News and Views

Royals Scrape Past MK Dons

24 August 2016
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Jordan Obita hammered home the crucial fourth spot kick to send Reading through to the third round of the EFL Cup on penalties after the Royals had made hard work of a match they should have won comfortably. Both managers used the tie as an opportunity to take a look at new and relatively inexperienced players. Jaap Stam included debutants Liam Moore, Danzell Gravenbach and Liam Kelly in his starting eleven in a team loaded with promising youngsters and recent signings. It was far from Reading's strongest team but still far superior to a similarly experimental MK Dons eleven.

For over half an hour the visitors found it hard to get out of their own half as Reading played the same system as in recent games passing the ball patiently across the back, retaining possession and looking to pass their way through and around their opponent's defence. Everything was going to plan apart from the final ball and the quality of finish. Harriot looked particularly sharp going past his man and firing in a couple of fierce shots from wide positions. Reading were forced to make a change when Rakkels sustained a nasty injury in a challenge on a Dons defender near the corner flag. Beerens came on to replace him on the left. On the other flank Harriot and Watson were combining well and getting behind the visitors defence. MK Dons were gifted the lead on thirty-five minutes when Cooper sold 'keeper Jaakola short with an unbelievably sloppy back pass. Jaakola did his best to recover the situation as Tshimanga raced through, but appeared to clip the Dons forward and miss the ball on the edge of the box. The referee's verdict was a penalty and a yellow card. (It might have been worse as there was no cover behind Jaakola.) The experienced Bowditch stepped up and confidently put the penalty in the net. Read More...

 

Discussion On This Story:

 John Madejski's Wallet

» 23 Aug 2016 23:24

Well that was tiring!

The fitness was just pure comedy

 Armadillo Roadkill

» 23 Aug 2016 23:32

First twenty minutes it looked like just a matter of time until we started to notch up a cricket score. Then Cooper makes one of his calamities - woefully undercut back pass, we're lucky the keeper didn't go off.

To be fair to MK, they carried on trying to make chances all the way through as well as defending deep. It's a bit harsh on them overall. They looked a lot fitter than us.

Kelly looked like the best player on the pitch until his injury. Hope he's OK - it happened just in front of me and it was a sickener.

Harriott was good. Evans was good. Watson was good until he faded. Quinn worked hard. Mendes lacks confidence. Bereens showed flashes of brilliance in fits and starts. Moore looks class.

MK were actually rather more effective at playing out from the back - they showed more purpose and didn't look like they were just passing it around because they didn't know what to do.

We're a work in progress. And we're in the next round of the league cup. And that, for tonight, is enough.

 LWJ

» 23 Aug 2016 23:36


No, we aren't. We would have been unlucky if he had been sent off as it would have been against the new rules. :|

 John Madejski's Wallet

» 23 Aug 2016 23:36

I managed to get weirdly angry at Stamp's tactical f*ck up in that game. Still struggling to understand

Apart from the first 5 min we were aimless dogsh*t just slowly and obviously passing it around the back with no purpose, until the all too predictable backpass from Cooper for the pen. Still nothing after that until Kelly got injured.

Weirdly Kelly was one our best players, but we got so much better when he got injured. We went 3-5-2 with Gravenburch playing it nicely out from the centre of defence. Quinn got more involved, and Obita & Watson were playing high up the field. I thought we looked class from then on and it was only a matter of time before we scored. The system really suited us. So what did Stam do straight after the goal? Go for jugular? No....... he brought on Williams and reverted to 4-4-2. :| Cue aimless passing around at the back and utter dogs*t for the rest of the game. Just WTF Stam :evil:

Fair fooks to our Keeper for that awesome double save thing in the first half of extra time. Like the look of him so far.

And I particularly enjoyed the fact that our penalty takers seemed to consist of the ONLY 5 players that could still walk. Seriously, players going down with cramp 5 min into extra time is just mental. Quinn's layoff for the 2nd in ET came purely because he was blowing out his arse, wasn't looking and didn't actually want the ball :lol:

Still, some good entertainment for the money

 Armadillo Roadkill

» 23 Aug 2016 23:42


No, we aren't. We would have been unlucky if he had been sent off as it would have been against the new rules. :|

Not quite a clear cut as you make out. Refs may choose to only give a yellow if it's not dangerous or was accidental. It was't dangerous, but it was pretty cynical, and could have earned a red. It's not automatic, but then neither is it no longer a red card offence if the referee deems it so.

 yuomi

» 23 Aug 2016 23:42

I counted 22 crosses that either found a franchise player or noone. The sideways / backwards tappy tappy will get us into trouble against better sides. Cooper is a f*cking liability. Mendes can't play up top by himself.

 TBM

» 23 Aug 2016 23:43

Well at least tonight proves we need a new striker

Mendes was shocking, not once did I see him get across the defender when a cross was coming in, he simply just stood and watched/waited

 bracksroyal10

» 23 Aug 2016 23:43

Yes we are a work in progress and yes we got a result tonight.

Let's not forget, this was MK Dons second/youth team pretty much.

How can we go from battling against top of the league Brighton to a draw to scraping through against MK Dons? (Credit to themselves tonight)

Some people might call me short sighted but regardless of our team that we played tonight, that game should have been a forgone conclusion by half time.

With the exception of Harriot and a couple of other occasions, it seemed that no one wanted to take responsibility and make something happen particularly beyond the second half.

We move on to Cardiff, with some very unncessarily tired first team starters.

 John Madejski's Wallet

» 23 Aug 2016 23:44


No, we aren't. We would have been unlucky if he had been sent off as it would have been against the new rules. :|

Not quite a clear cut as you make out. Refs may choose to only give a yellow if it's not dangerous or was accidental. It was't dangerous, but it was pretty cynical, and could have earned a red. It's not automatic, but then neither is it no longer a red card offence if the referee deems it so.
But it also in no way denied a goal scoring chance as their player had booted it so hard it was almost out for a goal kick when the pen occurred

//fwiw definitely outside the box

 John Madejski's Wallet

» 23 Aug 2016 23:45

That ref was utter gash

 John Madejski's Wallet

» 23 Aug 2016 23:49

Obviously Stam really wants a 4-4-2 borefest, but I really like the idea of

................ McShane.....Grav......Moore.............
Watson/Gunts.........................................Obita/Blackett

 LWJ

» 23 Aug 2016 23:59


Our formation didn't change :|

The formation is what we line up as at kickoff or when defending, not when we are attacking. Kelly played the exact same role in the first half by dropping between the two centre backs and the fullbacks pushing up. We were 4-3-3 the whole game.

Also Williams came on because Gravenbirch was exhausted, he went into his natural role with Evans dropping deeper. Who would you have bought on to continue us playing the same way? The reason we had aimless passing was because Evans didn't pick the ball up enough and spread it.


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