Royals run comes to an end at Cardiff
Cardiff City Stadium
2nd January 2012
An impressive first half showing from Cardiff City helped Malky Mackay's side to a 3-1 triumph over an in-form Reading side at the Cardiff City Stadium.
It didn`t take long for the first chance of the game as danger man Peter Whittingham skipped through the Royals defence, with his shot going narrowly wid. Cardiff`s midfield continued to dictate the play with Reading failing to get into the game.
The away side`s first half chance fell to Jem Karacan, as his effort from the edge of the area was fired well wide. However, the Bluebirds took the lead on 13 minutes as Joe Mason ran at the Royals defence and finished well despite slipping.
Brian McDermott`s men felt aggrieved with the goal, with a blatant handball in the build-up which was ignored by Chris Foy. Reading couldn`t find a response and within five minutes they found themselves 2-0 down as Aron Gunnarsson poached in from an inswinging corner.
Captain Jobi McAnuff attempted a shot shortly after but wasn`t near enough to trouble David Marshall. The hosts then should have really put the game to bed as Ralls found himself clean through, but mishit his shot into Federici`s hands.
However, it wasn`t long before Cardiff scored their third through striker Kenny Miller . Whittingham played an inch perfect ball to the Scottish striker who finished well from 10 yards, to compile the Royals` misery.
Joe Ralls came close once again as his long-range striker went narrowly over the bar. Minutes later Reading gave themselves a glimmer of hope in injury time, as Jimmy Kebe ran past two men and crossing for Jobi McAnuff who slammed home.
Reading came out in the second half like a whippet out of the traps. Church and Hunt linked up well but the Irishman couldn`t direct his shot towards goal. Church was then involved again as he appeared to be tripped by a Cardiff player but referee Chris Foy gave nothing.
Noel Hunt then had a half chance, as Harte swung in a corner which he headed just wide. Brian McDermott brought on the cavalry in Le Fondre and Robson Kanu and the Royals continued to dominate with a succession of corners, but Cardiff looked dangerous on the break.
Young Joe Ralls came close for the Bluebirds once again, but Federici pulled off a great reflex save to keep the Royals in the game. Jobi McAnuff had a similar long-range effort but his was well wide. Rudy Gestede then had a shot blocked bravely by Adam Federici after some neat play from the home side.
The Australian was to become the star of the show as he first saved from Miller from the edge of the box, followed by a magnificent point blank save from Gestade`s header. Reading came out a much improved side in the second half, but Cardiff got the three points with an impressive display.
Cardiff: Marshall, Blake, Turner, Hudson, Taylor, Cowie, Gunnarsson, Ralls, Whittingham, Mason, Miller
Subs: Heaton, Gerrard, McPhail, Conway, Gestade
Reading: Federici, Cummings, Pearce, Gorkss, Harte, Kebe, Leigertwood, Karacan, McAnuff, Church, Hunt
Subs: Andersen, Mills, Tabb, Robson-Kanu, Le Fondre