Monday, 23 August 2010

Reading V Nottingham Forest

Reading 1-1 Nottingham Forest

Reading fans were optimistic around the Madjeski Stadium before the game and could have snatched a 1-0 victory had it not been for Adam Federici’s howler that gifted Robert Earnshaw a goal to snatch a point.

Reading hit problems inside 10 mins when right back Andy Griffin injured himself during a tackle and hobbled off the pitch to be replaced by Brynjar Gunnarsson however after a sustained spell of Forrest pressure in which Federici made 2 saves Reading managed to snatch a goal from a goal mouth scramble. Marcus Williams was fouled by Paul Anderson and took the resulting free kick, after a couple of blocked shots the ball fell to Alex Pearce who slammed the ball home from about 5 yards to give Reading a 1-0 lead that they managed to maintain until half time, and although he was responsible for the goal Federici was key to keeping Reading in the game, making a good save from a Robert Earnshaw shot and then producing the save of the game, leaping full stretch to his left to palm a Paul Anderson shot away from goal.

As the players came out for the 2nd half Reading fans were hopeful the team could hold on to 1-0, although Forest had more of the ball in the first half both teams had the same number of shots and, other than Federici’s super save, Forest never looked like really scoring. However within 3 minutes that all changed, Federici claimed a routine cross and lined up for one of his ‘arrow kicks’ however he didn’t notice Jem Karacan about 3 yards in front of him and the ball crashed in to his back before falling to the feet of Robert Earnshaw, who is not likely to miss a gift like that. He danced around Federici before slotting the ball into the net leaving Reading players and fans in disbelief at what they’d just seen.

Both teams pressed for a winner, although Forest looked more like getting it Reading also came close, at one point Jimmy Kebe burst forward only to be hauled back by Ryan Bertrand with the resulting free kick coming to nothing. Gylfi Sigurdsson came close with a free kick whilst Chris Cohen went over in the Reading box desperetly looking for a penalty but the referee, correctly in my opinion, waived play on.

A draw was a fair result, Reading fans should be happy at a point against a team that came 3rd last season and will be pushing for the top spots again this season and shouldn’t forget that they came very close to coming away all with all 3 points. A concern for Reading will still be the lack of firepower up front as well as a lack of pace in the defence that was exposed early on by Earnshaw & Blackstock but a mid table finish looks more than achievable if the team can continue performing like this.

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