News and Views

Palace Knock Reading Out After Late Penalty

11 March 2016
By Hob Nob Anyone?

An instinctive tug by Jake Cooper on the arm of Yannick Bolasie as he chased a ball into the box five minutes from time ended the Royals F A Cup adventure for another season. Frustratingly I don't think Bolasie would have reached the ball anyway but he certainly made the most of the contact made by Cooper. Of course we all heard Alan Pardew last weekend publicly denounce players going down easily in the box to win penalties so we can rest assured Bolasie would do no such thing. However referee Dean was in no doubt about awarding the penalty and Cooper's second yellow card, leaving Cabaye with the opportunity put Palace ahead from the spot. Al Habsi had kept Reading in the game with a string of wonderful saves in the second half and in a final defiant gesture got his left hand to the spot kick even when he was going the wrong way, but sadly for Reading the ball still found the back of the net.

It was an edgy nervous start from Reading, and in the opening minutes they pumped long balls up to Cox who had little chance of winning the ball against Palace's huge centre backs. Obita, who went on to have a good game defensively, twice gave the ball away carelessly and Hector was also having trouble with his distribution. Eventually they settled in to the game and there was little between the teams in the first forty-five minutes. Souare was looking particularly vulnerable at right back and Robson-Kanu seemed likely to open up the Palace defence. Key moments for Reading centred around Ola John. On thirteen minutes his acceleration took clear him of the full back but twice he frustratingly declined the opportunity to deliver a cross. Finally he lost the ball in going back to beat his man for the third time.

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