Reading FC Match Report: 2019/2020 Season - Championship


Reading: --
Brentford: O Watkins (62)

A packed Griffin Park experienced what was always going to be a tight game with both teams currently in a run of good form. It was high tempo encounter from the start but Reading dictated play for sufficiently long periods of the first half to cause concern amongst the home fans without threatening the Brentford goal. Puscas wasted their best opportunity with a poor touch and a delayed decision to shoot allowing Raya to come off his line and snuff out the danger. The second half was a very different story with Brentford putting the Royals defence under considerable pressure from the re-start. They attacked with width and pace exposing the gaps created by Yiadom and Richards getting forward. That pressure finally paid off with good ball into the box from Jensen and a well-executed header from Watkins after sixty-two minutes. Reading struggled to create chances in spite of Mark Bowen making use of all three of his attacking options on the bench and Brentford held on to their lead to secure the points.

As they did earlier in the year at the Madejski Stadium, these two sides shared a total of twenty-eight fouls. The tone was sent early in the game with a strong challenge by Yiadom on Henry. A strong reaction from the home fans and players prompted referee Coote to produce the first of six yellow cards. It put Mr Coote in a difficult spot later tin the half when Yiadom committed a clearly more bookable foul on the same player. The home fans were not happy when it went unpunished! It was a feisty game but without anything particularly malicious going on.

Ejaria and Swift showed flashes of skill which sadly for Reading came to nothing. Late in the game MCleary pulled his shot slightly wide late in the game when set up by Yiadom and Watkins was foiled by Raphael form very close range shortly after Brentford had taken the lead but it was a game of few clear cut chances. Brentford had seventeen attempts on goal (five on target) compared to Reading’s five (one on target) reflecting the overall domination of the home side. Reading on the other hand generally looked disciplined and organised at the back and dealt with the pressure well.

Whilst as Reading fan, I was unhappy with outcome of the game, I enjoyed the experience of visiting this old ground for the last time. Nestled amongst terraced housing and numerous pubs there was an enjoyably nostalgic atmosphere around the game. I visited in three pubs before and after the match where opposing fans mingled and enjoyed a pint without any hostility. I stood on the terraces, which undoubtedly creates a different atmosphere it itself, and watched a decent game of football under traditional old floodlight pylons. We even had traditional damp and cold November football conditions!

This result and performance should do little to dent Reading’s new found confidence and resolve. Not many teams will come away with points from Brentford this season and some teams would have crumbled under the pressure the Bees exerted in the second half. Another stiff test awaits them on Tuesday against second in the table Leeds.

John Wells

This Championship game took place 459 days ago in the 2019/2020 season.