Royals suffer second league defeat of the season
Saturday 5th October 2013
Despite a late resurgence from Reading, they couldn`t keep hold of their unbeaten run, as they lost to high-flying Burnley at Turf Moor by two goals to one.
Nigel Adkins opted to make three changes from the team that drew with Barnsley on Tuesday night, with the injured duo of Wayne Bridge and Jobi McAnuff coming back in and Jordan Obita also getting his second league start of his career. It was a rather slow start at Turf Moor, but as you would expect, the home side were doing most of the early pressing.
Reading struggled to get into the game and Sean Dyche`s side took the lead half way through the first half and it was in form striker Danny Ings who scored it. Keiran Trippier had space on the right wing and crossed to the back post for the forward to tap home, with Nigel Adkins likely to be disappointed with his side`s defending of the goal.
Instead of a response, the Clarets continued to push for a second goal. Another cross from the right side was not dealt with and it was Arfield this time, who had a header just wide. Pogrebnyak almost had a sight of goal in the visitors` best move of the match, but was snuffed out by the Burnley backline. The Russian did force a save out of Tom Heaton minutes later though.
Pog latched onto a cross from the wing and his looping header forced a fine save out of the former Manchester United keeper and from the resulting corner, Morrison headed over from close-range. Reading were slowly improving and young Jordan Obita had a firm effort saved comfortably by Tom Heaton, before Danny Ings had another close effort, after possession was lost carelessly in the box.
Into the second period, Adkins would have wanted improvement, but it was still the home side doing the majority of the attacking. Burnley broke up the other end from a Reading attack and Scott Arfield tested McCarthy with a low effort, which he dealt with well. A sudden onsurge from the home side was to occur and McCarthy was to be the hero.
Firstly, he made a superb double save from Danny Ings and Scott Arfield, before pulling off a sublime point blanc save from a close-range Ings header - world class goalkeeping. Nigel Adkins made a triple substitution in the hope of salvaging something from this game, but this as expected left the Royals open. Ings was slipped through one-on-one, but couldn`t beat McCarthy again.
The hosts were tearing through the Royals backline at will, but couldn`t get that crucial second goal, as Ings had another decent chance, but smashed his effort over the bar. The Royals were having the majority of the ball, but were ineffective with it. Substitute Nick Blackman had their first meaningful shot of the half with 20 minutes to go, but dragged his right-footed shot wide.
The goal did eventually come for the home side though, as Sam Vokes broke Reading`s offside trap and advanced on the impressive McCarthy, but beat the keeper by slotting home comfortably. However, the points weren`t secure yet as Reading had a lifeline, as Jason Shackell put into his own net, after Heaton saved from Pogrebnyak`s header.
This goal juvenated the away side and were pushing for an equaliser. Burnley came within inches of scoring another own goal, as a defender headed just wide of goal. Heaton was forced into action minutes later, as Obita`s deep cross was attacked by Chris Gunter, but his header didn`t cause many problems for the keeper - the defender would have been disappointed he didn`t score.
Reading pushed hard for an equaliser, but failed in their attempts, bringing their unbeaten run of six games to an end. It`s fair to say we didn`t deserve anything out of the game, with Burnley having a handful of chances in the second period, only to be denied by McCarthy on numerous occasions. The international break comes at a good time, as we can refresh and nurse our many injuries.
Burnley - 4-4-2: Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Duff, Mee, Arfield, Marney, Jones, Kightly, Vokes, Ings
Subs: Cisak, Lafferty, Stock, Long, Stanislas, Treacy, Edgar
Reading - 4-2-3-1: McCarthy, Gunter, Pearce, Morrison, Bridge, Baird, Guthrie, Obita, McAnuff (c), Robson-Kanu, Pogrebnyak
Subs: Federici, Kelly, Gorkss, Akpan, J Taylor, Blackman, Le Fondre