Match Report: 2011/2012 Season

28 January 2012: CHAMPIONSHIP
Reading: Roberts (58 mins).
Bristol City: -.
Half Time: 0-0.

Attendance: 17,825

Pos Team P Pts GD
3 Cardiff 27 49 +15
4 READING 28 45 +8
5 Middlesbro 27 45 +3
Reading: A Federici, A Griffin, K Gorkss, A Pearce, S Cummings, J McAnuff, J Tabb, J Karacan, M Antonio (T Cywka, 82), N Hunt, J Roberts (S Church, 77).
Subs not used: I Harte, A Le Fondre, M Andersen
Bristol City: D James, R Foster, L Nyatanga, L Carey, R McGivern (N Maynard, 85), C Skuse, K Cisse (N Kilkenny, 88), A Adomah, Y Bolasie (J Wilson, 58), S Pearson, C Wood.
Subs not used: D Gerken, B Pitman
Reading: Hunt.
Bristol City: Pearson. Sent Off: Carey (56 mins).
Ref: P Miller.
New signing Jason Roberts marked his debut with a goal which secured three valuable points for the Royals and pushed them up to fourth in the table. It is heartening for Reading fans to hear Brian Mc Dermott sounding so positive after the game. He was quick to point out that this victory was the eighth in last eleven league fixtures which somewhat masks a recent dip in form over last five matches (including the Cup) in which Reading have lost three and only managed to score three goals. The arrival of Roberts and the imminent return of Kebe and Leigertwood will certainly give everyone a lift especially as the next two games are against struggling teams. City gave Reading a hard game today and even when reduced to ten men threatened to come back. They are a physically strong team who close down opponents quickly all over the pitch. Reading found it difficult to play through City's five man midfield and often had to resort to the long ball. This may well be the pattern for visiting teams for the rest of the season so a solution will need to be found.

City had a fair share of possession in the first half and it was Federici who was called upon to make the first save of the game tipping over a header from Chris Wood. Roberts made an immediate impact in the opening twenty minutes linking up well with Hunt and Antonio. Reading were creating chances but their finishing was not sharp enough. James saved well from Antonio from close range and both Karacan and Gorkss struck good shots from outside the box which flew just over the bar. The best chance of the half fell to McAnuff from a superb cross by Hunt but although the ball hung invitingly at the far post his header was poor and drifted past the post.

City should have taken the lead just after half time but Woods headed straight at Federici with the goal at his mercy. McAnuff drew a save from James as both teams went in search of the first goal. A smart turn inside the box by Roberts on fifty-seven minutes was halted by Carey's outstretched leg in front of goal resulting in an inevitable red card and a penalty. Roberts stepped up to despatch the spot kick but James managed to get a hand to it. The rebound was prodded in off the post by a stumbling Roberts. City found themselves a goal down and down to ten men but were undeterred. Griffin, back from injury, was a having a solid game at left back but almost gifted City an equaliser with a suicidal back pass. City's enterprise was almost rewarded when Adomah hit the post. Committed to attack City were open to counter attacks and Karacan made a couple of great runs deep into their half which ultimately came to nothing.

Reading's other new signing Cywka came on to play wide on the right and won a second penalty with good run into the box. A weary Roberts had already been replaced by Church so McAnuff took responsibility for the kick and for the second time this season Reading failed to score from the spot twice in a game. This time James saved well. Cisse was warmly applauded off by Reading fans (in contrast to Rosenior last week!) on his return. Hunt was booked for time wasting and Reading saw out the game to take the points.

I would have preferred to see Le Fondre up front with Roberts and hopefully he will get his chance soon. Although Reading are not at their best at the moment I have not seen any other team significantly better than them this season so the play-offs are still a real possibility.

John Wells

PS. It was interesting to see this week how often the referee gave a free kick for offside when a player ran towards the ball from an offside position BEFORE he touched the ball. Had the same interpretation been applied last week we would probably have been a point better off. I hope Hull don't edge us out off the play-offs at the end of the season!

Not a fantastic spectacle as ever, the typical RFC match this season. City had more than enough to be able to hurt us and really should have done so but there we go. Their pace was there for all to see, seriously shit of a shovel at times with their wide men. Nice to see we can still take penalties. Not nice to see we still can't score them though. Lucky with the first, to be fair it looked a great save for the second although in all honesty the linesman's had a mare with that one. Clear sending off in hindsight, Roberts had a yard on Carey and a would have had a clear shot on goal 10 yards out. Roberts looked different gravy to anything we have, an absolute shoe-in for a starting spot alongside one of Hunt or Le Fondre.
handbags harris

Very much two penalties saved today rather than two missed. Otherwise not alot else to report. One interesting thought I had on the way home though, I told my dad before the game that Roberts is all about strength and holding the ball up and that's exactly how he won his penalty, and I also said that Cywka is known to run at defenders menacingly and again that exactly what he did to win his. Nice to see both players make an impact. My only highlight of a cold drab game was seeing the ball leave the stadium over the west stand roof twice! I can't recall that ever happening since we moved to the Madejski?!?! Lastly, to those negative supporters that sit around me player bashing, either cheer up and support the team or fook off as nobody wants to hear you moan and groan everytime Jobi gets the ball. He had an average game, he didn't set the world alight, but he certainly doesn't need idiots like you berating his every touch. Also, please watch the penalty again on TV tonight, a worldly save from James is all that stopped an otherwise cracking penalty from hitting the back of the net, I'd like to see any of you step up and take a better pen!
Royal Prince

Day started off with some good news and thank god as the match itself was utterly dreadful. Back and boy was it boring. Some good touches from Roberts but well short of match practice. If I was a Bristol City fan then I would be gutted. They had more than enough chances to have won the game and boy did they have pace in their side. They dominated RFC when they only had ten men. RFC can't even take penalities and if somehow this side does make it to the promised land we will need to find some new owners because the Russians have not got sufficient money to keep the Royals alive in the Premiership. We would need a four times billionaire as opposed to a multi million pound owner.
Sir Dodger Royal

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New signing Jason Roberts scored on his Reading debut to beat 10-man Bristol City, despite visiting goalkeeper David James saving two penalties. Roberts, who signed from Blackburn, bundled home the rebound after James blocked his second-half spot-kick to secure a win for Reading. City defender Louis Carey also saw red for bringing down Roberts to hand the striker the chance from the spot. Albert Adomah hit a post for City while James saved a Jobi McAnuff penalty. Reading also missed a hatful of chances in front of goal, with Jem Karacan, Noel Hunt and Michail Antonio at fault. City started brightly and keeper Adam Federici had to be alert to tip Wood's header over the bar before keeping out Stephen Pearson's bobbling effort.

Reading rallied and Hunt picked out Antonio with a superb pass only for James to deny the winger, while Roberts's follow-up was blocked by Pearson. McAnuff should have done better than head Hunt's cross over the crossbar before Hunt himself spurned a glorious opportunity when he failed to guide Antonio's whipped centre past James. City seemed to be hanging on, but were unlucky not to go ahead when Adomah produced a sensational overhead kick which was superbly kept out by Federici. Roberts, impressive throughout, went close when McAnuff's cross found the former Blackburn frontman and his flick drifted wide. The key moment came when Carey fouled Roberts in the box and was dismissed by referee Patrick Miller. Roberts's poor spot-kick was saved by James but the striker was on hand to slam home the rebound. McAnuff had two further chances to put Reading out of sight before the Royals skipper saw his 89th-minute spot-kick pushed away.

Reading manager Brian McDermott:
"Jason trained with us for the first time on Friday morning and he has done really well to last 70 minutes before coming off," said McDermott. He added something to us today and we can build off him because he has power and pace. I am really pleased with the signing and he gave the whole place a lift when he walked into the dressing room. We may bring more players in before the deadline if there is an opportunity but the players we have got here have done well for me. I am sure we feel we could do better and I am sure that will be the case, but if you are going to play well you still need to win and that's what we did."

BBC Sport