Alfie gives Royals three points on Brian's return
Wednesday 18th September 2013
Supersub Adam Le Fondre struck again, as the forward netted in the last minute of injury time to give Reading all three points against Leeds at the Madejski Stadium.
The fixture between the two sides saw the return of Brian McDermott, who was sacked from his post as Reading manager in March. Royals boss Nigel Adkins continued to ring the changes, making three for this game, with Wayne Bridge and Nick Blackman returning to the starting XI, while there was also a start for Hal Robson-Kanu, who has been used a substitute in the past two games.
Similarly to the Brighton game three days previously, it was another scrappy start at the Madejski Stadium. Both sides were struggling to gain meaningful possession of the ball and the only noteworthy part of the opening exchanges was a serious injury to midfielder Jem Karacan, who had to be stretchered off with a knee injury, suffered in a challenge with Leeds` Ross McCormack.
Wayne Bridge and Royston Drenthe were displaying some good link up play on the left side, with the former England international providing some dangerous crosses, but Blackman nor Robson-Kanu could profit from this. Danny Williams brought about the first save of the contest, as his strike from the edge of the box forced the former Sheffield United man to push it wide for a corner.
Shots on target has been a problem for Reading in recent games, but central striker Robson-Kanu was next to try his luck, trying an effort at Kenny`s goal, but did not cause him any problems. Luke Varney had Leeds` first and only shot on target on the half hour mark, after decent play from former Royals striker Noel Hunt, but was comfortable for Alex McCarthy.
Leeds` skipper Rudolph Austin fancied his ability from long range on numerous occasions in the game and came to the closest to scoring in the first period, as his fierce effort hit the stanchion next to the goal. It was a fairly even first half, but Reading were creating the better openings, without any cutting edge and end product to gain from them.
Set pieces appeared to be the Royals` best chance of opening the scoring, with the towering presence of Sean Morrison failing to convert an enticing delivery from Danny Guthrie, just before the half time break. McDermott would have probably been the most content out of the two going into the break, with his side still firmly in the game at 0-0.
Into the second half, Morrison had another chance from a set piece delivery, but again failed to get his header on target. The game was certainly more open in this half and Ross McCormack almost fashioned himself a chance, but his goal bound shot was blocked well by the impressive Alex Pearce. The Scottish international had another fizzing effort minutes later, which just cleared Alex McCarthy`s bar.
Hope Akpan, who came on for the injured Jem Karacan in the opening exchanges, found space on two occasions on the edge of the box, with his first effort being blocked and his second easily gathered from Kenny. Reading were slowly gaining momentum, but the away side were a threat on the break with the pace of Poleon and McCormack.
We were firmly into injury time when McDermott`s side were awarded a free kick 40 yards out, which was delivered to the back post and attacked by Jason Pearce, but somehow failed to get his header on target, much to the astonishment of the 3,200 Leeds travelling support. Up the other end, Reading gained a free kick of their own in a similar position to their counterparts.
Warnock sieved down Le Fondre, which for the left backs second bookable offence and made the long walk off the pitch. Drenthe`s delivery was knocked on by Danny Williams and to apply the finishing touch from five yards was super sub Adam Le Fondre, into the sixth minute of injury time. The Madejski crowd had exploded into joy!
It was a largely frustrating game, despite it being an improvement on the Brighton showing on Sunday. There was plenty of good play, but we get sick of saying it every week - we need to invest in another goalscoring striker. Despite that, it`s a third clean sheet in a row for Nigel Adkins` side, who will now prepare to face in form Derby County at Pride Park this Saturday.
Reading - 4-3-3: McCarthy, Kelly, Pearce, Morrison, Bridge, Karacan, Guthrie, Williams, Robson-Kanu, Drenthe, Blackman
Subs: Federici, Gorkss, Gunter, Akpan, McCleary, Obita, Le Fondre
Leeds - 4-3-1-2: Kenny, Lees, Wooton, Pearce, Warnock, Austin, Tonge, Murphy, McCormack, Varney, Hunt
Subs: Cairns, Mowatt, White, Green, Diouf, Poleon, Smith