Reading FC Match Report: 2013/2014 Season - Championship


Reading: A Le Fondre (7), A Le Fondre (17), A Le Fondre (67), P Pogrebnyak (52), Hal Robson-Kanu (82)
Blackpool: S Davies (65).

Reading’s inspired home form continued as they took control of the game with two goals in the opening seventeen minutes and went on to crush a spirited Blackpool side with five very well taken goals. Adam Le Fondre was outstanding again, scoring his second successive hat-trick at the Madejski Stadium in the space of ten days. There was much to admire about this Reading performance. The finishing was excellent, the passing penetrative, and the commitment to closing opposing players down throughout the team gave the visitors virtually no chance of establishing a grip on the game.

After seven minutes McCleary ran at the Blackpool defence and whipped in a cross which was deflected in to the path of Le Fondre to volley home from close range. McAnuff’s delivery form the other wing was also putting the visitors back four under pressure. Ten minutes later a McAnuff corner to the far post was headed back across goal by Pearce and Le Fondre reacted quicker than everyone to head Reading into a two goal lead. Blackpool rallied and managed to keep Reading at bay until half time although McAnuff came close to a third goal when Le Fondre laid an inviting pass back to him on the edge of the area, and a Blackpool defender almost deflected a Mc Cleary cross in to his own net on thirty five minutes.

A third goal seemed inevitable and it should have arrived four minutes into the second half. A delightful flick from Pogrebnyak found McAnuff racing over the half way line. McAnuff’s excellent first touch took him clear of the Blackpool defence but as he closed in on goal he seemed to delay his shot and although Gilks got down well to save the finish lacked conviction. The crucial third goal came three minutes later as Le Fondre sliced open the Blackpool defence with a perfect ball for Pogrebnyak apply a composed finish. On came Tyson to a warm round of applause from the home fans and was immediately booked for elbowing Obita.

On sixty-four minutes McAnuff was caught in possession on the half way line and before the Reading defence could adjust to the situation Davies struck a brilliant goal from over thirty yards to reduce the deficit to two again. A flickering flame of a recovery was extinguished immediately. McCleary collected the ball just inside his own half, outwitted his marker and ran at the Blackpool defence. Before he could be closed down he slipped a beautifully weighted pass for Le Fondre to pick up with yet another perfectly timed run and as Gilks came out Le Fondre lclipped the ball over him into the net to complete his hat-trick.

With over twenty minutes to play Adkins wisely substituted Le Fondre to keep him fresh for the next game. On came Robson-Kanu to complete the scoring. Given just sufficient time and space on the edge of the box he hit the ball with considerable power and accuracy low into the bottom corner, giving Gilks no chance whatsoever of keeping it out.

There was again a great deal to admire and enjoy about this Reading performance. Throughout the team everyone looked comfortable and composed in possession, and the quality of passing and movement in attack had their opponents on the back foot all evening. Even McCarthy was initiating attacks with his distribution to McAnuff (although his kicking dies not match the quality of his throwing!). Adkins seems to have found a winning formula which could well secure a pace in the play-offs.
John Wells

This Championship game took place 1879 days ago in the 2013/2014 season.