Reading FC Match Report: 2014/2015 Season - League Cup


Reading: --
Derby: J Russell (67), A Pearce (og, 82).

The Royals were dumped out of the Carling Cup after a two nil defeat to a slick Derby County. Second half goals from Johnny Russell and an Alex Pearce own goal was just reward after Derby dominated the third round tie at the iPro stadium.

With Oliver Norwood and Glenn Murray cup tied, Nigel Adkins took the opportunity to make changes from the team beaten at Sheffield Wednesday. Danny Guthrie, Hal Robson-Kanu and Michael Hector all made a return from injury to take their place in the side. Ryan Edwards, Jamie Mackie, Pavel Pogrebnyak and Aaron Kuhl all earning a starting berth after recently spending time on the bench.

A tactical adjustment saw Mackie push into an old fashioned inside right position. Robson Kanu playing just behind Pogrebnyak and Mackie at the top of diamond midfield four. Guthrie sat in front of the back four with Kuhl and Edwards playing right and left respectively. Obita and Gunter pushing forward to provide width.

From the outset Derby showed why they have become one of the better Championship side’s with some positive and smart passing. In contrast Reading failed to get any momentum when in possession. Their passing lacking any penetration and rarely stretching Derby. Despite Derby’s superior play, hardworking Reading did manage to restrict Derby in the first half to shots from distance. Derby’s first meaningful shot was a 27th minute effort from Leon Best that brought a good save from Mikkel Anderson.

In fact it was Reading who should have taken the lead into half time. In the 37th minute Derby’s ex-Coventry full back Christie misplaced a pass direct to the feet of Mackie. Mackie had a clear run on goal but saw his disappointing shot well saved by the Derby debutant keeper Roos.

After the dangerous Leon Best hit the bar in the 51st minute Reading started to get a hold in the game. A succession of crosses started to cause Derby problems with chances for Robson-Kanu and Pogrebnyak. Unfortunately Reading were unable to capitalise due to resilient Derby defending and poor Royals finishing.

In the 67th minute Russell, following a one-two with Chris Martin, ran into to the left hand side of the penalty box. With little pressure on his run he produced a cool finish across Anderson into the bottom corner. Reading replaced Guthrie for Jake Taylor in the 72nd minute and Robson-Kanu for Cox in the 76th minute.

However the substitution’s failed to change the flow of the game and it was no surprise when Derby doubled their lead in the 80th minute. Following some intelligent passing Pearce was unable to get the ball from his feet following a low cross into the box. Pearce could only watch in despair as he directed the ball past Anderson.

As the game played out to its conclusion Reading were unable to threaten the Derby goal and Derby seemed content with their two goal lead. It was a disappointing result for the Royals as they failed to score for the second successive game.

Whilst they produced a hardworking and committed performance Reading were unable to open Derby up. The attacking play of the Royals often left the centre backs exposed due to the marauding runs of Obita and Gunter. As Derby broke with the pace of players like Jordan Ibe, Johnny Russell and Leon Best Reading were often outnumbered. Only the well-timed tackles of Hector keeping Derby at bay. A tough home game against Wolves now awaits.
Dave Roberts

This League Cup game took place 1903 days ago in the 2014/2015 season.