Writer: Steve Guscott
Date:Wednesday April 14 2010
13th April 2010
The Royals were beaten at the Madejski Stadium for the first time in the league in 2010 by Newcastle, thanks to two first half goals from Kevin Nolan. We did get a consolation, and have a lot of possession, in the second half but we couldn`t force a draw.
Newcastle arrived at the Madejski Stadium already promoted and looking to secure three of the four points they needed to win the title and they were given a huge boost before the game when Zurab Kizhanishvili missed out for the Royals with a knee injury. He was replaced by Brynjar Gunnarsson who partnered Alex Pearce at the back.
We did have the first chance of the game when Shane Long got in behind the Magpies defence and rounded goalkeeper Steve Harper but his shot from a very tight angle went out for a throw in. We continued to have a lot of possession and put crosses into the box but we were hit on the break as the visitors took the lead.
Harper`s long clearance was flicked on, Kevin Nolan turned Pearce far too easily in the area and his shot was too good for Federici to keep out. It was a goal against the run of play but Wayne Routledge could easily have doubled the lead moments later but fired wide.
Before the break they did go two up though and it came from more, poor defending by the Royals, after Danny Guthrie was allowed to run with the ball 25yards from goal with no one closing him down. Eventually the ball was crossed in and Nolan had a simple finish for his second of the evening.
After the break Nolan hit the post from six yards with a header with Federici beaten, and a number of chances came and went for the Magpies to seal the three points. However the third goal didn`t arrive and they were made to sweat for the final 20 minutes when a comical own goal, eventually going in off Danny Simpson, gifting the Royals a life line back into the game.
However despite the introduction of Simon Church and Grzegorz Rasiak from the bench, we couldn`t create any other than half chances and a yellow shirt seemed to get in the way of every shot or cross that we put in.
Gunnarsson was carried off in the closing stages after taking a heavy blow to the head and we ended the game with ten men after using all our subs, however we battled hard and there always comes a time when you have to admit you have been beaten by the better team. Newcastle were certainly that but we can be proud of our performance and can feel confident of getting back to winning ways against Peterborough on Saturday.
Date:Wednesday April 14 2010
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