Reading FC Match Report: 2013/2014 Season - Championship


Reading: --
Derby: --

In a scrappy game Reading had to be content with a single point when they really needed three. In a poor first half, Derby dominated possession, and apart from a spell of early Reading pressure it was the visitors who looked more likely to claim a win. The Royals continued their recent disappointing home form. It was a familiar pattern. Derby pressed hard when Reading were on the ball and forced them to play the ball long and lose possession.

With Robson-Kanu as their only recognised striker Reading often had five players behind him but were still unable to establish control in midfield. There was a notable lack of movement off the ball which continually put the onus on the player in possession to either take someone on or work hard to find a passing option. Derby not only closed down Reading quickly but were not averse to some cynical ‘off the ball’ blocks, tugs and pushes which a weak referee seemed unable to pick up. Ronson-Kanu picked up an injury after half an hour and was replaced by Le Fondre making it even less likely to win the high balls pumped forward. The foul count rose steadily as the first half came to its inevitable goalless conclusion.

The second half, although also lacking in quality, was far more entertaining as Reading raised their game and got at the County defence. McAnuff had Reading’s first strike on goal but it was easily saved by Grant. Passes went astray and players sliced the ball into touch often under no pressure whatsoever. McCleary managed to deliver some decent crosses in the second half although he seemed reluctant to go outside and use his right foot. Reading had their chances from that area but Akpan, Blackman and Le Fondre were guilty of missing from close range. Le Fondre did manage to scramble the ball over the line but was awarded a yellow card instead of a goal for using his arm in the process. McCarthy made an excellent save from Bamford who gave Gorkss at least a couple of yards start and still got to the ball comfortably before him. Another Derby effort shaved the upright but in the end a draw was a fair result.

A point was not much use to either side as Reading continue to travel in hope rather than expectation having slipped out of the top six again. With games are running out, poor home from could be their undoing, especially taking into account two of the remaining games at the Madjeski are against Leicester and Burnley.
John Wells

This Championship game took place 2093 days ago in the 2013/2014 season.