Royals defeat battling Coventry
11th February 2012
Reading came out 2-0 victor`s against bottom side Coventry City at the Madejski Stadium this afternoon, despite a very spirited performance by the Sky Blues, who forced Adam Federici into action on many occasions.
Brian McDermott made five changes to the side that beat Bristol City two weeks ago, with Shaun Cummings, Andy Griffin, Jobi McAnuff and Hal Robson-Kanu all injured. This allowed a return to action for injured duo Mikele Leigertwood and Jimmy Kebe, with Matt Connolly starting his first game.
The game endured a very slow opening, with the visitors Coventry keeping the majority of the ball and the Royals struggling to get a stranglehold of the game. However, the first decent chance fell to the home side as Hunt with his back to goal turned but couldn`t test Joe Murphy in goal.
Sky Blues midfielder Gary Deegan then attempted a very audacious effort from 25-yards, as his dipping volley fell a few yards of Federici`s right-hand post. The away side continued to press the Royals and didn`t allow them possession, with the five men in midfield causing a problem for the Royals attack.
However, on 25 minutes it was the Royals who took the lead against the run of play. Winger Jimmy Kebe got the ball on the right and charged into the box, attempting an apparent cross which went all the way in, baffling Coventry keeper to give the Royals the lead.
Matt Connolly was making his debut after joining from QPR and almost gave the visitors a way back into the game, as his pass back was very short but Clive Platt couldn`t capitalise on his mistake. Hunt went close again from an Ian Harte corner, before Brian McDermott`s men doubled the lead.
Another dangerous set-piece from Ian Harte was scrambled home by the Royals, with striker Jason Roberts claiming it for his second goal in two games. This deflated the life out of the visitors, with Reading going in at half time with the game seemingly tied up.
Both teams came out in the second half with a very relaxed and subdued attitude. Despite the Royals keeping the ball well, they did not create a huge amount of chances in the opening exchanges. Coventry did eventually improve as the second half went on.
Adam Federici was rarely called into action in the first half but had his work cut out in the second period. Alex Nimely found himself through in goal after a lapse in concentration from Leigertwood but Federici produced a stunning reflex safe from the young striker.
Long-range specialist Gary McSheffery was looking to spearhead all of Coventry`s decent play and almost got on the score sheet as his speculative 30-yard effort was tipped over fantastically by the Australian international Federici.
Reading were looking very good on the break with Coventry trying to find a way back into the game. Mills and Karacan linked up well to set-up the impressive Roberts, could only smash his 15-yard effort over the Coventry bar.
Once again, set-pieces were causing problems for Andy Thorn`s side as Ian Harte`s delivery wasn`t cleared, allowing Simon Church a wonderful opportunity from 5 yards out but somehow put it over the bar. Minutes later Federici was called into action again as he tipped away Nimely`s drive from the edge of the box.
Reading: Federici, Connolly, Pearce, Gorkss, Harte, Kebe, Leigertwood, Karacan, Mills, Hunt, Roberts
Subs: Andersen, Tabb, Cywka, Church, Le Fondre
Coventry: Murphy, Keogh, Wood, Crainie, Christie, Norwood, Clingan, Deegan, McSheffery, Nimely, Platt
Subs: Dunn, Clarke, Bell, Baker, Eastwood