Reading FC Match Report: 2014/2015 Season - Championship


Reading: M Hector (19), J Taylor (55), G Murray (89)
Wolves: J Henry (51), L Evans (54), N Blackman (og, 84)

Reading snatched a point with a late equaliser in a highly entertaining game which they probably should have won. After a fairly uneventful first half in which saw Reading edge in front through a Kevin Hector goal, the game exploded in to life when Reading’s defence fell to pieces to concede two goals in three minutes. Reading demonstrated their fighting qualities in coming back twice from a deficit to level the scores, but it was their defensive frailties will surely keep the coaching staff busy during the coming weeks.

Wolves’ position in the top six was reflected in their confident approach. They dominated possession and closed Reading down quickly in the opening phase of the match. Federici was forced make a save as Stearman was allowed to run unmarked through a static Reading defence. Reading were second to the ball far too frequently. Akpan was caught in possession on a least three occasions in the first half and it was no surprise when he was replaced at half time by Guthrie. Gradually the Royals eased their way in to the game and Cox came close with a good header from Obita’s free kick. Murray had a better chance when Cox’s pass presented him with a clear sight of goal. Murray seemed intent on bursting the net and the resulting lack of control sent his powerful strike well wide of the target. Given the time and space available he really should have done much better. Undeterred Murray went foraging in the Wolves box forcing a corner which ultimately led to the opening goal. Norwood’s superb cross was met with a thumping header from Hector which gave ‘keeper Ikeme no chance. Murray was determined to get on the scoresheet and let fly with a good long range effort which was not far off target. Akpan also had a clear sight of goal but he was having an off day and made a horrible mess of his shot. Wolves were being given far too much room in midfield as half time approached and with moments of confusion and poor organisation amongst the back four, the visitors must have sensed they find an equaliser before too long.

Understandably Adkins brought on Guthrie for the second half to try and keep the ball better in midfield, but the new set up had little time to settle before the Royals defence fell apart. Sako was allowed to drive a low ball across the edge of the goal area and Henry was left unmarked to hammer the equaliser at the back post. It should never have reached him. Two minutes later Obita failed to put his foot in and allowed a Wolves attack to develop inside the box, and then to make matters worse after gaining possession, he turned towards his own goal, made a hash of his clearance and presented the ball to Evans in front of goal who gratefully accepted the chance to put Wovles ahead. Two minutes later a sweeping Reading attack concluded with well-timed pass to Taylor by Cox which Taylor finished calmly and confidently to level the scores.

Both sides seemed equally confident of finding a winning goal and equally uncertain of preventing their opponents from scoring. Wolves dominance in the air, which must have been a huge concern for Adkins, finally enabled the visitors to regain the lead. A near post corner was poorly defended and Edwards glancing header crossed the line before it was hooked away to give Wolves what appeared to be the winning goal. Not so. Murray has struggled to find his scoring touch recently but he does not lack confidence or determination both of which resulted in a thunderous strike to provide the deserved equaliser.

Taylor pulled up with a hamstring injury which will no doubt keep him out for a few games but the injury list has reduced and selection should not be a problem this week. It was however very interesting to see how well Reading controlled the game when Kuhl, Norwood and Gurthie linked up in midfield. When it all became a bit frantic towards the end their touch and passing gave Reading a more composed attacking threat. Obita is good young player with a lot to learn. I hope he has learned from his errors today because they were fairly basic.
John Wells

This Championship game took place 1844 days ago in the 2014/2015 season.