Royals share spoils with Hull
28th December 2010
The Royals needed a late equaliser from sub Simon Church to claim a point at Hull, who took the lead through a first half stunner from none other than James Harper! Shane Long missed a second half penalty but we extended our unbeaten run to 8 games.
Despite talking about rotating the squad during the festive period, Brian McDermott only made one change and that was the return of Ian Harte for Chris Armstrong who was not even on the bench.
We put in a poor first half display which was dominated by the home side and Adam Federici had to be alert to keep out efforts from Kamil Zayatte and Robert Koren, and Koren went even closer to scoring when he hit the post.
The home side did open the scoring though before the break and it was former Royal James Harper who grabbed the goal. A good move saw Harper drill the ball home from 25 yards and he raced to the dugout to celebrate with the physio who helped him recover from a fractured foot in pre season.
We were a lot better in the second half but there was a really controversial moment early in the second period when the linesman flagged a penalty after a terrific tackle from Andy Griffin. The referee overruled him though despite the protests from Hull players who claimed that he was in a better position. However it came about, the right decision was made in the end.
Shane Long, with four goals in two games, raced into the area and won a penalty after a foul by Paul McShane. The striker stepped up himself but his poor effort was saved by Vita Mannone. We created enough half chances but looked destined to lose out first game since the start of November, until Simon Church came off the bench and grabbed the equaliser.
Ian Harte`s free kick caused panic in the area and Church was on hand to tap home from close range for his fourth goal of the season. In the end we settled for a point but our unbeaten run continued and we can look forward to the trip to Swansea on New Years Day.
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