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Reading 2-1 Town - Half-Time
Friday, 11th Sep 2015 21:01

Reading lead Town 2-1 at the break at the Madejski Stadium, Orlando Sa having scored twice either side of a Freddie Sears’s fourth of the season, all the goals having come within a seven-minute spell early on.

Boss Mick McCarthy included Sears, David McGoldrick and Brett Pitman from the start with the former Colchester man wide on the right

Central defender Christophe Berra returned to the Town line-up having missed the 3-2 defeat to Brighton two weeks ago with a hamstring problem.

Daryl Murphy was on the bench after his calf injury, while there was no place in the 18 for new signing Tommy Oar. Jonny Parr was included in a matchday squad for the first time this season having suffered with a niggly thigh injury since pre-season.

The home side began the game strongly and in the seventh minute they went in front. Jonas Knudsen’s under-hit clearance only reached Vydra who found Nick Blackman. The former Sheffield United man whipped over a cross and Orlando Sa got in front of Tommy Smith to flick a header home.

But four minutes later the Blues were back on terms. Pitman found Ryan Fraser inside the area and the Scotland U21 international twisted and turned before hitting a shot which Royals keeper Jonathan Bond palmed away but straight to the in-running Sears, who chested into the net.

However, parity would only last for another three minutes, Sa hitting a low 20-yard strike beyond Dean Gerken’s right hand and into the net after a counter-attack to reclaim the lead.

The Blues, wearing orange, started to see more of the ball as the game reached the 20-minute mark with McGoldrick increasingly influential, although the home side continued to look very dangerous when in the Town half.

Following a Town corner, left-back Knudsen smashed a low shot not too far wide from 25 yards.

Town went close again on 23 when Fraser threaded Sears in on the left of the area but having cut inside, the earlier goalscorer lashed over from close range when it seemed easier to hit the target.

Three minutes later Fraser shot over from distance, then on 32 skipper Luke Chambers was booked for tripping Stephen Quinn, although it looked like an inadvertent tangle of legs.

From the corner, Gerken turned the ball around the post but the linesman’s flag had been raised in any case, although no one had appeared to get a touch on the ball. On 36 Skuse was booked for a late challenge on Aaron Tshibola.

In the 38th minute, after a Pitman dummy on the edge of the area had just failed to come off, Reading again broke quickly but Berra stepped across to intercept Sa’s final pass to Vydra which would have seen the on-loan Watford man in on goal.

Moments later, Fraser became the third Town player to get his name in the book for a foul on Oliver Norwood.

The Blues could have got on terms in the 44th minute after McGoldrick headed Fraser’s left-sided corner wide when under the attention of Blackman.

The striker will feel he probably should have hit the target, while one or two Town players claimed that he had been pulled back by Blackman but referee Roger East wasn’t interested.

Neither side threatened again before the end of a thoroughly entertaining first half. After the three early goals the Blues saw a lot of the ball, passing it around slickly at times, with McGoldrick, Fraser and Sears all looking dangerous.

Town had had chances to get back on terms, while Reading always looked a threat on the break.

Reading: Bond, Gunter, Obita, Ferdinand, McShane, Norwood, Quinn, Tshibola, Blackman, Sa, Vydra. Subs: Al-Habsi, Hector, Robson-Kanu, McCleary, Piazon, Williams, John.

Town: Gerken, Chambers (c), Knudsen, Berra, Smith, Skuse, Douglas, Fraser, Sears, McGoldrick, Pitman. Subs: Bialkowski, Malarczyk, Parr, Coke, Maitland-Niles, Touré, Murphy.

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DurhamTownFan added 21:04 - Sep 11
Decidedly off the pace all over bar Sears and McG who look lively. Haven't got out of first gear yet!

KiwiTractor added 21:04 - Sep 11
Getting into some half decent positions at times, but not getting a ball into the danger area. Murph in the 2nd half?

jas0999 added 21:11 - Sep 11
10 hours without a goal at home. Reading now have three. Automatic promotion challenges? Not with this keeper or defence. Central midfield not good enough to get us back into this.

blueboy1981 added 21:16 - Sep 11
DEFENCE ??? .......... we just don't have one.

Let's not have any EXCUSES, yes, EXCUSES ............. what we have seen so far tonight is Sunday League defending - and possibly WORSE.

Five people off the street couldn't have performed much worse.

blueherts added 21:17 - Sep 11
That was schoolboy defending for the third Gerken Skuse gotta do better and chambers done too easy

blueherts added 21:20 - Sep 11
We probably have best final third attacking options in years but defence so poor and no central mid creativity - miss bru and bish in there Cmon!

blueherts added 21:20 - Sep 11
We probably have best final third attacking options in years but defence so poor and no central mid creativity - miss bru and bish in there Cmon!

blueherts added 21:20 - Sep 11
We probably have best final third attacking options in years but defence so poor and no central mid creativity - miss bru and bish in there Cmon!

WirralBlue added 21:24 - Sep 11
I hate to criticise when watching on TV - Reading have spent far more money than us and it shows. Gerken isn't up to it as we all know, we desperately need to shore up the defence with another centre half and a proper right back. McGoldrick is no playmaker.

The 4th has just gone in. Oh dear.

BoredWithThisNow added 21:24 - Sep 11
Is your team struggling to score? Having a really baren spell? Enjoy the hospitality of the Ipswich Town defence, they are the solution to your lack of goals.

blueherts added 21:25 - Sep 11
Cannot believe the defending 5 players in the box and we can't deal with it

blueherts added 21:35 - Sep 11
No worries Man U will be easier

truckerblue added 21:41 - Sep 11
I'm hoping this is Gerken's last game for the club.

blueherts added 21:45 - Sep 11
Wide men have done us in last two games.

DurhamTownFan added 21:48 - Sep 11
We have been TOILET tonight! Wonder what on earth mick told them to do out there..?

Juanforthemoney added 21:49 - Sep 11
Just seen the 5th goal go in. Great strike but my mum could do better than Gerken and she is 87!!

blueboy1981 added 21:49 - Sep 11
Just a stroll for Reading - haven't needed to get out of 1st Gear.

No doubt someone will come up with the EXCUSE that they have been 'full' of Goals for the previous 10 HOURS.

SHAMEFUL - for a team supposedly capable of much better.

camblue added 21:51 - Sep 11
Mc Goldrick definitely at fault for the 5th. Whole team apart from Sears were pants.

blueboy1981 added 21:56 - Sep 11
In who do we TRUST ??? ........ after this shower.

ivegottheblues added 21:58 - Sep 11
The bubbles burst guys - mid table again

Dozzells_Bobblehat added 21:59 - Sep 11
Dreadful. Nothing else to say really.
Defensively the worst performance for a long time.
The whole back five were very poor.
Only McGoldrick looked interested, with flashes from Sears and Fraser.
Bart must start next game and can't see what Douglas brings to the team at the minute.
Back to the drawing board I'm afraid.

Dozzells_Bobblehat added 22:01 - Sep 11
No Blueboy, even after that MM is still the best man for the job

GoldieBlue added 22:03 - Sep 11
Thought mcgoldrick did well actually. Sears no doubt is our best player though

cartman1972 added 22:05 - Sep 11
Glad I wasted a Friday night watching that pathetic performance... Awful awful. Reading were class all over the pitch. The midfield had no bite at all, very lacklustre. Chambers is simply sh*t as was Skuse.

nysully added 22:06 - Sep 11
Why are we playing with 3 up front, we scored plenty last year with two, I am sure Kick thinks he has to keep all of his strikers happy, play Sears and rotate the other 3, we are getting annihilated ok the middle of the park, get Bru back with Skuse, Fraser and Maitland Niles on the wings and away we go. And please no more Gerken, he makes the entire back 4 nervous. chambers could use a break as well.

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