Match Report: 2009/2010 Season

16 March 2010: CHAMPIONSHIP
Reading: Sigurdsson (85 mins - pen).
QPR: -
Half Time: 0-0
Attendance: 16,886

Pos Team P Pts GD
13 Preston 37 48 -7
14 READING 35 47 -3
15 Bristol C 37 45 -12
Reading: Federici, Mills, Griffin, Ingimarsson, Bertrand, McAnuff, Tabb, Howard (Rasiak, 61), Kebe, Sigurdsson, Long (Church, 67). Subs not used: Hamer, Matejovsky, Robson-Kanu, Gunnarsson, Khizanishvili.
QPR: Ikeme, Stewart (sent off 45),Connolly, Hill, Gorkss, Leigertwood, Ephraim, Taarabt (Ramage, 80), Faurlin, Priskin (German, 87), Simpson. Subs not used: Vine, Borrowdale, Buzsaky, Cerny, Cook.
Reading: Rasiak.
QPR:Connolly, Faurlin, Hill, Leigertwood, Stewart (Sent Off: 45 mins).
Ref: G L Ward
Gylfi Sigurdsson's penalty six minutes from full time earned Reading their sixth consecutive home win in the league. Rangers were well organised and very strong defensively. The quality of Reading's passing was not up to their recent high standards and Rangers kept Reading pinned in their own half for long periods of the first half. The turning point in the game came just before half time when Stewart received a second yellow for a late and cynical challenge on Federici as he cleared the ball. Until then the game was finely balanced with neither side looking likely to make the breakthrough.

There was slightly subdued atmosphere at kick off and Rangers prevented Reading from mounting any kind of pressure by competing for every ball and keeping possession well. Reading tried to play far too many long balls up to Long who was given a rough ride by the Rangers centre backs. Kebe and McAnuff made some promising runs but on the whole Rangers had their measure. The best chance of the first half fell to Simpson when Taarabt slid a very good pass through the Reading defence. As on Saturday Federici came out and made a crucial save. Neil Warnock lived up to his reputation with his touchline tantrums but his complaints about the referee's decisions were not on this occasion justified. The sending off was certainly warranted. Too many players have managed to get away with impeding Federici as he clears the ball.

Even with ten men Ranger proved a tough nut to crack. Reading started the half badly putting a series of passes into touch and hastily hoofing it upfield. Rangers even managed to put the Reading defence under pressure as the home side began to concede free kicks. Eventually Rangers went back into their shell and chances began to come for the Royals. Church and Rasiak came on for Long and Howard to freshen up the attack. Bertrand again stood out with his energy, pace and skill. His crosses were delivered perfectly as he steamed forward but nobody seemed to be able to apply the finishing touch. Sigurdsson and McAnuff had good strikes headed off the line as Rangers clung on desperately. The crowd were becoming understandably impatient and took it out on Mills who for some reason seemed intent on drilling the ball wide to Kebe every time he got the ball. Apart sending it out of play almost every time it was incredibly predictable. He probably was angry with himself for making so many mistakes but made matters worse by making a rude gesture to the section of the crowd where some of the abuse was coming from. Brian Mc Dermott will have help him to get his head straight before the next game. He is a very good player but he completely lost the plot. With time running out Sigrdsson wriggled past two players in the box and brought down. The now routine attempts to delay the kick and unnerve the taker followed (well done ref for booking one of the culprits). It made no difference to Siggy who lashed the ball confidently high into the net. It then all got silly as Rangers threw everyone forward and McAnuff and Kebe wasted good chances to double the lead before the final whistle.

Mick Gooding came up with the classic cliché in his post match analysis. 'Its a sign of a good side when they play badly and win'. It was on this occasion a fair comment. Reading are good side now and they did not play well tonight. Fears of relegation are now banished but thoughts of play offs are more than a little optimistic.
John Wells

A classic dirty 1-0 win which see us start to fly up the table and start fantasising about play offs against a good QPR side , it could happen but I doubt it but we'll have fun on the way . I just wanted to comment on Matty aka Mrs Mills display of petulance and the classic finger to the East stand .....I've never seen anything like it before.............some were booing , silly , many were cheering his name..........he should know better and hopefully learn that if the crowd can wind him up that easily he'll be easy prey .....the long balls that caused the furore were almost certainly under orders and were no good at all but Mills is a good player and let's hope this incident does not effect his standing at the club..............if it does , he's not the man he claims he is but a big jessie.............go out and pay like you've been last couple of months Matty and shut the boo twats up......URRZZ
Nick Newbury

Totally agree with the comments from Nick Newbury but just like to add that I believe a main reason for the booing of Mrs Mills came out of frustration of the tactics that we employed against a 10 man team. This is two matches in a row where there has been a definite change in the way we have played and it has coincided with Mac Not Enough's return to the team. This has seen Kebe being switched to the left wing to accommodate him and has resulted in Kebe's form dipping and him having less impact. Why we needed to make such a significant change to a team that has been flying in recent weeks is my only criticism of the Bald One (so far). Obviously Mills was playing to instructions, maybe Brian Mac should have said as much in his after match interviews which could have quashed all this nonsense. It struck me that we should have made QPR chase around rather than defend deep against a long ball tactic and in the 2nd half the game was crying out for the introduction of Marek> Simples!!

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Reading boss Brian McDermott:
"I thought it was a good game. There were two honest sides out there both having a real go and we were fortunate to get the result. The crowd were getting frustrated. We were playing against a resilient side and it is not going to be easy to break them down but we saw it out in the end. We have won eight out of nine now. It wasn't the most beautiful game of football but we got the result and that was what it was all about."

BBC Sport