Reading rampant as promotion surge continues
17th March 2012
Attendance: 9,381 (678 away)
An outstanding second half performance saw Reading thump Barnsley 4-0 at Oakwell. A brace from Jem Karacan and goals from Jason Roberts and Jobi McAnuff rounded off a superb day for the Royals.
Royals boss Brian McDermott decided to make two changes to the side that drew with Doncaster on Tuesday night, as Shaun Cummings and Hal Robson-Kanu dropped out for the recovered Jimmy Kebe and new signing Hayden Mullins, who would start in the left back spot.
The away side started the much brighter at Oakwell, with striker Noel Hunt having a good early opportunity as Roberts slipped him through, but Steele made a smart save. Reading continued to dominate the opening 10 minutes, with Jimmy Kebe looking very lively.
Barnsley however did force a good save out of Adam Federici on 15 minutes as on-loan striker Frank Nouble`s glancing header was tipped over by the Australian international. Reading responded well to this though, with Jobi McAnuff beating his man on the left and shooting just wide.
The Royals captain then had another decent effort at goal as Hunt drew Steele out of his goal but McAnuff`s attempted lob went harmlessly over the bar. Keith Hill`s side improved as the half went on, with Craig Davies attempting an ambitious 25-yard free kick.
Luke Steele provided heroics in the reverse fixture where he saved two penalties and was showing a similar masterclass in this game. First striker Jason Roberts turned in the box and took a snapshot which Steele saved well, then palming away a 30-yard Leigertwood effort well.
The second period started with a bang, as Reading come out of the traps with a goal in the opening two minutes. Jason Roberts was through down the right and squared for Jobi McAnuff who buried the ball in the net from 15 yards to put the Royals deservedly in front.
Just before both teams could draw breath, Reading doubled their advantage through Jem Karacan. A loose ball in the box was not cleared properly by Barnsley and the Turkish midfielder profited as he smashed the ball home from 5 yards to send Royals fans into dreamland.
Instead of sitting back and letting the home side come onto them, they went in search of the game-sealing third. Jimmy Kebe had a shot which kindly fell to Roberts, but he couldn`t sort out his feet in time and shot wastefully wide.
However, the third did come on 65 minutes as Noel Hunt did well to hold the ball up and Jem Karacan struck a curling, unsavable 25-yard effort to surely put the game beyond any doubt. Barnsley`s only effort of noting in the second half was a Craig Davies effort from just outside the box.
Frank Nouble had a well-struck free kick just sail over the bar before Reading put the seal on a fantastic second half performance. Jason Roberts had a fantastic game and got the goal he deserved with minutes to play, as he raced clean through and slipped his effort under Steele for the fourth and final goal of the game.
Barnsley: Steele, Wiseman, Foster, McNulty, Collins, Done, Doyle, Smith, Nouble, Rose Davies
Subs: Lidakevicius, Stones, Dawson, Cotterill, Gray
Reading: Federici, Mullins, Pearce, Gorkss, Harte, Kebe, Leigertwood, Karacan, McAnuff, Hunt, Roberts
Subs: Andersen, Tabb, Robson-Kanu, Le Fondre, Church