Reading FC Match Report: 2019/2020 Season - Championship


Reading: A Rinomhota (62)
Derby: T Lawrence (44), W Rooney (pen 45)

A much improved second half showing from The Royals almost produced the two goals required to salvage an away point at Pride Park this afternoon. Derby led two nil at half time having dominated the play, but appalling goalkeeping by ex-Reading 'keeper Ben Hamer presented Andy Rinomohta with the opportunity to reduce their lead with a header seventeen minutes into the second half. Reading appeared to have the momentum to go on to draw level, but after the drinks break and several substitutions, they seemed to lose their grip on the game.

Reading had their opportunities to score in the first half. Ejaria, so often brilliant on the ball spurned a shooting opportunity, probably because the ball was not on his favoured foot before slipping a poor pass to Puscas who had to allow the ball to run on to create room for a shot. Having created just enough space to get his shot away his strike, under pressure, went wide. Ejaria wriggled past a defender and hit the post from an impossible angle. Olise had a shot on target that never looked likely to beat Hamer. Meite volleyed over from a tight angle from a teasing cross to the far post from Olise.

Derby’s Lawrence tested Raphael with a good strike from the edge of the box which the Reading ‘keeper matched with a good save. As half time approached Reading’s midfield melted away allowing Derby fullback Wisdom the run from inside his own half to the edge of the box to set up a chance for Tom Lawrence to curl a shot past Raphael. It was frustrating to concede a goal so close to half time, but to then concede a second before the interval was unforgiveable. Waghorn successfully lured Moore into a challenge and the Derby striker went down for a penalty. With the experienced Wayne Rooney stepping up to take it there was only going to be one outcome.

Reading started the second half on the front foot and a rash decision by Ben Hamer to punch the ball out when it looked easier to catch it presented Andy Rinomohta the opportunity to powerfully head past a desperate defender on the line from the edge of the box. Derby were clearly looking rattled. The ineffective Puscas was replaced by the lively Baldock and there was a buzz about Reading’s play that had been missing in the first half. Olise was putting good balls into the box from the right as pressure mounted on the County defence.

The drinks interval, a time out chat form the coaching staff, and several substitutions changed the pattern of the game. Shinnie came on for Derby to shore things up in midfield and made his mark immediately with a late and clumsy challenge on Olise. McCleary came on and looked very sharp but Derby had regained their shape and control of the game by then and the match drifted towards its inevitable conclusion.

After the final whistle Matt Miazga and Tom Lawrence clashed and both received a red card. It would be wrong to judge Lawrence without actually seeing what happened although Miazga is not the sort of player to go looking for trouble. Everyone however has their limits and it appears Lawrence head butted the Reading defender and his instinctive reaction was to lash out. I think the incident tells us more about the Derby player than Matt.

Derby still have hopes of a play-off spot but on this showing do not have much chance of achieving promotion. Reading increasingly look likely to remain somewhere safe in mid table.

John Wells

This Championship game took place 318 days ago in the 2019/2020 season.