Match Report: 2009/2010 Season

Reading: Sigurdsson (45 mins).
Swansea City: Pratley (36 mins).
Half Time: 1-1
Attendance: 19,608

Pos Team P Pts GD
18 Derby 23 25 -11
19 READING 23 23 -10
20 Scunthorpe 22 23 -17
Reading: Federici, Ingimarsson, Bertrand, Pearce, McAnuff, Cisse, Matejovsky (Karacan, 76), Sigurdsson, Gunnarsson, Rasiak (Robson-Kanu, 65), Long (Kebe, 55) Subs not used: Mills, Howard, Hamer, Cummings.
Swansea City: De Vries, Tate, Williams, Rangel, Bessone, Britton, Pratley, Orlandi (Allen, 78), Dyer, van der Gun (Butler, 65), Pintado (Trundle, 81) Subs not used: Cotterill, Serran, Bauza, Cornell.
Reading: Gunnarsson.
Swansea City: Dyer, Pratley, Tate.
Ref: Mick Russell (Hertfordshire)
Although, as Brian McDemott was quick to point out, nobody should be satisfied with a draw at home, Reading have every right to feel pleased with this performance against a very good Swansea side. City passed the ball well and closed players down very quickly. The only thing lacking was their ability to finish, so in that respect, they have a lot in common with the Royals. It was fair result with both teams eager to win the game right up to the end of the game. There were few chances in the first half but Reading certainly had more opportunities to win the game in the second half and probably should have won.

Neither side were able to establish control of the game in the first half as neither were allowing anyone to settle on the ball. Even players like Sigurdsson, with the ability to hold the ball and produce good passes, were forced to pass square or even back to the 'keeper. Britton alone seemed to find a bit a room in midfield and made good use of possession, but he was mainly playing too deep to pose a direct threat on goal. There was some encouragement for the forwards as defenders from both teams were forced into errors or were guilty of some sloppy play. Gunnarsson had a very good game at right back forcing the very lively Dyer to try his luck on the right where he found Bertrand in equally good form. The tempo of the game lifted around the half hour mark and tempers flared. The referee caused a lot of ill feeling with his inappropriate decisions to play the advantage law. Pratley went into the book, when living up to the first four letters of his name, he refused to release the ball when Reading were correctly awarded a free kick. His revenge soon followed when City carved open the Reading defence with a slick passing move which he finished with a powerful strike beating Federici with its pace at his near post. Long and Rasiak had looked cumbersome and slow throughout the half and Reading looked set to go in at half time a goal down. In added time Sigurdsson cut inside and was brought down just outside the box. He then struck the free kick superbly over the wall and away from De Vries low into the corner of the net. It was indeed a very good goal and a very time to score!

Reading came out in the second half with a real desire to win the game and it developed into a fast and exciting game full of incident. Reading should have taken the lead when Rasiak inexplicably refused to lay the ball back to an unmarked Sigurdsson inside the box which was typical of the way he and Long had been performing all afternoon. Brian McDermott had few options on the bench was right to bring them both off and replace them with Robson-Kanu and Kebe to liven up the attack. City looked dangerous on the break but Reading were defending with a determination I have not seen so far this season. Kebe demonstrated in one move why he is a good player to bring on and also why he is not worth a regular place in the team. Having burst through the City defence with blistering pace he failed to square the ball to an unmarked Sigurdsson in front of goal and struck his shot at De Vries at a comfortable height. The game hung in the balance right up to the end as Reading fans craved a victory whilst fearing defeat.

Brian McDermott may not be appointed as the next manager but it was refreshing to listen his post match interview. His responses were sensible, coherent and positive. He knows what he doing and is a good communicator which is a hell of an assets for a manager. He has been at the club for while now and knows the players well. It was also interesting to hear he is still in touch with Steve Coppell. We could do a lot worse than stick with him until the end of the season at least.
John Wells


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Reading caretaker manager Brian McDermott:
"I do want to be given the job here but that's a board decision. I am quite relaxed about it, I just do my work from day to day. Swansea are a good side and give you all sorts of problems, but you can't congratulate yourself when you only get one point at home. I had a text from [former manager] Steve Coppell which said 'wng'. It took me a while to work it out, but then I realised it meant 'win next game'."