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Royals struggle in front of goal again

Bristol City
0 - 1
Reading

Ashton Gate

20th October 2010

Attendance: 13,519

Referee:

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.



Star Player

Hardly a star player but Adam Federici made a couple of good stops in the first half as City dominated. No one else really stood out, apart from maybe Hunt who was lively and Armstrong who did a good job in the middle and at left back.


Writer:Steve Guscott
Date:Wednesday October 20 2010
Time: 10:39AM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
P Brighton 45 28 8 9 92 34
P Newcastle 45 28 7 10 91 42
3 Reading 45 25 7 13 82 2
4 Sheff Wed 45 24 9 12 81 16
5 Huddersfield 45 25 6 14 81 1
6 Fulham 45 21 14 10 77 27
7 Leeds Utd 45 22 8 15 74 14
8 Norwich 45 19 10 16 67 12
9 Derby County 45 18 12 15 66 4
10 Brentford 45 18 10 17 64 12
11 Preston 45 16 14 15 62 2
12 Aston Villa 45 16 13 16 61 -1
13 Cardiff 45 16 11 18 59 -4
14 Barnsley 45 15 13 17 58 0
15 Wolves 45 15 10 20 55 -5
16 Ipswich 45 13 16 16 55 -7
17 Bristol City 45 15 9 21 54 -5
18 Q.P.R. 45 15 8 22 53 -10
19 Burton 45 13 13 19 52 -12
20 Birmingham 45 12 14 19 50 -20
21 Forest 45 13 9 23 48 -13
22 Blackburn 45 11 15 19 48 -14
R Wigan 45 10 11 24 41 -17
R Rotherham 45 5 7 33 22 -58
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