News and Views

Reading Third At Christmas

18 December 2016
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading delivered a third consecutive 3-2 League defeat to bottom three side Blackburn Rovers, thanks to a stoppage time winner from George Evans. The Royals were twice leading, only to see Blackburn score two equalisers before Evans' late goal sealed the victory, and confirmed that Reading will be third in the table at Christmas. After two straight defeats to nil on the road before this fixture, three goals away from home ensured it will be a very happy Christmas for Jaap Stam and his men.

Blackburn will feel very hard done by in a game in which they matched the Royals until the dying moments. Reading will feel they deserved the victory after making the most of their opportunities and finishing strongly to claim the points. Stam stuck with his team that had lost 0-2 at Leeds on the previous Tuesday, leaving Kermorgant on the bench in favour of Dominic Samuel. That move paid off just after the half hour mark. Garath McCleary had already nearly put Reading ahead with a shot that was pushed away by the Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper, but set up Samuel later who scored his second Reading goal of the season.

The home side equalised just before half time after a good spell of pressure, and could have gone ahead after half time but Ali Al Habsi found himself in the right place at the right time. With an hour played Liam Kelly nearly scored with a long range effort that hit the crossbar and may have already crossed the line before Moore made sure to put Reading back ahead. Again, Reading's lead was short lived as another header found its way past Al-Habsi. However, the game was set for a dramatic finish as Reading increased the pressure and McCleary was again provider with a cross that saw Evans sidefoot home to make it 3-2 to the Royals. There was still time for some nervous moments but Reading hung on for the win.

Championship Table at: 19 December 2016
1Newcastle 227032311912226+2849
2Brighton 22821226641138+2148
4Huddersfield 227121495251217039
5Leeds 227231595051113+438
6Sheff Wed 2280316113441012+337
7Derby 225331155331210+836
8Birmingham 226331815343914-234


Discussion On This Story:


» 17 Dec 2016 18:56

It's always good to get a last minute winner but really this game could have gone either way.

First half we started well and created some good opportunities and it looked like Blackburn were there for the taking. One great save from a McCleary shot, then some how we scored. A ball over the top to Samuel who took it wide and it looked to me like he'd hit the side netting and the adverts. Everyone else though the same as pretty well nobody celerbrated. The Blackburn video screen (pathetically) decided not to show the goal so I really dont know if it was a great shot or keeper error.

Then Blackburn came back into to it, Emnes hit the bar, Moore cleared off the line and from the resulting corner they scored a header from a palmed away save from AAH. Maybe a hint of offside?

We pressed again and Moore chested in Kelly's shot that came back of the bar. A couple of people got chucked out in the celebrations but at least we saw that goal.

Blackburn pressed again and AAH looked to have made a save that led to a corner, they were winning pretty well all headers and it was no surprise they scored but Gunts (I think) seemed to let the ball go under him. We pressed for the winner and were playing some nice stuff around the box, Beerens should have shot rather than passed - trying to walk it in. Them came the winner from a quick throw and Evans on the end of a cross.

Good games for AAH, Moore, McShane and McCleary. Pleased for Kelly, Blackett was poor.

Ewood was a decent ground, but oddly there's no clock. Not looking forward to a foggy journey back.

 Ian Royal

» 17 Dec 2016 19:02

Watching the highlights, it looked like a clever finish from Samuel that caught the keeper by surprise. Rather than firing across him at the inside of the far post as you'd expect, he seemed to shape that way, but actually went for the near post with a little bend round the keeper. At least that's the impression I got on a first view anyway. Somewhat lucky he fooled the keeper... I think it was quite saveable if he'd been wise to it.

 Lower West

» 17 Dec 2016 21:03

Was behind you. :lol:


» 17 Dec 2016 22:07

Good fun today. Agree it could have gone either way but I guess it's very promising that it's gone our way again.

Al-Habsi - 6 - not too much to report here

Gunter - 6 - again, pretty steady from Gunter. Good throw-in for the third goal
Moore - 8 - oozes class. Good effort for his goal
McShane - 6 - steady once again
Blackett - 5 - looked a little shaky at times but still learning

Evans - 8 - certainly an unsung hero of this team
Van den Berg - 6 - put himself about but not too much effect
Kelly - 8 - fantastic second half
McCleary - 8 - our main outlet and looked dangerous
Beerens - 6 - got a lot of the ball first half. Could have scored in the second half but passed instead

Samuel - 7 - well taken goal, not much to report otherwise. Goal was very strange with no one celebrating as it really didn't look like it went in

 Lower West

» 18 Dec 2016 00:00

The whole ground went dead quiet. Appeared if the ball had hit the side netting and rolled back from where I was watching. Even some of the Reading players looked surprised.

Really enjoyable to see a team come together. Under a manager who wants to play a different style of football. Every so often there's glimpses of what's to come.

 Mike Hunt

» 18 Dec 2016 08:11

from the replay for Samuel's goal, the pass from G-Mac was sublime. It was a reverse pass, not over the top.

Listening to Dellor and Gooding, Blackburn sounded like a one trick pony, and their only main outlet seemed to be from set pieces. Not sure if the same was saw at the ground?

 Lower West

» 18 Dec 2016 09:33

As was the case at Rotherham. Aerial assault is a weakness.

 Lower West

» 18 Dec 2016 09:33

As was the case at Rotherham. Aerial assault is a noticeable weakness.


» 18 Dec 2016 09:42

I owe Kelly an apology after Leeds, showed why he deserved his starting place and really took control of the game. MOTM for me.


» 18 Dec 2016 11:21

Was behind you. :lol:

Oh no it isn't....


» 18 Dec 2016 13:20

Much as many like to make the 'useless - adds nothing' Gunter the scapegoat for all things bad, it didn't look like it was him on the post when they scored - the player looked much shorter and with darker hair, so maybe Kelly? Whoever, it was, didn't really do what they are put into that position to do and it did look like they lifted their leg up to let the ball under!

BBC Berks commentary team were convinced that AAH had not saved the initial effort (they said that replays suggested the ball came off the post ; therefore it shouldn't have been a corner. However, you can be pretty sure that Jaap won't have been impressed with our defending from set pieces yesterday.

 Lower West

» 18 Dec 2016 14:40

Was behind you. :lol:

Oh no it isn't....

Oh yes it is.

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