Reading FC Match Report: 2015/2016 Season - Championship
READING 5 IPSWICH 1
Reading: O Sa (7), O Sa (14), N Blackman (49), O Sa (63) O Norwood (87)
Ipswich: F Sears (11)
On a truly memorable evening Reading swept aside a good Ipswich side to chalk up their first home win of the season ending the recent Madjeski Stadium goal famine in some style. Sa stole the limelight with a superb hat trick but there were outstanding individual performances throughout the team. The recent addition of more new players has given the club a real lift and a cutting edge which has been missing so far this season. It was simply the best performance from a Reading team for a very long time. It is rare to see five goals from open play of such high quality and there could have been more.
From the kick-off Reading swarmed all over a slightly bemused Ipswich side and it was no surprise when they took an early lead. Vydra’s excellent touch from a poor clearance supplied Blackman with a chance to cross from the right. Sa timed his run to perfection to direct a header down inside the far post past a helpless Gerken. The lead lasted a mere four minutes. A catalogue of errors contributing to Town’s equaliser. McShane sold Ferdinand short with a poor pass and Fraser nipped in to produce a curling shot which Bond did well to push away at full stretch. Obita had a quick look at Sears arriving at the far post and then inexplicably turned his back on the Ipswich striker who was allowed, unopposed, bundle the ball over the line with Bond stranded. The lead was restored even more swiftly as Vydra and Sa combined through the middle of the visitors defence culminating in the sweetest of strikes from just outside the box from Sa which fizzed inside the far post. McGoldrick was outstanding for Ipswich and roaming freely around midfield and up front causing Reading all kinds of problems. The visitors came close to a second equaliser twice. Knudsen sent a rasping strike past the post and then Sears skipped over a McShane lunge but then, fortunately for Reading, skied his shot over from close range. Reading were playing some superb one touch football through midfield and came close to creating further openings. Just before half time McGoldrick got away from Blackman at a corner but directed his header wide.
At half time it looked like a game which could go either way. Within minutes of the re-start Pitman smashed a shot from the edge of the box which was a little too close for comfort for the Reading defence. Then with fifty minutes gone the game turned on a piece of individual skill form Blackman. Having wriggled past his full back Blackman delivered the ball to Sa in front of goal who was unable to turn into the net and the ball ran back to him. Having given up on the idea of picking some out in the box he lashed the ball into the roof of the net from a very tight angle to give Reading a crucial two goal lead. Sa put the game out of Ipswich’s reach when Blackman got behind the Town defence again and rolled the ball back to him for a tap-in to complete his hat trick. Ipswich were now completely demoralised and Reading were wallowing in the luxury of a three goal lead to stroke the ball around. The fitting climax to an excellent performance was provided by Norwood who hammered the ball past Gerken from at least thirty yards. It was a breathtaking strike matched by a wonderfully understated celebration from Norwood. He deserved his moment of glory having played a crucial role throughout with some well timed challenges in and around the penalty area and probing passes from deep positions.
There was a great deal to admire about this performance. Obviously Blackman’s contribution (two assists and a goal) and Sa’s hat trick caught the eye but Vydra was very impressive too. He has excellent touch, pace and work rate. His passing and movement gave Sa the support he has been denied in recent games. They appear to be an ideal partnership. Tishibola was again a strong presence in the centre of midfield. He is virtually impossible to dispossess and is very strong in the air. Brief appearances from John and Piazon indicate further creativity to soon emerge. With McCleary and Williams not even getting a run out, the squad looks as strong any in the Championship and a top six finish suddenly looks a realistic ambition. I am sure there will be few more seats filled for the Derby game next week.
This Championship game took place 560 days ago in the 2015/2016 season.