Reading return back to winning ways
24th March 2012
Attendance: 20,906 (1,138 away)
Reading continued to winning ways this afternoon at the Madejski Stadium, as they beat play-off contenders Blackpool 3-1.
Reading boss Brian McDermott decided to make two changes to the team that lost to Peterborough on Tuesday night, with Shaun Cummings coming in for Hayden Mullins and Benik Afobe making his debut after signing on loan on Thursday in place of the injured Jason Roberts.
It was the home side that made the better start to the game and were inches away from opening the scoring in the first few minutes. Some good early play set up Jimmy Kebe at the back post but his goal bound effort was accidently blocked by striker Noel Hunt.
Blackpool continued to be dominated by the Royals in the first 10 minutes, with Jimmy Kebe looking very lively in this game. The Malian winger beat two players before firing an effort way wide then scuffing a volley from a Jobi McAnuff corner.
A stray Kevin Phillips effort was the only shot worth noting for the visitors in the early exchanges but it was obvious Ian Holloway`s side wanted to play on the break with their impressive front three. The prolific Phillips had another effort which was dragged just wide of Federici`s post.
Blackpool started to find their feet as the game progressed, with Chris Basham`s shot just deflected away from Karacan, but as the Tangerines pressed the Royals responded emphatically. Captin Jobi McAnuff hit a sweet low effort which struck the post but Ian Harte rebounded in to give the Royals a deserved lead.
It was just a matter of minutes before Reading doubled this cushion at the Madejski Stadium. Jobi McAnuff was again involved as his deep cross to the back post was headed home by defender Alex Pearce to send the Reading fans rocking.
The Tangerines looked like it would take a piece of individual brilliance to get them back into the game and that was the case on 41 minutes. Lomana Lua Lua side stepped Jem Karacan before striking a superb 25-yard effort, which left Federici with no chance.
Ian Holloway would have probably given his players the hairdryer treatment at half time, with his side struggling to make a huge impact on the game. However, they came out a different side after the break. Pool midfielder Chris Basham nearly had a decent sight of goal before Gorkss denied him.
Reading calmed themselves down after a frantic start to the half, with Noel Hunt attempting an audacious volley after linking up well with the quiet Afobe. The away side continued to press but were made to rue their missed chances on 60 minutes.
Many could see the nerves around the Madejski Stadium with just a one-goal advantage but could now rest again. A free-kick was won out of the left-side which was swung in expertly by Ian Harte and midfielder Mikele Leigertwood met it well with a smart header to restore the Royals` two goal lead.
Blackpool looked shell-shocked by this third goal and would need an outstanding response to get themselves back in this game. Noel Hunt could have added a fourth for Reading but his shot was dragged wide after some neat play from substitute Simon Church.
Kevin Phillips tried his luck with a free kick but could not trouble Federici in the Reading goal. Baptiste then found some space down the right and his stinging cross could not find anybody in Tangerine to end any hope of a late comeback.
Reading: Federici, Cummings, Pearce, Gorkss, Harte, Kebe, Leigertwood, Karacan, McAnuff, Hunt, Afobe
ubs: Andersen, Tabb, Robson-Kanu, Church, Le Fondre
Blackpool: Gilks, Baptiste, Cathcart, Evatt, Crainey, Basham, Ferguson, Sylveste, Taylor-Fletcher, Lua Lua, K Phillips
ubs: Harris, Angel, M Phillips, Ince, Dobbie