Reading FC Match Report: 2014/2015 Season - Championship


Reading: S Cox (6), N Blackman (pen 15), S Cox (84)
Millwall: Fuller (39), Beevers (54)

Reading chalked up their second home win in four days with a late winner against a strong Millwall side. Millwall will feel, with some justification, they deserved better. They had more than their share of possession and created several good chances, but ultimately succumbed to a late goal from a corner.

The game was fast and open from the start and within the opening fifteen minutes both teams had good chances. Reading took two of theirs and Millwall were prevented from taking theirs by an acrobatic leap by Frederici. Reading took the lead through Cox after six minutes. Frederici launched a counter attack sending a long ball to the Reading striker. Cox used his skill and strength to get the better of two Millwall defenders before racing clear to beat Forde with an early strike from just outside the box. Reading should have increased their lead when Obita whipped in an excellent cross which Murray really should have converted. It was pretty much the story of his night as he failed to have the same impact as he did on Saturday. Cox on the other hand was like a man possessed and on fourteen minutes turned and beat his man brilliantly before feeding Blackman wide on the left. Blackman ran at the heart of the Millwall defence and his pace forced a Millwall defender into a rash challenge. Blackman was felled but was quickly up on his feet to grab the ball to take the penalty. With admirable confidence and composure he sent Forde the wrong way and rolled the ball into the corner of the net. Reading could not have wished for a better start.

Millwall were certainly not going to lie down and gradually mounted pressure on the Reading defence. Fuller was a particular threat. Gunther looked all at sea all evening and Millwall were getting past him with ease. Holloway made a tactical change bringing Woolford to play wide on the right and although Obita coped better with his defensive duties he hardly won a ball in the air all evening. Generally Reading were defending resolutely. Tackles and blocks were made at crucial times but eventually the pressure took its toll. Fuller was given too much room inside the box and he finished well. There was a scare on half time when hesitancy in the Reading defence gave Millwall a sniff of an equaliser but Federici juggled the ball and finally grasped it safely.

The points were clearly up for grabs and Millwall pressed hard for an equaliser in the second half which came when Federici and the Royal’s defence failed to deal with a looping cross to the far post. Federici missed the ball and Beevers was not marked adequately and was able to head home from close range. The game was now wide open. Reading worked hard and with Akpan and Norwood still a force in midfield the balance of play was restored. Norwood’s pass selection and execution were impeccable throughout. I can’t remember him conceding possession at any point in the game.

With time running out Gunther made a penetrating run before firing in a cross which was put away for a corner. Obita’s corner was flicked on for Cox to nod in the winner. Millwall were on their knees, devastated at conceding so late having clawed back two goal deficit. Millwall would feel they deserved a point but the home crowd were not concerned with justice. The Royals had three more points and moved into the top six.
John Wells

This Championship game took place 2269 days ago in the 2014/2015 season.