Le Fondre lateshow wins it for the Royals
The New Den
3rd March 2012
Attendance: 11,271 (1,489 away)
A 76th minute winner from substitute Adam Le Fondre helped Reading come from behind and beat relegation threatened Millwall 2-1 at the Den.
Brian McDermott was with a late injury blow to Jimmy Kebe, who picked up a knock during the week so Hal Robson-Kanu deputised in his place. Millwall started the game on the front foot and former Royals player James Henry dragged an effort wide in the opening minutes.
Both teams struggled to gain an upper hand in the game but it was the home side that took the lead on 16 minutes, as striker Andy Keogh found himself through after legally breaking the Royals` offside trap and slotted home calmly to give the struggling side a fantastic start.
This goal gave Millwall a well-needed boost and continued to press the usually solid Reading backline, which was looking very fragile. A rare Alex Pearce mistake also let Keogh almost grab a second goal, but was eventually closed down.
Reading were struggling to find some flow to their play that has seem them win five consecutive games, with a 25-yard Ian Harte free kick the closest they came in the opening period. However, Reading was then given a lifeline in first half injury time.
An Ian Harte corner was not cleared by the Lions defence and Hal Robson-Kanu struck a sublime left-footed volley into the roof of David Forde`s net to give the Royals an undeserved equaliser at a very atmospheric New Den.
The Royals were being followed by an impressive support of around 1,500 fans and they would have expected better from the first half performance and they got their wish. Despite Millwall having early possession, they struggled to make any notable use of it.
Millwall wingers James Henry and Hamer Boazza had ambitious efforts from 30-yard free kicks but could not profit from those situations. However, Reading were starting to find some decent flow to their performance, despite not creating any clear cut chances.
Although, they were rewarded on 76 minutes thanks to substitute Adam Le Fondre. Similarly to the Millwall goal, Roberts broke the offside trap of the Lions defence and had Le Fondre unmarked alongside him and allowed the former Rotherham striker to bundle home from 5 yards.
From there on in, the away side continued to frustrate Kenny Jackett`s side. Striker Andy Keogh did have a drive from the edge of the box which went narrowly wide and defender Kaspars Gorkss had to be on top form to deny the striker a chance in the closing minutes.
The Royals comfortably saw the game out and gained their sixth win in the row, keeping the pressure on the top two in Southampton and West Ham.
Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Robinson, Lowry, Craig, Henry, Abdou, Wright, Bouazza, Kane, Keogh
Subs: Allsopp, Ward, Feeney, N`Guessan, Mason
Reading: Federici, Connolly, Pearce, Gorkss, Harte, McAnuff, Karacan, Leigertwood, Robson-Kanu, Hunt, Roberts
Subs: Andersen, Tabb, Cywka, Church, Le Fondre