Royals shoot down the Foxes
10th March 2012
Attendance: 21,858 (1,629 away)
An eight successive win for Reading keeps their promotion hopes firmly on track, after a fine 3-1 victory over Leicester City at the Madejski Stadium.
Royals boss Brian McDermott decided to stick with the same team that defeated Portsmouth on Tuesday night, meaning Jimmy Kebe once again missed out through injury. The away side started the game the better and Danny Drinkwater`s early shot gave some early warning signs for the Hoops.
Nonetheless it was Kasper Schmeichel was the first keeper to be brought into the action as good Reading pressure led to Hunt getting in a shot in from a tight angle and Foxes defender Wes Morgan cleared off the line from Mikele Leigertwood`s scuffed volley.
The home side continued this pressure as defender Alex Pearce had a header saved by Schmeichel from point-blank range. This pressure eventually paid off on 20 minutes as captain Jobi McAnuff set up Mikele Leigertwood for a stunning, rocket-like opening goal from the edge of the box.
Both teams seemed to struggle keep possession of the ball in the latter stages of the first half, with many passes being misplaced by both sides. David Nugent had a half chance in the last 5 minutes but his effort was blocked well by Alex Pearce as they went into the break.
Nigel Pearson responded to this first-half performance by making two substitutions and his side certainly improved in the second period. A rare lapse in concentration from Gorkss allowed sub Steve Howard space and time to have a shot but could not connect properly.
David Nugent is a striker hot in form at the moment and gave the Royals a scare as his burst down the left-hand side and cut in but his effort went well wide. Foxes midfielder Richie Wellens then had a goalbound header blocked away from Kaspars Gorkss.
Leicester were outplaying the Royals at this moment in time, with Steve Howard failing to make the most of two decent opportunities soon after. Adam Federici was then brought into the action as Neil Danns attempted a spectacular goal but was thwarted by the Australian international.
Through this pressure, Reading were going to be constant threat on the break with the likes of Roberts, McAnuff and Hal Robson-Kanu. It was the Welsh international broke away down the middle and had a three-on-three situation but delayed the pass and it did not materialise.
Reading broke again minutes later as the hosts picked up on a stray Leicester pass. Jason Roberts drove through the middle and claimed he was brought down in the box but the referee waved away the protests. Schmeichel then found himself 40-yards out of his goal following this, but Hunt`s effort was cleared off the line by Wes Morgan.
This eventual pressure was to once again pay-off as Reading scored a lucrative second goal. Noel Hunt was proving to be handful all afternoon and his good work and cross down the right allowed Jason Roberts to slot home coolly under pressure from defender Sol Bamba.
This goal downed the hopes of any sort of result for Leicester, with Reading close to scoring a third on 82 minutes as Hal Robson-Kanu beat two players before dragging his shot just wide of Schmeichel`s left-hand post.
However, the third goal was scored one minute from time as Hunt once again came in from the right and delivered the perfect ball for substitute Simon Church who nodded home from 5 yards to compound the Foxes misery.
The away fans did have something to shout about in injury time as the Royals defence failed to clear and Neil Danns profited by slamming the ball home from 12 yards. But this wasn`t to take the gloss off a decent performance from the Royals and seal their eight consecutive win.
Reading: Federici, Cummings, Pearce, Gorkss, Harte, McAnuff, Leigertwood, Karacan, Robson-Kanu, Hunt, Roberts
Subs: Andersen, Tabb, Cywka, Church, Le Fondre
Leicester: Schmeichel, Peltier, St Ledger, Morgan, Kennedy, Danns, Drinkwater, Wellens, Dyer, Nugent, Beckford
Subs: Bamba, Gallagher, Marshall, Schlupp, Howard