News and Views
Back To Sixth With Point Against Leicester
14 April 2014
By Hob Nob Anyone?
Reading put in a reasonable showing at home against promoted Leicester City, to pick up a valuable point and sneak back into sixth place, with four games of the season left to play.
The Royals are sixth only on goal difference now as Reading, Brighton, Ipswich and Bournemouth all target that final play-off place for a shot at promotion to the Premier League.
It's now eight games since Reading last managed to win at home - a run that threatens to leave Reading outside the play-off positions at the end of the season. Out of the last
seven home performances this was one of the better performances as Reading looked good in parts against the runaway Championship leaders. Reading might have sneaked as the full
three points but the visitors will certainly feel the game. Reading's season has been inconsistant all term and this game felt the same with periods of Reading domination and some good
attacking football followed by extended periods of disarray.
Reading had their youngsters to thank for earning a point. Michael Hector was superb in front of the back four and Jordan Obita was lively throughout. The Royals took the lead from a perfectly placed Obita free-kick on fifteen minutes. He floated it from the right to the far side of the box where Pearce rose to head it firmly back across goal and into the back of the net. Immediately after the goal Reading were actually on fire and looked like they might add a second and send themselves on their way. The passing was impressive and positive as Reading created some chances. Pogrebnyak might have earnt a penalty but one two many dramatic dives around the area probably pushed the referee the other direction and he emphatically waved play on when Pogrebnyak appeared genuinely look to have been taken down. Leicester might have already wrapped up promotion, and lost a bit of focus recently, but they still looked quality in parts and capable of scoring. A period of pressure ended with Drinkwater scoring after half an hour through a massive crowd of Reading players that left McCarthy unsighted and unable to make a safe.
McCarthy kept the scores level with a couple of good stops and racing off his line to prevent Leicester taking the lead at the start of the second half as the visitors started stronger. Good performances weren't consistant across the team. Bridge was disappointing as well as being often exposed he only seemed to be able to curve the ball out of play everytime he tried to play it out of defence. And then there was Jobi McAnuff. I like him and he's done some good things in a Reading shirt. But he will be the most disappointed with his game tonight. Nearly everything he did went wrong - even the simple things - and he spent most of the game looking annoyed at himself rather than fulfilling his captain's role. Nigel Adkins has had problems with unavailability of players and that was made worse by Williams going off injured to be replaced with Leigertwood. Leigertwood looked keen but didn't last long himself - quickly picking up two yellow cards as Reading finished with 10 men - and a single point that keeps the season alive.
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