Vital Football

Latest Reading FC News

Royals run ends at hands of Stoke

2 - 1

Britannia Stadium

9th February 2013

Attendance: 26,737


Reading were unable to pull off any late heroics in this game, as they fell to their first defeat in seven games, as they lost 2-1 to Stoke at the Britannia Stadium.

Royals boss Brian McDermott opted to make just once change to the side that beat Sunderland 3-1 last week, with January signing Nick Blackman making his first Premier League start for Reading, in place of Garath McCleary. It was a well-balanced start at the Britannia, with Peter Crouch having an early sight of goal, but couldn`t connect well enough with Ethrington`s cross.

The England international`s height was causing problems for the Royals backline and his knock down in the box created havoc, but the hosts couldn`t profit from this. Chances were few and far between in the early exchanges. Michael Kightly tried to produce a piece of magic on the right wing, but despite cutting inside of Ian Harte, the former Reading target`s effort was saved comfortably by Federici.

It took 32 minutes for either keeper to be tested and the player in question was Adam Federici. Brian McDermott`s side failed to deal well-enough with a Stoke corner, which allowed Ryan Shawcross to shank a left-footed volley at goal, which the Australian had to tip over his bar. Stoke were starting to get on top of the game, but were not going to take the lead thanks to an ambitious Peter Crouch volley, which sailed harmlessly wide.

Kightly was becoming a thorn in Reading`s side down the right and delivered a perfect cross for the chest of Crouch, but his superbly-hit volley towards goal was tipped over by Federici. From the resulting corner, Reading failed to clear and it fell to the feet of Robert Huth, who was allowed a clear strike at goal from ten yards, but Stephen Kelly made a crucial block to keep the game goalless.

The second period started slowly in a similar vein to the first, with neither keeper having to make a notable contribution. Tony Pulis` side were testing the catching ability with several crosses and long balls into the box, but the Australian was equal to them. Reading reverted to 4-4-2 and showed slight improvement, with Hope Akpan`s effort at goal testing the grasp of Begovic.

Stoke`s corner count was well into double figures, but the Royals resistance from their set-piece threat was eventually broken on 67 minutes. Matt Ethrington`s corner to the back post was inviting and rising highest was Robert Huth to head the Potters into a deserved lead. Reading were struggling to make inroads in the Stoke half, with the Potters defence standing strong.

The Premier League player of the month for January Adam Le Fondre was brought on by McDermott and the striker thought he had scored the equaliser for Reading, but Michael Oliver had already blown up for a handball on Pogrebnyak. The Royals then had half a chance on the break as Jimmy Kebe drove through the heart of the Stoke backline, but his pass for Pogrebnyak was behind the forward.

McDermott`s men would then rue this mistake, as Stoke doubled their lead at the Britannia. A ball was hit in the direction of Cameron Jerome and the substitute chested his effort down before getting away from Alex Pearce, to finish exquisitely past Federici. However, the vistitors put themselves back in the game with a goal of their own, thanks to a near post header from Adrian Mariappa.

Reading were pushing for that all important equaliser, but left themselves open to the counter attack on occasion. Glen Whelan tried his luck from 25-yards with a long-range effort and Federici could only parry to the feet of Jon Walters, but a superb last ditch challenge from Alex Pearce denied the Irishman in reinstating Stoke`s two-goal advantage.

Le Fondre had a half claim for a penalty in the dying seconds, but was waved away by Michael Oliver, much to McDermott`s dismay. It finished with the Royals leaving Staffordshire with nothing, but this is always a tough place to get points from. The majority of results went in our favour, so we just need to focus on the big games at home, against the likes of Wigan, Villa, QPR and Southampton.

Stoke: Begovic, Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross (c), Shotton, Kightly, Whelan, N`Zonzi, Etherington, Walters, Crouch
Subs: Sorensen, Cameron, Whitehead, Adam, Jerome, Jones, Owen

Reading: Federci, Kelly, Mariappa, Pearce, Harte, Leigertwood, Akpan, Kebe, McAnuff (C), Blackman, Pogrebnyak
Subs: Taylor, Shorey, Morrison, Karacan, McCleary, Hunt, Le Fondre

Star Player

Stephen Kelly - No one really had a great game for Reading, but Kelly is starting to look more of an astute signing as the games go on. Didn't do anything special, but didn't do much wrong.

Date:Saturday February 9 2013
Time: 5:23PM

Best of Vital Network

Login to post a comment

Site Journalists

Write for Vital Reading
Write For Vital Reading
Apply Here

Current Poll (see more polls)

Reading v Wigan Athletic
Suggested By:
Reading win67%
Wigan win33%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
P Brighton 44 28 8 8 92 35
P Newcastle 45 28 7 10 91 42
3 Huddersfield 44 25 6 13 81 3
4 Reading 44 24 7 13 79 1
5 Sheff Wed 44 23 9 12 78 15
6 Fulham 44 21 13 10 76 27
7 Leeds Utd 44 22 7 15 73 14
8 Norwich 44 19 9 16 66 12
9 Brentford 44 18 9 17 63 12
10 Derby County 44 17 12 15 63 2
11 Preston 44 16 13 15 61 2
12 Aston Villa 44 16 13 15 61 0
13 Cardiff 45 16 11 18 59 -4
14 Barnsley 44 15 12 17 57 0
15 Wolves 44 15 10 19 55 -3
16 Ipswich 44 13 16 15 55 -6
17 Bristol City 44 14 9 21 51 -6
18 Burton 44 13 12 19 51 -12
19 Q.P.R. 44 14 8 22 50 -12
20 Forest 44 13 9 22 48 -11
21 Birmingham 44 11 14 19 47 -22
22 Blackburn 44 10 15 19 45 -15
23 Wigan 44 10 11 23 41 -16
R Rotherham 44 5 6 33 21 -58
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Reading Results (view all)

Reading Fixtures (view all)

Apr 29 2017 3:00PM : Wigan Athletic (H)
Sky Bet Championship
May 7 2017 12:00PM : Burton Albion (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Vital Football Comment