Royals struggle in front of goal again
20th October 2010
The Royals were left frustrated after a 1-0 defeat to Bristol City on Tuesday evening, as we yet again lacked conviction in front of goal. Sub Simon Church missed a free header late in the game, whilst David James made a superb save from Noel Hunt who was starting his first game in over a year.
There was just one change from the side that lost to Swansea which saw Noel Hunt start in place of Hal Robson Kanu, which saw a return to a 4-4-2 formation with an all Irish front 2. We started well and Shane Long showed good pace early on but lacked the composure when he got into the area and his chip went well wide.
The game was end to end but it was the home side who looked the most dangerous and Ian Harte was having a torrid time up against Albert Adomah, who was beating him for pace every time he got the ball. He created a chance for Jon Stead who turned on the edge of the box and smashed the cross bar with Adam Federici beaten.
It was no surprise when City took the lead and it was the pace of Adomah that caused all the problems. His cross from the right saw Stead try an audacious overhead kick but Matt Mills outmuscled him and was clearly fouled, but the free kick was not given. The ball fell kindly to Danny Haines who drove the ball home.
We played better in the second half and the introduction of Brian Howard for Harte gave us more of a drive going forward and we created a number of half chances that we couldn`t convert.
Hunt had a header superbly saved from David James who defied his years to acrobatically tip the ball away and then somehow managed to stop it going out for a corner. The best chance of the game, as on Saturday, fell to sub Simon Church but his free header from 6 yards out was straight at the keeper.
It was another disappointing game and one which we could have taken something from if we had someone who could put the ball into the back of the net. Brian McDermott must surely dip into the loan market for a striker, as we cannot go on missing chances like we have been. You only have to look at the Bristol City team, Haynes and Stead were superb upfront and then they had Brett Pitman on the bench with the likes of Nicky Maynard and Sam Vokes not currently available. We need that strength in depth or we will struggle to achieve anything other than mid table.