News and Views
Nothing For Christmas As Slump Continues
28 December 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?
It was Reading that did all the giving over Christmas as the two festive games returned exactly zero points for the Royals. There were some positive moments for the Royals as they had the better of the play in both fixtures - but a lack of fire power and a few defensive mistakes were very costly as two defeats made it a run of six defeats from seven games. Brian McDermott enjoyed victory in his first fixture on his return as Reading manager but it is back to reality after two defeats illustrated that he has plenty of work ahead of him to get his team winning again.
After the Blackburn win, McDermott fielded an unchanged side. Reading dominated the second half at Wolves against a side that hadn't won at home for nearly three months. Former Reading player James Henry scored the only goal of the match after 18 minutes. Reading spent the entire second half looking for the equaliser as the home side packed their defence to hold on for the win. Norwood went close with a free kick that touched the outside of the post, and Blackman nearly caught the goalkeeper out with a powerful effort. However, despite Reading's much greater possession they failed to create enough chances and wasted a string of corners.
Reading should have come away from Wolves with at least a point on Boxing Day, and their bad fortune continued two days later at the Madejski Stadium against Brentford. Like the Wolves game, Reading found themselves a goal down inside the opening twenty minutes. This time an impressive long range effort that came from nothing put Brentford ahead. Reading had been the better side once again but had nothing to show from their first half efforts.
As the teams trudged off at half time Ola John stayed on the pitch for treatment and failed to emerge in the second half. Vydra, who had been dropped made an appearance from the bench and McCleary replaced Hal Robson-Kanu. Vydra was immediately involved and should have put Reading ahead straight after the break, but put the ball onto the crossbar instead of the back of the net. Reading were level on 58 minutes when Vydra played McCleary through and he put the ball across the Brentford keeper to make it 1-1.
Reading were well on top at that point and the feeling was that they should go on to win the match. However, instead, Brentford reclaimed the lead on 72 minutes with another decent strike past Bond in the Reading goal. Again Reading had the better of the play, but again failed to get in enough real efforts on goal. Hector then picked up a second yellow card for a dive in the area and any hope of picking up a point evaporated. Brentford held on with ease to condemn Reading to yet another defeat.
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