Reading FC Match Report: 2019/2020 Season - Championship


Reading: J Swift (52).
QPR: --

A brilliant long range strike by John Swift after fifty-two minutes proved to be the difference between the teams in an open and action packed encounter at the Madjeski Stadium this evening. Reading moved up to fifteenth place in the table following this, their second home victory and clean sheet in successive home games. Both 'keepers were kept on their toes as the game ebbed and flowed with both teams creating ample chances to have won comfortably. There was a lot of space in midfield which neither team exploited fully over the ninety minutes. Reading had to defend well, desperately at times towards the end, to hang on to all three points.

Reading made a bright start to the game and Lumley was called into action twice in quick succession in the eighth minute to save from Ejaria and Swift following a sweeping Reading attack and an intelligent cross form Gunter. Gunter was playing full of confidence going on run working a neat one two on the edge of the box before firing a shot just over the bar. Charlie Adam once again was spraying excellent long accurate passes into wide positions to bring Blackett and Gunter into the game in forward positions. Rangers were allowing Reading a lot of time and space on the ball in midfield but a lack of movement and sloppy play prevented them from creating many clear cut chances. Just before half time Hall was allowed a free header from a corner but he was unable to direct his attempt on target. Reading had a lucky escape when Hugill had strayed offside before putting the ball in the net at the far post from a low cross.

The game began to gather momentum after half time as both sides broke out of defence quickly in an evenly contested second half. The breakthrough came seven minutes after the interval when the ball fell to Swift on the edge of the box following a corner. Swift’s technique was exemplary as he struck the ball into the top left corner of the goal giving the airborne Lumley no chance. Meite kept plugging away down the right wing but he received little reward for his effort. He was outstanding in the air throughout the second half winning virtually every high ball played up to him, timing his leap to attack the ball to perfection. Gunter had an outstanding game down the right and picked out Joao with a typically accurate ball in to the box but the Lumley got down smartly to his left to turn his well-directed effort away from goal.

Reading made their three substitutions and sat back to hang on to their narrow advantage. Rangers threw everything at the Royals defence and came close to scoring an equaliser. A brilliant turn in the box by Eze gave himself space to poke the ball goalwards and although Raphael was beaten Morrison cleared the ball off the line. Chair hit the bar and Raphael had to react quickly to block Hugill’s attempt when he pounced on the rebound before Gunter was able to scramble the ball away for a corner. Rangers, enjoying their best spell of the match, looked likely to create an equaliser as the final whistle approached. Rangers knew it was not going to be their night when Hugill was denied the goal they were desperately seeking by Raphael with a point blank block with his face!

This was not one of Reading’s most polished performances but it was a gutsy one, and although they rode their luck at times they probably just about deserved the three points. They now have an eight point cushion between them and the relegation zone which is handy with severe tests away to Preston and Fulham on the horizon.

John Wells

This Championship game took place 335 days ago in the 2019/2020 season.