Reading FC Match Report: 2015/2016 Season - Championship


ROTHERHAM 1 READING 1

Reading: N Blackman (26)
Rotherham: D Collins (48)

Reading were forced to settle for a single point at Rotherham United, despite leading at half time thanks to a first class goal from the Championship's leading goalscorer Nick Blackman. The draw ended Reading's run of four straight wins and saw them move down one place to third in the table. At full time the draw was probably a fair reflection of the match as Reading dominated the first half but saw the home side improve dramatically in the second period to earn the draw. However, it may still be seen a two points dropped rather than one gained as Reading failed to finish off a side struggling at the foot of the table.

As expected Vydra made a return to the team - but had to settle for a place on the bench, making an appearance after an hour. However Jordan Obita and Aaron Tshibola were both missing through unexpected injury and joined Ferdinand, Quinn and Robson-Kanu on the sidelines. Speaking after the match Reading manager Steve Clarke confirmed that both Quinn and Robson-Kanu's injury were worse that had been previously reported with the players out for between two and three months. Taylor took the place of Obita at left back and Danny Williams was back in midfield. Both players were more than adequate replacements, however Rotherham enjoyed more chances than other teams have against the Royals recently, and the second half goal conceeded was a rare lapse in Reading's defending that has been so excellent this season to date.

Nick Blackman continued his goal a game strike rate, making it ten goals in ten games, in some style on 26 minutes. Oliver Norwood provided a long pass in front of Blackman who chested it down before letting fly with a powerful long range effort that flew into the top of the net. Reading were then content to string together pass after pass for most of the first half and went into the break looking very comfortable, and a Reading victory seemed by far the most likely outcome. Rotherham had other ideas and found themselves level three minutes after the break. Reading failed to deal with the home side's corner and Rotherham's Collins found himself unmarked in the middle of the box with all the time he wanted to send his shot past Ali Al Habsi in the Reading goal.

Rotherham gathered momentum and Al Habsi had more action than he's had in either of the past two fixtures. He made a couple of decent saves to keep Reading in the game as it looked like Rotherham could take all the points. Down the other end Vydra had opportunities to turn the game back Reading's way but looked rusty and failed to seriously trouble the Rotherham goalkeeper. In stoppage time it was that man Nick Blackman who again might have salvaged a victory, doing well to break into the area and getting a shot in - however it was blocked and spun away to safety leaving both sides sharing the points.

This Championship game took place 551 days ago in the 2015/2016 season.