Reading FC Match Report: 2014/2015 Season - Championship


Reading: S Cox (49).
Brentford: P Ramallo (11), Pritchard (32), Douglas (81).

Reading succumbed to a 3-1 defeat to Brentford, but on any other day it could have been a different story. Nigel Adkins made three changes to the side that drew with Leeds, as Jake Taylor, Hope Akpan and Simon Cox dropped out with Aaron Kuhl, Ryan Edwards and Hal Robson-Kanu replacing them. As the game started, it became clear that it was a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Kuhl and Oliver Norwood sitting in front of the defence and Glenn Murray alone up front, with Robson-Kanu, Edwards and Nick Blackman behind him.

The hosts started the game with pace and passion, and nearly forced an early goal through the diminutive Alan Judge, but a combination of the post and Adam Federici kept the ball out. Nick Blackman, a lively force for the visitors all day, spurned the best chance for the Royals in the opening exchanges. However, it was Brentford who took the lead, when Spanish midfielder Jota latched on to a cross from Alan McCormack after a slip from Michael Hector to slot home in the eleventh minute. Brentford continued to press, and scored their second when Andre Grey slipped in the area, allowing Tottenham loanee Alex Pritchard to collect the ball and fire home. Brentford dominated the first half, whilst Reading lacked attacking impetus – Glenn Murray looked very isolated up front.

Ryan Edwards looked lively in the first period, but lacking end product, whilst Hal Robson-Kanu looked short of match fitness, and both were replaced at the interval with Jamie Mackie and Simon Cox. The change of attacking styles worked for Reading, and Cox grabbed the Royals' only goal of the day with a close-range finish just four minutes after his introduction via a pass from his fellow substitute. Reading, however, couldn't gain momentum despite the goal and Brentford did a good job of stifling the play, holding it in midfield and making the Royals chase them. Reading rallied once again and had a renewed attack at goal, but it was Brentford who grabbed the decisive goal, Jonathan Douglas rising highest to head home from an Alex Pritchard corner. With less than 10 minutes of normal time left, Reading couldn't find a way back despite their best efforts, and left West London with their tails between their legs.

Aaron Kuhl began to tire as the game progressed and as such, his tackling suffered and he was booked for a late lunge on Moses Odubajo, whilst Simon Cox followed him into the book for his own rough challenge minutes later. As the game entered the final ten minutes, Jamie Mackie tangled with Brentford substitute Toumani Diagouraga and the two had to be separated by their team-mates – both saw yellow and nothing more. It wasn't the most disciplined game from the visitors but the referee seemed to be on their side – much to the chagrin of the Brentford fans.

On another day it could have been very different – Reading had 18 shots to Brentford's 12 – whilst the Royals only had one less on target than their hosts with five. Ryan Edwards and Nick Blackman were both lively and their pace caused problems, but the strikers on the field could not find a way to convert the chances they created. And that's how this game will be remembered, as one of missed chances for the Royals.
Peter Moloney

This Championship game took place 2344 days ago in the 2014/2015 season.