Reading FC Match Report: 2015/2016 Season - Championship


Reading: M Vydra (68), O Norwood (81)
Nottm Forest: B Osborn (41)

A stunning long range strike from Oliver Norwood earned the Royals a deserved victory over a Forest side lacking quality and the desire to win. Reading dominated possession from start to finish and were rewarded for their persistence with a second successive league win. Having gone a goal behind against the run of play near the end of the first half a resilient Reading hit back late in the second half with goals from Vydra and Norwood to claim all three points. Reading played with a commendable passion and desire to win considering their position in the league with neither promotion or relegation a realistic possibility.

Without any recognised wide players in the starting line-up Obita and Gunter were detailed to get forward to deliver balls into the box from either wing. Obita was particularly effective in this role in the first half. Although lacking the acceleration to go past full backs he broke down the wing with pace and delivered some excellent early crosses which Kermorgant almost converted into goals. One effort beat De Vries but was cleared off the line and another was superbly saved by the Forest ‘keeper.

McShane headed over and Cox made room for a strike on goal as Reading pinned the visitors ion their own half. Cox held the ball up and waited for Williams to arrive with an overlapping run before sliding the ball into his path. Unfortunately Williams shot was straight at De Vries and blocked when a low strike across goal would have surely produced the opening goal. It was this lack of quality in the box which was to frustrate Reading all evening. Four minutes from half time a square Reading back line collectively switched off and Lansbury slid a perfectly weighted ball through for Osborn to give Forest the lead with a well taken goal. Kermorgant snatched at a chance just before the interval and the ball flew over the bar.

Reading picked up where they left off in the second half and Forest were on the back foot again. Space opened up for Gunter to charge into the Forest box but he was unable to maintain his composure and lost possession at the crucial moment. The ball bobbed around in the Forest six yard box from a corner but nobody could make the required contact to beat De Vries who eventually claimed the ball amidst the chaos. Kermorgant came close to an equaliser when to timed his leap superbly to meet Gunter’s cross but the ball drifted agonisingly a couple of inches wide. With Reading committed to attack a rare break almost produced a second Forest goal. The defence dropped too deep leaving players unmarked on the edge of the box and Al Habsi had to be at his best to push Lansbury’s good strike away for a corner.

With half an hour left McDermott freshened up the attack replacing Cox and Piazon with Vydra and John. John was not at his best but Vydra had an immediate impact reacting well to deflect Norwood’s long range strike past De Vries for the equaliser. As the game moved into the final ten minutes Reading were beginning to run out of ideas to break down the Forest ten man defence until Norwood produced a classic moment of midfield play winning the ball deep in Forest’s half and unleashing an unstoppable shot from outside the box which flew into the net off the far post. It was goal worthy of winning any match. Forest made a token but unconvincing effort to hit back but apart from some very sloppy play from Reading causing some anxiety for the home fans the outcome was never really in doubt.

It has been a very disappointing season overall for Reading but the loyal fans who turned up this evening were rewarded with decent game of football and saw their team play as if the result and their performance still matters. Let’s hope they can maintain that momentum until the end of the season.
John Wells

This Championship game took place 1521 days ago in the 2015/2016 season.