News and Views
Reading Third At Christmas
18 December 2016
By Hob Nob Anyone?
Reading delivered a third consecutive 3-2 League defeat to bottom three side Blackburn Rovers, thanks to a stoppage time winner from George Evans. The Royals were twice leading, only to see Blackburn score two equalisers before Evans' late goal sealed the victory, and confirmed that Reading will be third in the table at Christmas. After two straight defeats to nil on the road before this fixture, three goals away from home ensured it will be a very happy Christmas for Jaap Stam and his men.
Blackburn will feel very hard done by in a game in which they matched the Royals until the dying moments. Reading will feel they deserved the victory after making the most of their opportunities and finishing strongly to claim the points. Stam stuck with his team that had lost 0-2 at Leeds on the previous Tuesday, leaving Kermorgant on the bench in favour of Dominic Samuel. That move paid off just after the half hour mark. Garath McCleary had already nearly put Reading ahead with a shot that was pushed away by the Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper, but set up Samuel later who scored his second Reading goal of the season.
The home side equalised just before half time after a good spell of pressure, and could have gone ahead after half time but Ali Al Habsi found himself in the right place at the right time. With an hour played Liam Kelly nearly scored with a long range effort that hit the crossbar and may have already crossed the line before Moore made sure to put Reading back ahead. Again, Reading's lead was short lived as another header found its way past Al-Habsi. However, the game was set for a dramatic finish as Reading increased the pressure and McCleary was again provider with a cross that saw Evans sidefoot home to make it 3-2 to the Royals. There was still time for some nervous moments but Reading hung on for the win.
|Championship Table at: 19 December 2016|
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