of full time, the "lap of appreciation", and the presentation of the player of the season award to Adam Federici.

Steve Clarke stuck to his word and fielded probably his strongest starting eleven out of those available to him. Karacan missed out in favour of Norwood but Pearce was back in the centre of defence. Brentford were ahead after just seven minutes and immediately it felt there was going to be only one outcome from the game. Brentford slowed the game down despite 80 minutes still left to play which eventually saw their keeper pick up a yellow card for time-wasting. The second half was slightly more lively until 65 minutes when Brentford made it 0-2 leaving Reading to limply chase the game.

Cox and Stacey came off the bench and their combination produced a classic moment that did little to suggest team spirit is high. Stacey, after failing to get a shot in previously from the edge of the area after taking too long, broke down the wing and had Cox screaming for the ball in the box. Instead of delivering the ball Stacey shot right at the keeper and the chance was wasted. Cox didn't seem to stop screaming at Stacey for what seemed like minutes. It was hardly confidence building.

It was Reading's eighth game without a victory in all competitions, and Reading now face two tricky away games against Rotherham on Tuesday and Derby at the weekend to wrap up the season. There is a real possibility that Reading will finish the season without another win, or perhaps even a point, as they limp to their worst finish since promotion out of the second tier thirteen years ago.

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