Reading FC Match Report: 2014/2015 Season - Championship
READING 0 CHARLTON 1
Charlton: I Vetokele (39)
It is easy to see why Charlton have only been defeated twice this season. They have a group of players who defend well individually and collectively, backed up by a goalkeeper who commands his area.
Throughout the game the visitors stifled Reading’s attempts to create openings with tight marking and by closing players down quickly. It was a frustrating afternoon for Reading and their fans. The confident and optimistic mood generated by Tuesday’s convincing home win gradually ebbed away as possession did not convert into scoring opportunities. To make matters worse, slack defending resulted in Charlton scoring with a rare attack just before half time.
With former Royal Andre Bikey at the heart of the defence and two quick and reliable full backs keeping Reading at bay, Reading were unable to register a shot on target in the first half. Reading enjoyed a lot of possession but Charlton pressed hard all over the pitch and forced the Royals to pass the ball sideways and backwards. Charlton ‘keeper Henderson was outstanding in dealing with any high balls played in to the box. His job was made easier by Reading, and Obita in particular, crossing from deep positions. Obita has pace and has excellent technique but lacks the ability and acceleration to go past players. This has always been an issue, but it was highlighted today as he seemed crucial to the game plan judging by the amount of ball he received in the first half. Playing full back in previous games he has produced superb crosses but often from overlapping runs which took him closer to the goal line and with time and the space to deliver. Mackie was finding it equally difficult on the other flank. Cox and Obita both had good strikes on goal deflected or blocked, Hector headed wide at the far post from a corner, and Murray headed over early in the half, but Henderson did not have a save to make the first half.
The second half was not much better. Murray’s long range effort, although not gathered cleanly, was easily stopped by Henderson just after half time. Hector worked an opening for himself but could not get a good strike away as the Charlton defence typically closed up quickly. Norwood shaved the outside of the post with a good long range strike. Reading huffed and puffed but rarely opened up the Charlton defence.
Reading clearly needed to change their approach and Adkins eventually made use of the bench, but with only ten minutes left it was far too late for Blackman and Robson-Kanu to have any meaningful impact. Reading came close to an equaliser when Mackie was slipped a pass by Murray but his rasping drive was well saved by Henderson. The introduction of Pogrebnyak in place of Mackie three minutes form the end was pointless gesture. As Reading piled forward in desperation Charlton should have made it two but Federici was at his brilliant best with a double save when left without any defensive cover whatsoever.
It was another frustrating and disappointing result and performance from the Royals. Adkins continues to talk about players returning from injury as his team slides down the table. Patience may begin to wear thin unless some consistency of performance is achieved soon.
This Championship game took place 1536 days ago in the 2014/2015 season.