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Injuries Lead To Late Defeat At Hull City
17 December 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?
Such is the luck of a time out of form and in free-fall down the Championship table. Reading did everything right in an impressive first half showing at high-flying Hull City, but were undone in the second half thanks to a series of injuries that allowed the home side to steal a late victory. Reading fans were expecting a fourth straight league defeat, but the manner of the defeat certainly wasn't expected as Reading had the better of the opening forty five minutes.
Unexpectedly Reading looked more likely right from the start and forced the Hull goalkeeper into an early save. It was a taste of things to come from a Reading side that looked much more organised than in recent weeks. A superb Reading move saw the Royals pull ahead just before the half hour mark, when the ball was threaded in from the right with a couple of beautiful touches that finally saw Norwood play the ball behind him with one touch to the oncoming Blackman, who was racing into the area. Blackman, who has been off the boil after a stunning start the season, was back on the scoresheet with a great shot that flew across goal and into the top corner of the net. Reading might have doubled their lead before half time when Blackman sent a free-kick flying against the Hull City crossbar.
Things were expected to change in the second half but it took some good fortune for Hull City to pull level. Reading had already been forced to replace Andrew Taylor through injury, and Jordan Obita was missing from the bench after he too had picked up an injury mid-week during training. As Hull attacked, Ferdinand did well to get back and make what appeared to be a vital tackle. However in doing so he pulled something in his leg and was unable to complete the clearance. From the resulting cross Bond was in the right place to make the save, but could do nothing about the rebound which pulled Hull level.
Ferdinand was forced to leave the pitch injured to be replaced by Cooper. Bond did make a couple of further saves to keep Reading level, but Reading looked good for a point with time running short. With Reading looking well placed for the draw, and time nearly out, Chris Gunter became Reading's third defender forced to leave the pitch due to injury after a boot was landed on his head. With Robson Kanu replacing McCleary earlier, caretaker manager Martin Kuhl had already used all his subs. Moments later the ball was in the back of the net in similar fashion to the first. The goal certainly wasn't the cleanest, and again came off Reading goalkeeper Jonathan Bond before being poked into the back of the net from close range to give Hull all three points.
The defeat was tough on Martin Kuhl whose Reading managerial record will go down as two defeats before today's expected appointment of Brian McDermott. McDermott is finally expected to complete his return as Reading manger today ready to lead the side out as Blackburn Rovers visit the Madejski Stadium on Sunday.
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