Royals forced to settle for a point
27th March 2010
An early goal from Gylfi Sigurdsson looked like it had secured the Royals a 7th straight league win at the Madejski Stadium, but West Brom equalised four minutes from time and we had to settle for a point, the very least we deserved.
With Jay Tabb injured, Brynjar Gunnarsson came into the starting 11 but it was no surprise that that was the only chance from the fine win at Leicester in midweek. The Baggies were without Robert Koren and Chris Brunt who were injured and left former Royals striker Simon Cox on the bench.
Graeme Dorrans had the first chance of the game but Zurab Kizhanishvili blocked well and from the resulting corner the Royals broke and scored the opening goal of the game. The ball was cleared to half way where Jobi McAnuff picked the ball up and ran before forcing Scott Carson into a good save, Jimmy Kebe followed up and saw his effort cleared off the line but Gylfi Sigurdsson popped up to score his 15th goal of the season, and certainly one of the easiest.
West Brom quickly recovered from that early blow and Adam Federici had to be at his best to deny Gabriel Tamas, James Morrison and Ben Watson and before the half time interval Sigurdsson nearly scored a second, against the run of play but his header was cleared off the line.
Despite a couple of half chances it was all West Brom in the second period and it was only the honesty of midfielder Watson, who rode a challenge from Kizhanishvili instead of going down for what would have been a certain penalty. The Baggies claimed two more spot kicks, one was flagged offside before the incident and one was turned down rightly so as Matt Mills handball was not deliberate.
Sub Simon Church should have made the game safe when he raced through on goal but a heavy touch gave keeper Scott Carson the momentum and he came out to put pressure on the Royals striker and he put his effort wide.
The equaliser always looked like coming and it was no surprise that from a deep corner with four minutes to go, Tamas smashed the ball home on the volley after the ball had come back off the bar.
Kebe could have won it in injury time but Carson denied him again and both sides were forced to settle for a point. The Royals probably had the clearer chances but West Brom dominated possession in the second half and a point, although disappointing to concede a late goal, was a fair result.