Match Report: 2009/2010 Season

26 January 2010: Championship
Reading: -
Sheff Utd: Fortune (12 mins), Cresswell (42 mins), Morgan (80 mins).
Half Time: 2-0
Attendance: 24,009

Pos Team P Pts GD
22 Plymouth 25 24 -13
23 READING 26 23 -17
24 Peterborough 27 18 -17
Reading: Federici, Mills, Griffin, Ingimarsson, Bertrand, McAnuff, Cisse (Howard, 46), Karacan (Kebe, 74), Sigurdsson, Long, Thorvaldsson (Rasiak, 63) Subs not used: Hamer, Pearce, Church, Khizanishvili.
Sheff Utd: Bunn, Morgan, Taylor (Stewart, 51 ), Fortune, Walker, Quinn, Montgomery, Harper, Cresswell, Ward (Yeates, 85), Evans (Henderson, 79) Subs not used: Camara, Bennett, Geary, Williamson.
Reading: Griffin, Howard.
Sheff Utd: Harper, Montgomery, Morgan, Quinn.
Ref: P Crossley (Kent)

What a deeply depressing evening. When I saw that Karacan and Cisse were starting I got that losing feeling. They just do not work together. The Bald One should have worked this out by now. The change at half time was too late. If we continue to defend as we did tonight then we are going down. Simple. We were poor, sluggish to start with and incapable of marking players. Our two centre backs did not work well together and Inga really struggled. You could sense that first goal coming. The Blades showed us how to do it - their centre backs did a good job on our forwards. We should have got back into it but the penalty miss was the turning point. Heads went down and they promptly scored the second. We had most of the second half possession and created some good chances but they were not taken. Long's miss was sickening and you knew that we would get nothing from the game. The Blades were nothing special but we were misfiring again up front with the same old result. I fear that the Bald One may not have enough to turn things around. However I suspect he will be given the job as it is the cheap and easy option for the chairman.

I'm shellshocked. All I can do is repeat this season's refrain: we played alright, we had plenty of possession, we made a couple of chances and missed them, we made defensive errors, we lost. Repeat, repeat, repeat until relegation. I don't know how we didn't get at least a point from this game. To come away with a hammering is devastating. We started poorly, granted. They had a lot of the ball and looked to have a cutting edge. First goal was a cross from their right, control and fired in on the volley from Fortune with way too much space inside the box. From then on in we slowly improved. Long had already missed a great chance before the goal, and then Ingimarsson headed too close to the keeper from a set piece. McAnuff had a decent long drive tipped round the post. Then Long was clearly brought down in the box. Sigurdsson had to wait an age before he took it, don't know if that put him off. From our poor view at the other end it didn't look an awful penalty, but it wasn't right in the corner and the keeper made a good save. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that the miss really knocked us, because we hardly had the ball again before we were 2-0 down. Bertrand was beaten by the the winger, who fired a cross/shot that Fed flicked out to Cresswell, utterly unmarked a yard or so from goal. Totally deflating after an extended decent spell. Second half United hardly had the ball, and Federici didn't really have a save to make. Long missed a perfect chance after Thorvaldsson put him through, shooting lamely straight at the keeper. A goal then would have set us up for a great second half. As it was we didn't really create another good chance, although we had several shots from outside of the area (balooned over the bar from Karacan) and countless balls put into the box. United's centre-backs won every header. Then Sigurdsson fouled his man on the byline and the cross found its way into the net. Apparently Morgan got a touch - it seemed to me that it went straight in. Either way, it was pretty much all Fed had to do all half.
Rob Royal

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Reading caretaker manager Brian McDermott:
"They took their chances and we didn't. We have to defend better, but if we keep creating the chances, I am convinced they will start going in. We need big hearts. We have 20 games to go now, and it's a massive challenge for all of us. I will be speaking to the chairman about my position this week. He texted me before the Burnley game but I have not spoken to him since."

BBC Sport