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Long goal enough to beat Barnsley

Reading
1 - 0
Barnsley

Madejski Stadium

30th January 2010

Attendance: 15,580

Referee:

Shane Long scored the only goal in a drab game at the Madejski Stadium but the Royals fans won`t be complaining as Brian McDermott masterminded his first league win in charge.

In his first full game in charge, McDermott opted to drop Kalifa Cisse and bring in Brynjar Gunnarsson, and there was a change upfront as Simon Church returned in place of Gunnar Thorvaldsson. There was also a place on the bench for Nicholas Bignall alongside a number of other attacking players.

As we have come to expect, the Royals dominated the opening half but those who travelled to Sheffield on Tuesday night might have been thinking that we would suffer the same fate after missing a host of chances in the opening half hour. Ivar Ingimarsson hooked over early on, and the returning Church also failed to get his shot on target after good work from Gylfi Sigurdsson. Shane Long forced Barnsley keeper Luke Steele into a save with our first shot on target whilst at the other end the Tykes Adam Hammill saw his effort cleared off the line by Ryan Bertrand.

On the half hour the opening goal did arrive and it was to be Long`s first league goal of the season. No one will forget his winner at Anfield but this goal may well be far more important come the end of the season. The impressive Bertrand put the ball back into the area from a deep right wing cross and our Irish number 9 was on hand to lash into the net.

Jem Karacan had a chance before the break after good work from Church and McAnuff but he could only fire wide. After the interval the game continued in much the same fashion with the Royals having the better of the play, although sub Daniel Bogdanovic did fire one effort goal wards soon after his half time entrance.

Long was buzzing from his earlier goal and his confidence looked sky high when he tested Steele from long range after a neat turn. McAnuff went closest to adding a second goal after he smashed Bertrand`s low cross against the inside of the post.

The final stages became scrappy, despite Bignall`s introduction, but we managed to hold out for a long overdue three points. It was very pleasing to keep a clean sheet and McDermott got his full time reign as manager off to a great start - let`s hope there is more to come!



Star Player

For the second homegame in a row Matt Mills was terrific and a rock at the back. A long overdue clean sheet in the league.

Shane Long and Brynjar Gunnarsson were also excellent.


Writer:Steve Guscott
Date:Saturday January 30 2010
Time: 8:47PM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Newcastle 46 29 7 10 94 45
P Brighton 46 28 9 9 93 34
3 Reading 46 26 7 13 85 4
4 Sheff Wed 46 24 9 13 81 15
5 Huddersfield 46 25 6 15 81 -2
6 Fulham 46 22 14 10 80 28
7 Leeds Utd 46 22 9 15 75 14
8 Norwich 46 20 10 16 70 16
9 Derby County 46 18 13 15 67 4
10 Brentford 46 18 10 18 64 10
11 Preston 46 16 14 16 62 1
12 Cardiff 46 17 11 18 62 -1
13 Aston Villa 46 16 14 16 62 -1
14 Barnsley 46 15 13 18 58 -3
15 Wolves 46 16 10 20 58 -4
16 Ipswich 46 13 16 17 55 -10
17 Bristol City 46 15 9 22 54 -6
18 Q.P.R. 46 15 8 23 53 -14
19 Birmingham 46 13 14 19 53 -19
20 Burton 46 13 13 20 52 -14
21 Forest 46 14 9 23 51 -10
R Blackburn 46 12 15 19 51 -12
R Wigan 46 10 12 24 42 -17
R Rotherham 46 5 8 33 23 -58
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