Writer: Steve Guscott
Date:Saturday February 5 2011
4th Feb 2011
The Royals were beaten by ten men QPR on Friday night, thanks to a late goal from Wayne Routledge. The visitors were reduced to ten men when Hogan Ephraim was sent off just before break but they battled hard and had the better of the game to take all three points. It was a lacklustre display from Brian McDermott`s side who missed the chance to build up pressure on the teams in the play off places.
Before kickoff Shane Long was declared fit and took his place upfront alongside Simon Church meaning the only change to the starting 11 was Jay Tabb coming in for the suspended, and ineligible, Mikele Leigertwood.
The first half, and most of the game in truth, was a typical Reading vs QPR affair at the Madejski Stadium, not a great deal of quality and very few chances but plenty of controversial refereeing decisions. The first involved Royals skipper Matt Mills who took out Hogan Ephraim as he knocked the ball past him and raced towards goal, possibly denying a clear goal scoring opportunity. The referee opted to award just a yellow card much to the displeasure of Neil Warnock.
The Royals then got a foothold into the game and should have been ahead either side of the games major talking point. Firstly Long set up Church who saw his powerful effort well saved by Paddy Kenny. From the resulting corner Mills met the ball but Kenny somehow saved with his legs and Church`s follow up was cleared off the line. As the visitors broke forward Ephraim was in the thick of the action once again. His tackle on Jimmy Kebe was late and over the top of the ball and he was shown a red card. It was probably the right decision but Rangers were incensed that it wasn`t 10 v 10 and Neil Warnock was going mental on the touch line.
We had them rattled and a long ball forward looked like it would be collected quite easily by Kenny, but he hesitated and Long touched the ball past him but his effort hit the side netting from a tight angle. The half time whistle came at the wrong time for the Royals who were in control of the game.
The second half was a drab affair and looked to be playing out towards a goalless draw, with efforts from Jem Karacan, Andy Griffin and sub Mathieu Manset the closest we were to finding a goal and none of those efforts were close!
With time running out, Wayne Routledge was put through on goal and despite Adam Federici getting a hand to the shot it settled into the bottom corner. We were never going to get back into it after that and had very few chances as we threw everyone forward, Ivar Ingimarsson going closest with a late header.
Date:Saturday February 5 2011
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