News and Views
Second Half Disaster As Royals Slip To 19th
21 March 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?
Pavel Pogrebnyak scored twice away from home but it was not enough to stop Reading slipping to a 2-3 defeat at Charlton in the Championship. The defeat, Reading's 6th league defeat from the last 9 league games, was enough to see the Royals drop to 19th in the table - the lowest we have been since the start of the season. With eight games left to play, and just seven for the teams around Reading in the bottom half, Reading are nine points away from safety. A couple of wins should ensure another season of Championship football - but a couple of wins are certainly not guaranteed with Reading's inconsistent season continuing.
After much messing around with the starting eleven either side of our FA Cup quarter final fixtures, it was back to some normality as Clarke picked the same team with the exception of the Chalobah. He was forced to miss out through injury and Oliver Norwood was back in the team. Otherwise Clarke stuck to his winning side that had put Bradford City out of the FA Cup. That meant the in-form Mackie and Pogrebnyak were named in the side together again. Karacan was back in action again as a 63rd minute substitute for Norwood.
Pogrebnyak's goals were the first and last of the match after Reading took a 1-0 lead into the half time break. The second half was a disaster for the Royals as they lost their advantage and were swept aside before Pavel's late goal which turned out to be just a consolation. Reading's first was five minutes before the break when Jordan Obita provided the cross from the left side and Pogrebnyak's decent low effort make it 1-0. Thirteen minutes after half time Charlton pulled level from a harsh penalty after Hector was judged to have handled the ball under pressure in the area.
The home side secured the win with further goals in the 70th and 80th minute. The eventual winner was a close range effort from Simon Church after a cross from the Charlton right. Reading looked finished with 85 minutes on the clock when they were reduced to ten men when Danny Williams picked up a second yellow card and was given his marching orders. However, it was Reading that were to find the net three minutes into stoppage time. Jamie Mackie earnt the assist and Pogrebnyak scored from close in to make it 2-3.
With International fixtures approaching, Reading have the rare luxury of no midweek game this week. That's followed by another week off before the fixture chaos continues. Reading have a game in hand to make up before the end of the season plus the date with Arsenal at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final. The break probably comes at a perfect time for the Royals and will give them some much needed breathing space ahead of the visit of Cardiff City to the Madejski Stadium on Saturday 4 April.
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