News and Views

Home Woes Continue As Barnsley Win

25 March 2014
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading's terrible home form continued last night with a very poor quality performance against bottom of the table Barnsley. The visitors were the better side and thoroughly deserved their victory. This was the worst league showing of the season from the Royals which was not well received, to say the least, by the remaining home supporters at the final whistle.

The Royals started brightly enough and gave indications that Barnsley would be no problem for them. Barnsley were time wasting from the off and clearly had come for a draw or some sort of damage limitation exercise. Their goal on 16 minutes changed all that. Gorkss had already been guilty of a terrible mis-hit ball right across the back of the defence, which went for a corner, but Gunter went one worse a few minutes later. Gunter's short back pass left McCarthy in trouble allowing Barnsley to switch the ball to the right and allowing Dawson to score into an empty net.

The lead was short lived when Pogrebnyak, who had already been going down rather easily, sent himself sprawling inside the area under a slight push from the defender. A fair penalty perhaps but helped along by the dive. The spot kick was a rare, perhaps the only, impressive thing of Reading's performance on the night. Pogrebnyak sent the keeper the wrong way and calmly drilled his penalty home into the other side of the net. 1-1 - and that's how it stayed at home time despite Barnsley enjoying more of the possession and getting in a few shots on target.

Despite Reading's poor passing and lack of invention in the first half I had a feeling we'd come good in the second half and we were well placed after coming back from a goal down. I was wrong. Reading's equaliser could not prevent the increasing flow of confidence into Barnsley's game and they were back ahead on 53 minutes. Reading's defence was entirely missing and Noble-Lazarus found himself with absolutely loads of time and space deep into the right side of the Reading area and fired home past McCarthy. Barnsley had changed dramatically from how they started - it was clear they knew they could win this one and they had Reading on the ropes. On 57 minutes it was 1-3 with an impressive long range screamer into the back of the net. Barnsley were looking pretty good. The neutral would have thought it was Reading bottom of the table.

Adkins threw on Le Fondre for the entirely ineffective Blackman and then tried his luck with Robson-Kanu on for Drenthe. It made no difference. Barnsley were happy to sit back and watch Reading make fools of themselves. After a terrible passing game, one movement saw Reading complete 19 passes all around the half way line before losing possession exactly where all the passing had started. That drew ironic cheers from the home fans. At the final whistle the few remaining fans let their feelings know with boos ringing out from three sides of the ground. This was a very bad night at the Madekski.

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