Vital Football

Latest Reading FC News

Debutants shine in Doncaster stalemate

0 - 0
Doncaster Rovers

Madejski Stadium


Attendance: 15,697


Reading were unable to take all three points against Doncaster after a goalless draw at the Madejski Stadium this afternoon. On a day when the Royals dominated Sean O`Driscoll`s well-organised Rovers, Neil Sullivan proved to be the difference between the sides as he produced glorious saves from Gylfi Sigurdsson, Darren O`Dea and Grzegorz Rasiak.

Reading may not have won at home for nine months, but do not be fooled: it took some world-class goalkeeping to extend Reading`s fruitless spell at the Madejski Stadium to twelve matches today. Were it not for the outstanding reflexes of Neil Sullivan, the Doncaster goalkeeper, the Royals would have comfortably registered the three points their performance deserved.

Gylfi Sigurdsson, Darren O`Dea and Grzegorz Rasiak all found the former Scotland keeper in merciless form as chance after chance fell by.

Rasiak drew the best of the bunch as his left-hooted strike from the edge of the box looked destined for the bottom of the corner but the Scot`s outstretched palm diverted the ball around the post.

O`Dea, another home debutant, rose superbly to meet Brian Howard`s corner but yet again the Royals could not find a way past Sullivan.

The Royals may well have opened the scoring as early as 23 minutes when Sigurdsson`s ferocious half-volley forced a clean parry from the former Leeds keeper. It was debutant full-back Shaun Cummings that laid the foundations, however, advancing adventurously to create the space for Jimmy Kebe to deliver an excellent cross to the far post.

Indeed, it was an encouraging afternoon for players making their bow in a Reading shirt today. Following the puzzling decision to allow Liam Rosenior to go out on loan to Ipswich, 20-year-old right-back Cummings put in a performance that approached perfection while Brian Howard masterminded a performance behind Noel Hunt that rooted most of Reading`s attacking play. Rasiak, meanwhile, would have been an instant hero had his 59th-minute strike not been met by Sullivan`s instinctive vigilance.

Boos from the home crowd accompanied the final whistle, but there is nothing more than mere frustration behind them. And who can blame them, having not seen their side win since January 27th?

Predictably, Brendan Rodgers announced to the scattered members of the press that he was encouraged by his side`s performance: "I`m pleased with the clean sheet and there were moments where we were bright. Tactically it was a test for us, they changed to a diamond in the second half and gave us something else to think about. Tactically I`m pleased with the players, and spirit and togetherness in the group".

Boos from the home accompanied the final whistle, but there is nothing more than mere frustration behind them. And who can blame them, having not seen their side win since January 27th? The Royals manger admitted that it was only yesterday that he became aware of the extent of Reading`s winless spell and the degree to which the supporters have been starved of a home victory.

"I wasn`t aware up until yesterday how long it`s been since we`ve won at home. I mentioned it to the players before the game. We wanted to do it for the supporters. We will get there."

But it seems getting there will require some degree of patience. Royals supporters are a patient bunch, though, and, by managers` standards, Rodgers is as patient as they come. Who else would be satisfied with four goalless draws in six matches?

Star Player

Alex Pearce - although Doncaster did not offer much of a threat in the way of chances, Reading can have skipper Pearce to thank for the way he nullified Rovers' forward movement.

Player Ratings

Adam Federici - 6

Rarely troubled

Shaun Cummings - 7

Got forward well

Alex Pearce - 8

Solid at the back

Darren O'Dea - 7

Decent debut

Ryan Bertrand - 6

Got forward well at times

Jem Karacan - 7

Full of energy in midfield

Brynjar Gunnarsson - 7

Linked defence and midfield but tired in the second half

Jimmy Kebe - 7

Looked dangerous

Gylfi Sigurdsson - 7

Excellent first half display but faded

Brian Howard - 7

Positive debut, always looking to go forward

Noel Hunt - 6

Put in a decent shift upfront

Grzegorz Rasiak (Karacan) - 7

Went close on home debut

Marek Matejovsky (Sigurdsson) - 6

Some nice touches but all in our own half

Kalifa Cisse (Gunnarsson) - 5

Replaced the tired Gunnarsson but didn't get into the game

Writer:Steve Guscott
Date:Saturday September 12 2009
Time: 6:14PM

Best of Vital Network

Login to post a comment

Site Journalists

Editor email
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

What Striker do you want to see here?
Suggested By:
Dom Solanke11%
Lewis Grabban8%
Jamie Mackie11%
Carlton Cole 6%
Nahki Wells64%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Burnley 46 26 15 5 93 37
P Middlesbrough 46 26 11 9 89 32
3 Brighton 46 24 17 5 89 30
4 Hull City 46 24 11 11 83 34
5 Derby County 46 21 15 10 78 23
6 Sheff Wed 46 19 17 10 74 21
7 Ipswich 46 18 15 13 69 2
8 Cardiff 46 17 17 12 68 5
9 Brentford 46 19 8 19 65 5
10 Birmingham 46 16 15 15 63 4
11 Preston 46 15 17 14 62 0
12 Q.P.R. 46 14 18 14 60 0
13 Leeds Utd 46 14 17 15 59 -8
14 Wolves 46 14 16 16 58 -5
15 Blackburn 46 13 16 17 55 0
16 Forest 46 13 16 17 55 -4
17 Reading 46 13 13 20 52 -7
18 Bristol City 46 13 13 20 52 -17
19 Huddersfield 46 13 12 21 51 -11
20 Fulham 46 12 15 19 51 -13
21 Rotherham 46 13 10 23 49 -18
R Charlton 46 9 13 24 40 -40
R MK Dons 46 9 12 25 39 -30
R Bolton 46 5 15 26 30 -40
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Reading Results (view all)