Match Report: 2009/2010 Season

20 March 2010: CHAMPIONSHIP
Reading: Wheater (og, 63 mins).
Middlesbrough: Killen (47 mins).
Half Time: 0-0
Attendance: 17,082

Pos Team P Pts GD
12 Barnsley 37 49 -10
13 READING 36 48 -3
14 Preston 38 48 -8
Reading: Federici, Mills, Griffin, Ingimarsson (Khizanishvili, 89), Bertrand, McAnuff, Tabb, Howard, Kebe, Sigurdsson, Long. Subs not used: Rasiak, Hamer, Matejovsky, Church, Robson-Kanu, Gunnarsson.
Middlesbrough: Jones, Pogatetz, Hoyte (Naughton, 65 ), Wheater, Grounds, Robson, Arca, O'Neil, McDonald (Lita, 74), Franks (Emnes, 87), Killen. Subs not used: Coyne, Taylor, Miller, Riggott.
Reading: -
Middlesbrough: Arca, Killen, Robson.
Ref: A R Hall (W. Midlands)

Well I would have settled for a point at the start of the day and whilst I'm pleased we got that, I can't help but feel that maybe it could have been 3 given the way we finished the match. I'll be interested to see what others have to say. First half was utterley dire from both teams, with the 2 main talking points a Long header which he should have scored but Jones parried while Boro had a header just wide. 2nd half we started slowly and gave away a dissapointing goal from our point of view,their winger was allowed to cross from the right and Killen won it at the back post to put it past Federici. From there Boro should have capatlized on the momentum and maybe got a second but credit to the team, they got back into it later on with an excellent run down the right wing by Kebe who's slick and low cross fell to the feet of Wheater who put it past Jones. From there we looked like the side most likely to win it and we had the better of the possession. The home crowd as expected were restless and nervy and we looked a constant threat on the counter attack. Long had a fairly decent chance later on before Sigurdsson's free kick was parried by Jones and scrambled away for a corner. The only sour note was Ivar's injury, looks like a hamstring injury but we have cover with Zurab and Pearce so we're well resourced in that department. Plus points - Performances from Griffin & Tabb. Griffin has been superb since joining, again today he looked assured and comfortable at this level. Tabb has grown on me so much in the last month. He tackles, works hard for the team, is composed in midfield and is doing the Harper role excellently. Kebe & Sig grew as the game went on and we looked a constant threat on the break in the 2nd half. Negatives - Thought Howard was pretty quiet as if the game flew by without him doing much. Also him and Sig need to play to the whistle, too many times they were fouled and didn't get the decisions,yet they just sulked on the floor and didn't get straight back into the action.

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Middlesbrough suffered a setback in their push for the play-offs as Reading salvaged a deserved draw courtesy of a David Wheater own goal. Reading's strong first-half showing was undone when Chris Killen headed home a Justin Hoyte centre after the break. But the in-form Royals hit back when a Jimmy Kebe cross went in off Wheater. Gylfi Sigurdsson went close for Reading with a free-kick and Killen twice tested Federici, but neither side could fashion a winner.

Reading boss Brian McDermott:
"We did well. Boro are a good team with a lot of quality and this is a tough place to come to. We had a bit of a set-back when they scored but it was early enough for us to regroup and we showed character to do that. Obviously a lot of that is to do with the confidence you get from a good run but it is also because we worked hard and kept our shape and I think we got what we deserved. In fact if anyone was going to win there at the end it was us but I was pleased and we'll take the point."

BBC Sport