Pearce header seals Royals win
31st December 2011
A 64th minute header from Alex Pearce was enough to see off a lively Ipswich side at the Madejski Stadium, with Paul Jewell`s side witnessing a recent revival of late.
The game endured a slow start but the home side started to turn up the heat around the ten minute mark. The Royals` defensive partnership came closest to scoring in the opening exchanges, with both defenders going close with headers from Jobi McAnuff`s corners.
However, the Ipswich side that has seen a small revival of late started to get into the flow of the game, with Federici making a very smart save from Daryl Murphy, who swivelled and shot well. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas then struck a speculative 30-yard shot which grazed the bar.
Ipswich left-back Aaron Cresswell then tried his luck from 30-yards, with his effort looping narrowly over. The away side continued to dictate the play at the Madejski. Reading did have a half chance on 30 minutes as Karacan put an inviting ball into the box that just evaded the outstretched leg of Le Fondre.
The second half started in a similar scrappy fashion like the first period with the first decent chance of the half falling to Michael Chopra, as a clever dummy from Emmanuel-Thomas appeared to put Chopra through, but Kaspars Gorkss read it and cut it out.
After some frantic end-to-end football, the Royals finally took advantage and scored. Cresswell attempting to clear the ball away handled it, allowing McAnuff to swing a perfect ball in for Alex Pearce to head in and score his third of the season.
Reading were not firmly in the ascendency and looking for the second killer goal. Simon Church almost achieved this with a clever flick from a Kebe cross but Lee-Barrett just about gathered. Jimmy Kebe then went on another 50-yard run but could not profit from the good break.
The home side eventually saw out what was a very scrappy game, with both teams putting in a lot of effort. The win moves Brian McDermott`s side up to fifth ahead of Hull, while defeat meant Ipswich couldn`t capitalise on Nottingham Forest`s loss to Cardiff.
Reading: Federici, Cummings, Pearce, Gorkss, Griffin, Kebe, Leigertwood, Karacan, McAnuff ©, Church, Le Fondre
Subs: Andersen, Harte, Tabb, Robson-Kanu, Hunt
Ipswich: Lee-Barrett, Edwards, Cresswell, Delaney, Sonko, Bowyer, Leadbitter (c), Emmanuel-Thomas, Martin, Chopra, Murphy
Subs: Muprhy, Wabara, Bullard, Carson, Ellington