Reading FC Match Report: 2020/2021 Season - Championship


READING 2 HUDDERSFIELD 2

Reading: M Olise (pen 18), Y Meite (26)
Huddersfield: J Koroma (15), R Edmonds-Green (90)

A stoppage time equaliser by Huddersfield own brought the curtain down on a season which Reading will look back on with mixed feelings. Huddersfield's late leveller was typical of the Royals recent performances. Having fallen behind early in the game, Reading played some flowing and attractive football to restore parity and take the lead. With victory in sight some slack defending and a possibly a goalkeeping error resulted in a slightly unsatisfactory draw. Had Reading needed to win to reach the play-offs they might not have conceded in so late in the game, but recently it has been the lack of a killer instinct and close games down which has caused their promotion challenge to wilt.

With both sides free from the pressure of either chasing promotion or avoiding relegation, the game was open and free flowing. Swift drew a good save from Schofield and Huddersfield came close to taking the lead after thirteen minutes when High hit the post and Ward had a shot blocked. The ensuing panic caused Samedo to lunge in on High and concede a free kick on the edge of the box. Koroma beat Southwood rather too easily with a well struck free kick and Reading were a goal down. Huddersfield’s lead was short-lived. Samedo went down under a challenge with his back to goal and Olise despatched the penalty with a good deal of confidence and composure to level the scores.

Reading were now in full flow. Esteves was enjoying the freedom to run at defenders and Olise and Swift were spraying passes around in midfield. Reading took a deserved lead when Meite beat Schofield with a looping header from Olise’s deep cross after twenty-six minutes. Reading looked set to go on and end the season with a flourish but it was not to be. The only blight on the afternoon’s entertainment was Tim Dellor’s commentary in which he constantly made negative comments about the quality of play. We all knew it was an end of season game with nothing riding on it, but in terms of entertainment value, it was far from the worst Championship football I have seen played this season.

The game continued to open with both teams prepared to go looking for goals. Joao came on for the last twenty minutes and came close with a glancing header. Richards executed a brilliant sliding tackle to prevent a scoring chance, and Koroma volleyed over from close range as the game became stretched. Just when it looked as if Reading were going to end the season on a high note nobody tracked Edmonds-Green run into the box and Bacuna found him with a nicely weighted pass. With what appeared to be a fairly tame strike Edmonds-Green beat Southwood and that was that. With no time to respond Reading had to settle for a draw.

Hopefully next season we will all be able to watch matches free from the awful Dellor drivel in the background and with real crowd noises. Pointless at this stage to speculate on how Reading will build on this relatively successful season with the summer comings and goings yet to unfold. However I feel a lot more optimistic now than I did at the end of last season.

John Wells

This Championship game took place 35 days ago in the 2020/2021 season.