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Royals late fightback earns a point

2 - 2

Madejski Stadium

6th August 2011

Attendance: 18,531 (2,235 away)


A Matheiu Manset double in the last 5 minutes earnt Reading a share of the spoils against Millwall at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

It was a lively start at the Madejski, with Reading have the better of the opening affairs as Noel Hunt almost scored in the opening seconds after he ran through from an Alex Pearce header, only for David Forde to intervene.

Malian winger Jimmy Kebe then had a fantastic opportunity to open the socring but could only side foot his volley into the side netting.

Reading continued to knock on the door with new captain Jobi McAnuff having his goal bound shot blocked but Millwall found their feet in the last few minutes of the first half as both teams went in level at the break.

The away side started the second half as they ended the first as they came close through Reading born winger James Henry, whose stinging effort was kept out by Federici.

Kenny Jackett`s side did take the lead minutes later though as the lively Henry put a ball in the box that former Royals striker Darius Henderson headed in for his debut goal for the Lions.

The Royals responded well as their sought-after talisman Shane Long turned his man and smacked a 20-yard effort against the bar, as Hunt went close minutes after.

Brian McDermott`s men would then rue these misses as a ball from the right wing would cause Federici to palm away but only into the path of John Marquis who headed in at the back post.

Millwall should have put the game to bed as a Reading defensive misunderstanding let forward Marquis clean through but could only hit his shot at Federici`s right boot. McAnuff was then close to reducing the deficit but his rasping effort rebounded off the post.

Then was to come the game changing moment as Mathieu Manset came on in place of Noel Hunt and turned Millwall`s back line and hit a fine 25-yard effort past David Forde in the Lions goal, to make it 2-1.

Just minutes later Reading were level as good work from Kebe and Griffin lead to a cross that allowed to Manset plant a solid header past Forde to put the Royals on level terms on 89 minutes.

Both teams pushed for the win at the Madejski stadium with the Royals bogey player Henderson coming close again then Federici saving Scott Barons arrowing effort, which meant a share of the points, in what was a fanatic opening game for both teams.

Reading: Federici, Griffin, Khumalo, Pearce, Harte, Kebe, Karacan (Robson-Kanu 68) Leigertwood, McAnuff , Long, Hunt (Manset 68)

Subs: McCarthy, Gunnarsson, Obita, Robson-Kanu, Manset

Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Robinson , Ward, Craig, Henry (Hackett 79), Mkandawire, Trotter (Barron 68), Bouazza, Marquis (Abdou 86), Henderson

Subs: Mildenhall, Racon, Hackett, Barron, Abdou

Star Player

Mathieu Manset - Only on the pitch for 20 minutes but made the biggest impact. Made himself a presence and near enough changed the game with an early contender for goal of the season.

Player Ratings

Federici 7

Could have been more decisive for first goal but made some good stops apart from that.

Griffin 5

Looked a little short of match fitness. Caught out on the odd occasion and could have been covering his post for the second goal.

Khumalo 6

Solid debut for the newcomer. Didn't win much against Henderson but did everything else reasonably well.

Pearce 7

Very solid game for the centre-half. Looked composed in everything he did. Looks that he is ready to make the step up. Booked.

Harte 6

Caught out on the odd ocassion down the left flank. Struggled with Henry.

Kebe 6

Got in the positions today but often didn't show the final product. Good cross for Manset seconds goal though.

Karacan 6

Ran his socks off as he always does. Sprayed the ball about well.

Leigertwood 6

Solid as usual. Misplaced the odd pass but tackling superb as usual. Looked tired towards the end of the game.

McAnuff 7

The newly appointed captain caused problems throughout. Unlucky not to score with effort that hit the post.

Long 6

Linked play up well. Didn't have any clear cut chances

Hunt 6

Similarly to Long, linked play up well. Looked a little short of match fitness.

Manset 8

Game on and changed the game. Made his presence known and scored an absolute peach.


Didn't do an awful lot but ran the flank well enough.

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Date:Saturday August 6 2011
Time: 7:08PM


So Khumalo had a decent first game. Was he at fault for either goal?
Dave the Yid
07/08/2011 08:10:00
Not particularly. You could be really picky and say he lost his man for the first goal but those sort of balls in are nightmares for defenders. Will get better as the season goes on me thinks.
07/08/2011 12:06:00
Good stuff! A lot of us Spurs fans have high hopes for him. We need someone to step up to the plate once Ledley is confined to a wheelchair because of his knees, and Gallas is confined to a wheelchair because of his age.
Dave the Yid
07/08/2011 13:53:00
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