Match Report: 2011/2012 Season

21 January 2012: CHAMPIONSHIP
Reading: -
Hull City: Brady (66).
Half Time: 0-0.

Attendance: 17,556

Pos Team P Pts GD
7 Blackpool 27 42 +9
8 READING 27 42 +7
9 Leeds 27 42 +5
Reading: A Federici, I Harte, K Gorkss, A Pearce, S Cummings, J Tabb, J Karacan, H Robson-Kanu, M Antonio, N Hunt, S Church (A Le Fondre, 68).
Subs not used: M Andersen, L D'Ath, B Gunnarsson, J Mills.
Hull City: V Mannone, L Rosenior (J King, 86), J Hobbs, A Dawson, J Chester, R Koren, P McKenna, C Evans, C Stewart (M Fryatt, 62), A McLean, R Brady (J Dudgeon, 81).
Subs not used: L Cooper, T Carson.
Reading: Hunt.
Hull City: Dawson.
Ref: Graham Scott.
'Onwards and upwards!' Well not exactly. In spite of the stirring pre-match speech from Sir John and promises of a brighter future the Royals slipped out of the play-off places following a mediocre performance against equally mediocre play-off hopefuls Hull. Reading's form of late has not been good and for the second successive home game they failed to find the net in spite of dominating possession. Reading were clearly weakened by the absence of Leigertwood, McAnuff and Kebe. Karacan was busy in midfield as always, but without Leigertwood to hold the ball and control the game, play tended to be scrappy in midfield . Reading were generally too hasty in their distribution and passes were frequently over-hit. Hull took all three points as Reading became victims of the interpretation of the offside law. As the Reading back four stood bemused McLean chased a through ball from an obvious offside position and then stood aside as Brady raced through to score. It goes without saying it is always unwise to stop defending until the whistle is blown.

The first half was mainly one-way traffic as Reading pestered the City defence without testing an extremely dodgy 'keeper who seemed unable to catch anything dropping into the goal area. Antonio used his pace and strength to burrow his way behind the City defence but his delivery into the box was poor apart from one early cross which Church glanced wide. Harte whipped in some good crosses from both sides of the pitch from free kicks but there was no-one there to apply the finish. Federici tipped over a dipping free kick from Brady following a rare City attack. Rosenior was given a lot of stick by the home fans which probably resulted in one of his better performances, but I certainly would not want to see him back in a Reading shirt.

As often happens when you fail to score when you are on top, the opposition score, and that is exactly what happened on sixty-six minutes. Long protests followed the goal but the consensus after the game was that the scorer was on-side. Nevertheless it was far more than City deserved. They did pass the ball better in the second half but they had to thankful for Reading's inability to create chances for their victory. Reading's main threat seemed to be from free kicks when Gorkks and Pearce were present in the City box. A draw would have been a fair result but neither side were showing promotion potential today.

In recent years Dolye and Long have provided the pace, and strength to unsettle defences. Le Fondre is the best finisher by far, but he needs to play alongside someone who can offer a physical presence to compete with central defenders. Church is never going to be that player. There is also work to be on technique. Both Church and Antonio were let down by a poor first touch at times today. It remains to be seen if the new cash which is likely to become available will make a difference. Brian McDermott's post match interview gave little away but it certainly reflected my slight feeling of apprehension about the next few months.
John Wells

So Reading FC could soon become Readingski FC if the new owners investment comes to fruition. Based in this second lamentable performance at home following Stevenage, it's going to take more than a few million rubles to turn this lot around. Hull were terrible and we were no better... clueless up front, devoid of any midfield creativity and capped by a ludicrous offside goal for them. 0-0 would have been a fair result but not to be. This may be a new dawn in RFC's long inglorious history but just look around at all the other clubs in the Championship who had apparent sugar daddies come in but with no success, with the nightmare being Portsmouth. I'm really really nervous about a Russian owner, this is our club and our future at stake, as usual we have no say, no input, no choice but such is the life of a season ticket holder. We'll just have to wait on see but after this shambles against Hull maybe it can't come quick enough... URZ
Nick Newbury

Day started off with some good news and thank god as the match itself was utterly dreadful. No way did Hull deserve to win that in a million years. They had one shot on goal and the goal itself wasn't within the spirit of the game. The guy who scored was onside but mclean who was off was completely active and massively distracting, the offside rule if this was legal is completely wrong. You can't have players who are stood 3/4 years offside suddenly start getting in everyone's way. The Positives - I like the look of HRK , the rest of our team was so bad that when the ball made its way towards him I thought " thank god its with the seasoned veteran" such was his composure compared to everyone elses. Church started well but completed faded out of the game, cummings I thought looked better again and he put himself about a bit. The back 5 are actually pretty decent for this level at the moment. Negatives: Karacan/Antonio/Tabb....absolute horror show. Karacan tried two passes in the first 8 mins...both of which went into touch and the rest of the afternoon he was rank rotton. He conceded posession about 8 times, wasted our best attacking moves through lack of awareness and composure and the Hull goal came from him losing possession, awful performance from him but such is his blinded supported on this forum no doubt a couple of plebs will say he was good. Tabb faded in and out and Antonio despite 1/2 good crosses was a worse version of the early Jimmy Kebe with his decision making. Thank god we've got some time to bring players in before the end of Jan.

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Reading suffered their first home defeat since November as Robbie Brady scored the only goal of the game to give Hull victory. Alex Pearce and Shaun Cummings both went close for the home side who started the day above the Tigers. Brady broke the deadlock midway through the second half, firing past Adam Federici from 18 yards out. The win saw Hull leapfrog the Royals and move into the top six with their 14th win of the season. Brady was preferred to Matt Fryatt in attack and Nick Barmby's selection was justified when he scored only his second goal of the season. Ironically his other also came against the Royals. Reading, whose last home defeat came against Cardiff, started brightly and both Simon Church and Kaspars Gorkss headed wide. Brady then brought a superb save out of Federici from a 30-yard free-kick which the Australian did well to tip over the bar. Gorkss headed wide again before midfielder Brady, on loan from Manchester United, scored the only goal of the game. The youngster raced on to a through ball from Paul McKenna and made no mistake to give Barmby his eighth win in charge.
BBC Sport