Reading FC Match Report: 2016/2017 Season - Championship
READING 0 BIRMINGHAM 0
Reading extended their unbeaten run to four games with a home draw against a Birmingham side fresh from consecutive victories over Norwich and Fulham. Before the game many Royals might have settled for a point, but after dominating the game (71% possession) perhaps they felt their team should have taken all three.
Reading set up in much the same way as in the recent home victory over Ipswich but with Obita and Quinn selected in the starting line up at the expense of Blackett and Evans. Van den Berg had to withdraw at the last minute due to injury and Evans was re-instated to fill his role in front of the back four, which he did in competent but not spectacular fashion. Quinn was busy in midfield and gave the plyer ion ball a passing option. Obita, apart from making a complete hash of a defensive header in the first half, justified his inclusion with an excellent performance. His decision-making was exceptional in possession holding and releasing the ball at the right time especially in the second half when Reading were camped in City’s half.
Reading continued to pass the ball patiently across the pitch but this evening enjoyed more possession in their opponents half than they did last Friday, but it was a game of few chances. Al Habsi blocked a close range effort from Jutkiewicz following a City free kick. He also had to get down smartly to push a Jutkiewicz shot round the post for a corner. Williams surged through midfield and firmly struck a long range shot which was comfortably saved by Legzidins. Reading built a spell of pressure midway through the first half but City’s defence denied the Royals any clear cut scoring opportunities. A well weighted pass from Kermorgant found Beerens’ well-timed run into the box but the City defence snuffed out the chance swiftly.
Reading were even more dominant in the second half forcing a succession of corners and working the ball into wide areas to deliver crosses into the box, but City’s defence was in no mood to be breached. Swift’s replaced Quinn and once again demonstrated how to find space and deliver simple effective passes. I was expecting Williams to be taken off given he had been caught in possession on several occasions and in my opinion was not working hard enough to make an angle to receive a pass. Mendez and Harriot came on too late in the game to make an impact. Harriot, it must be noted, looked very sharp and was clearly eager to get in to scoring positions. Surely it would be worth giving him at least half an hour in a team currently sadly lacking a cutting edge in front of goal.
There is still work to be done but Reading never looked in trouble this evening. However the need to be sharper in and around the box is abundantly clear to all.
This Championship game took place 194 days ago in the 2016/2017 season.