Royals edge past Pirates
26th July 2011
Attendance: 3,309 (216 away)
Reading edged past Bristol Rovers 2-1 last night, in a highly contested game that saw the Bristol side put in a valiant performance against the team two divisions above them, thanks to goals from Hal Robson-Kanu and Jordan Obita.
Trialist Ibrahima Sonko started the game at the Memorial Stadium but had a shaky start as Rovers striker Joe Kuffour beat the former Royals defender to a loose ball and slotted home to put the League 2 side 1-0 up.
The Royals looked very unorganised and disjointed for the first 15 minutes and the first decent effort was from striker Mathieu Manset, whose 20-yard shot went wide.
Reading did get better as the half went on, with Shaun Cummings showing a lot of attacking intent down the right hand side and Brian Howard also going close with an acrobatic effort.
However, the Pirates almost extended their lead as the lively Zebroski beat Marcus Williams, only for his shot to be deflected wide by Gunnarsson. Sonko`s lack of match fitness showed again as striker Matt Harrold turned him but to no avail.
Reading boss Brian McDermott would have given his team a talking to at half time after a poor first half showing from the Championship side. However, his half time team talk must have worked as his team started the second half the better as Bignall came close with a header following an Antonio cross.
Royals keeper Mikkel Andersen returned to his former stamping ground and made a good impression against his former side as he pulled off a fantastic point blank save against Scott McGleish.
Brian McDermott decided to ring the changes on 60 minutes and he brought on 8 substitutes including Hal Robson-Kanu and Shane Long and they made an immediate impact as the Royals drew level.
Young prospect Jordan Obita was one of the substitutes brought on and crossed for Hal Robson-Kanu to nod home and to put the Championship club level.
The Berkshire club continued to look on top and to go onto win the game. And they should have gone in front through the ever-reliable Shane Long, who somehow blasted wide as he was clean through.
Reading did however complete the comeback minutes later as academy prospect Jordan Obita volleyed in to give his side a 2-1 lead. The lead should have increased straight from the restart as Obita and Robson-Kanu linked up again, only for HRK to blaze over.
It finished 2-1 to the Royals but they had to work hard for it as Rovers were on top for large periods of the game but overall, a good and very challenging run out for Brian McDermott`s side.
Reading: Andersen, Cummings (Griffin), Gunnarsson (Pearce), Sonko (Morrison), Williams (Harte), Karacan (Tabb), Howard (Taylor), Antonio (Leigertwood), McAnuff (Obita), Bignall (HRK), Manset (Long)
Bristol Rovers: Bevan, Smith Lines, Bolger, C Stanley, Harrold, Carayol, Anyinsah, Kuffour, Virgo, L Brown