Writer: Steve Guscott
Date:Saturday December 12 2009
12th December 2009
You could write the same match report for the majority of our home games this season, we dominate take an early lead only to drop points after missing a hat full of chances - Saturday was no different!
Brendan Rodgers made three changes for the starting 11 that lost to Crystal Palace with Gylfi Sigurdsson and Hal Robson Kanu coming in for Brynjar Gunnarsson and Jimmy Kebe, who were both hopeless on Tuesday. Shaun Cummings also returned for the first time since the West Brom defeat in October as Ryan Bertrand was ill, Jay Tabb switching to left back.
Tabb started brightly in yet another new role and linked well with Jobi McAnuff, who`s cross almost forced an own goal after a Scunthorpe defender hacked over to deny the on rushing Rasiak. As usual the Pole had a bucket full of chances early on and this game was no different and he headed over an Ivar Ingimarsson cross, yes you did read that right, the centre back going on a mazy run forward!
Adam Federici was looking to get over his disappointment of Tuesday night, like many others, and he made a brave save to deny former Royals trialist Gary Hooper. That proved to be the wake-up call the Royals needed and a sublime pass from Marek Matejovsky set up Robson Kanu, who in turn found Rasiak to score with a header. A bright start was rewarded but we didn`t stop there.
Sigurdsson was looking lively after his rest in midweek and he forced deputy Iron keeper Josh Lillis into a smart save before McAnuff went close from the rebound. The young Icelander went close again with a free kick that Lillis tipped away and from the corner Alex Pearce came close to repeating his goal in midweek, smashing against the cross bar.
The half ended with a move that sums up the Royals season so far, a fine passing move involving Pearce, Matejovsky and Robson Kanu should have ended in a goal but when the chance presented itself, Rasiak couldn`t convert.
The second half continued in the same fashion with the Royals dominating, Sigurdsson went close on three occasions and also set up Rasiak once more- the Pole seeing his effort saved again by Lillis. He was ably assisted by the ever impressive McAnuff and the two of them were causing Scunthorpe defenders an endless amount of problems.
But has been so typical of this season, the decisive second goal didn`t arrive and as we approached the last 10 minutes Hooper found space inside the six yard box and converted beyond Federici. We continued to push forward though, remembering the lessons of the only home win in 18 matches against Blackpool less than a month ago and Sigurdsson blazed over after good work from sub Kebe.
Sigurdsson rattled the woodwork from a free kick and McAnuff headed wide but it was to be another frustrating afternoon as the Madejski Stadium, summed up by the fact Rodgers only used one sub. That is not a direct criticism of him though; after Kebe came on he was left with another 6 players who you would class as defensive, with Jem Karacan the only one who could have made any impact in the final third of the field.
Scunthorpe can consider themselves lucky to have got a point from this game and if they come away with a hiding they could have had no arguments. After 1 point from 2 relatively easy looking matches at home in the space of a week, we head to Bristol City next weekend in our final game before the busy Festive period.
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Date:Saturday December 12 2009
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