Reading FC Match Report: 2020/2021 Season - Championship


Reading: --
Luton: --

Reading's promotion challenge finally fizzled out in a goalless draw at Kenilworth Road. An inability to score goals in the final run finally put pay to any hope of sneaking into the play-offs. This evening's game was typical of so many of Reading's games this season. Luton pinned Reading in their own half with their energy and the intensity of their pressing from the kick-off, but lacked the quality on front of goal to capitalise on their dominance. Reading showed some nice touches but poor decision making on the ball resulted in promising situations frequently coming to nothing. The harsh reality for Reading is that Joao's loss of form has left Reading without the cutting edge to be considered serious contenders for promotion.

Ejaria has looked sharper in recent games and his willingness to chase lost causes resulted in forcing Luton defender into an error and won possession in the Luton box. He found Puscas in front of goal who controlled the ball with his arm before dragging his shot wide underlining Reading’s shortcomings in front of goal. Luton were no better and Clark had an even better chance but missed the target from close range. Laurent and Olise’s surging runs through midfield promised to open up the Luton defence but promising move broke down in the final third.

As the half time approached Reading began to impose themselves in midfield. Miete was brought down on the edge of the box, but it is a sad reflection on the squad that Moore was given the responsibility of taking the free kick and he drilled his shot into the wall. The only player capable of scoring from those situations was sitting on the bench in the form of John Swift. Just before half time Puscas lost his bearings in the box and when the ball dropped to him unmarked in front of goal he nodded the ball wide.

Desperation to win the game inspired a brighter second half from Reading but it was overall a scrappy half with both sides making unforced errors all over the pitch. Puscas, apart from looking unlikely to score, often lost possession by turning into trouble seemingly unaware of the presence of his team mates or opponents. There was no lack of effort from the Royals and substitutes Aluko, Baldock and Swift added flashes of quality. Samedo was wayward with his passing. Raphael kept a clean sheet, making a couple of good saves and generally good handling, although he was lucky to get away with a couple of fumbled saves.

Reading fans will now begin to speculate on who will leave the club, and more importantly, who will be drafted in as replacements. Hopefully top of the list will be at least forward to provide a cutting edge to what is basically a good squad of players. Whatever happens between now and the end of the season, Reading Football Club have moved in the right direction over the past twelve months.

John Wells

This Championship game took place 100 days ago in the 2020/2021 season.