Unbeaten run comes to an end
1st January 2011
The Royals unbeaten run came to an end after a lacklustre display away at Swansea with a sinlge Darren Pratley goal deciding the game. Simon Church missed a glorious chance in the closing stages and we could have had a penalty but we could not prevent our first defeat in nine.
Without the injured Mikele Leigertwood and the ill Jobi McAnuff, Brian McDermott was forced into some changes to his starting 11 and he also rested Jem Karacan and Noel Hunt which meant starts for Brian Howard, Hal Robson Kanu, Jay Tabb and Simon Church.
The first half started quite well and both sides had efforts at goal, Andrea Orlandi going closest for the home side whilst a rasping effort from Brian Howard was turned round the post by Swans keeper Dorus De Vries. A couple of injuries to Swansea players meant two first half subs and that took the pace out of the game and it petered out until half time.
Church was first to trouble De Vries in the second period but it was one of few chances before the home side opened the scoring. A generous free kick found its way to Angel Rangel but his effort was blocked but the rebound fell for Pratley to smash home into the bottom corner.
We had a great shout for a penalty when Kebe raced into the area and dragged the ball back but the defender sliding in appeared to handle but the referee waved play on much to the disappointment of the Royals travelling support.
In the closing stages Church had our best chance of the game after a great cross from Kebe but his free header went over the bar and the home side should have scored again when Federici went up for a free kick in stoppage time but Scott Sinclair failed to find the back of an empty net.