Reading FC Match Report: 2021/2022 Season - Championship
READING 3 PETERBOROUGH 1
Reading: J Swift (64), T Dele-Bashiru (67), T Dele-Bashiru (88)
Peterborough: N Thompson (74)
An exquisite free kick by John Swift after sixty-four minutes brought this dour struggle to life and sparked a furry of late goals to secure Reading's much needed second victory of the season. Having broken the deadlock, Puscas set up Dele-Bashiru for Reading's second three minute later as Peterborough fell apart. The visitors managed to recover their composure and pulled a goal back through Thompson with a far post header. Given the frequency with which the Royals have conceded late goals recently, the home fans could be forgiven for fearing another late collapse. Learning from recent disasters Reading managed the game well and went for a third goal which duly arrived in spectacular fashion from Dele-Bashiru two minutes from the end of normal time. Swift slipped him a pass outside the box and Peterborough gave him sufficient time and space to beat Pym with an outstanding dipping and swerving strike.
This was a fixture destined to produced goals given the defensive weakness shown so far this season by both teams. The first half however was lacking in quality and creativity. Southwood, stepping in to replace Raphael in goal following his controversial post-match injury on Saturday, was the busier of the two ‘keepers. Reading fans were no doubt relieved, and pleased, the see him pull off two excellent first half saves and play the ball out effectively and safely from his area.
Reading dominated the first half but struggled to make any impression on a Peterborough defence eager to make amends for leaking six goals on Saturday. Just before half time Reading's injury crisis deepened as Moore limped off. Thankfully Holmes proved a more than adequate replacement. Nevertheless Peterborough, encouraged by keeping Reading at arm's length began to show signs of a growing a belief they might even try to win the game.
Swift's spectacular strike gave Reading a lift midway through the second half and a sharp turn and accurate cut back for Dele-Bashiru to finish smartly, put Reading in the driving seat. Peterborough brought themselves back into contention taking advantage of poor defending from a free kick. Ejaria at the far post, failed to position himself sideways on for the incoming cross thus leaving Thompson out of his line of vision, then failed to get up to even challenge for the ball in the air leaving the Peterborough defender to head down into the net from close range.
With Holmes winning everything in the air at the back, and Morrison's tenacity and determination, Reading worked hard to avoid another late capitulation. Dele-Bashiri's late strike secured the points and was worthy of winning any game.
The three points lifted Reading away from the bottom of the league and although it may not be a turning point in the season, it was certainly a step in the right direction and a boost for confidence. Bizarrely Reading have only one experienced striker currently available, who has yet to score this season, and yet with fifteen goals only QPR have score more in the league! Everyone knows where improvement need to be made. Fortunately, although he is yet to find the net, Puscas is beginning to have a significant impact on the game and Swift is in the form of his career right now.
This Championship game took place 12 days ago in the 2021/2022 season.