Reading FC Match Report: 2014/2015 Season - Championship


Reading: J Taylor (26).
Ipswich: --

A superbly taken goal by Jake Taylor and some desperate defending gave a youthful Reading side three points from their first home league game of the season. Unsettled by the sudden and unexpected departure of Sean Morrison only twenty-four hours before the game, and weakened by injuries to several key players, Reading set about the challenge of overcoming and experienced Ipswich side in a positive mood.

Cox set the tone when he dispossessed an Ipswich defender just inside the box, and with few options available, had a strike on goal from a tight angle blocked. Town dominated possession in the early stages but, although lacking in experience, the Royals eventually began to impose themselves on the game with their pace, energy and willingness to pass the ball to feet. Pogrebnyak was looking very lively and opened up the visitors defence with runs wide on then left. The Russian striker combined well with Cox to create a chance for Taylor but his shot was deflected wide. Moments later, Taylor scored his first Reading league goal when he homed in on a long diagonal ball from Gunther and slipped the ball past Gerken with a delightful touch. McGoldrick was causing a few scares for the Reading back four, but in a half of few clear chances, neither ‘keeper was called upon to make a significant save.

Predictably Ipswich pressed forward and put Reading under considerable pressure after the interval. Initially The Royals threatened a second goal on the break, but as the game progressed, inexperience began to show as they squandered possession with aimless long clearances. Murphy prodded the ball wide with only Federici to beat when a free kick was flicked into his path. It was a good chance. Edwards caught the eye when he came on for Cox after sixty-seven minutes. His touch, passing and work rate made him look a serious contender for a place in the starting line up before too long. Reading’s work rate and some outstanding defending, from Hector in particular, saw Reading hang on for a win. Cooper and Stacey made brief debuts as time ran out for the visitors. Ipswich came closest to snatching appoint when Cummings deflected Mings close range header onto the crossbar. At that point Ipswich knew it was not going to be their day.

So with twelve of the eighteen players selected today coming through from the academy, the result was a great tribute to the infrastructure of the club and the quality of the coaching staff. There were encouraging signs of a change in approach too. The players were willing to run for each other, and until desperation set in as Ipswich pressed for an equaliser, they were ambitious in their passing and movement. It gives hope for the future but Reading will certainly need some of their senior players back to overcome the more powerful teams in this league. Obita is a fine player with tremendous potential but was not able to impose himself on the game especially in the second half and is probably not quite ready for a central role in midfield. Gunther and Cummings certainly looked good going forward. Blackman’s distribution was disappointing and I would have liked to see him try to go outside his full back instead of allowing himself to be forced inside and lose possession. There are things to improve but this was a very encouraging display which raises expectations for the visit of Huddersfield on Tuesday.
John Wells

This Championship game took place 1796 days ago in the 2014/2015 season.