Late goals leave Royals with just a point
20th April 2010
The Royals threw away a two goal lead and had to settle for a point away at Scunthorpe. We had led 2-0 thanks to goals from Alex Pearce and a Gylfi Sigurdsson penalty but Gary Hooper and Matt Sparrow scored in the last ten minutes to rescue a point for the home side.
We went into the game with just one change from the team that beat Peterborough 6-0, with Simon Church coming in for Shane Long who had dropped to the bench. The home side had to do without influential defender Kenny Milne who missed the game with a knee injury.
The first half saw two teams intent on attacking but not a lot of goalmouth action however Brian Howard did have a couple of efforts well saved and Gylfi Sigurdsson blasted a shot well over after good work from Jimmy Kebe.
We didn`t wait long for a goal in the second half though, after a free kick from the left was flicked on by Church and Alex Pearce scored from six yards out for his second goal in two games. Not exactly the job he was brought into the team to do but still a bonus all the same!
The Royals began to dominate and scored a second when Jobi McAnuff raced clear on goal only to be brought down by defender Cliff Byrne. Sigurdsson converted the penalty but we were left to question why we were still playing against 11 men as the Scunthorpe captain had clearly denied a goal scoring opportunity. McAnuff was even booked for his protests.
As we entered the final ten minutes it looked like we had done enough to earn another impressive away win but Adam Federici couldn`t hold a long range effort and Gary Hooper was there to turn the ball home and give the home side hope.
The small, but very vocal, suddenly realised their team was in with a shout again and encouraged the Iron to pressure the Royals goal. It came as no surprise when they equalised, however the goal was an unlucky one to concede.
Matt Sparrow`s shot took a wicked deflection and wrong footed Federici and Scunthorpe had snatched the point they needed to keep them in the Championship again next season. Their fans invaded the pitch after the final whistle whilst Royals fans drifted away knowing for sure that they would not make the play offs.