Royals & Rangers share spoils
Saturday 9th November 2013
Joey Barton's free kick gave QPR a share of the points against Reading, after both sides drew 1-1 at the Madejski Stadium.
Reading boss Nigel Adkins made just one change to the side that was thumped at Sheffield Wednesday last week, as Kaspars Gorkss made his first league appearance of the season at the expense of Alex Pearce. It was a frantic start by a Royals defence that conceded five last week, as Junior Hoilett hit the bar very early on with a superb long-range effort.
Alex McCarthy then needed to come to the rescue of the defence and not for the first time this season. Firstly, Charlie Austin`s turn-and-shot forced him to beat the ball away, before a Gorkss slip was almost punished, but once again the young keeper was on hand to deny the striker. Despite a good start by Redknapp`s side, the home side were gradually improving.
Jordan Obita thought he had half a shout for a penalty, as he went between two QPR men and went down, but the referee Anthony Taylor wasn`t impressed and waved away any claims. A firm run down the right wing gave Reading their best chance, as McCleary`s low cross wasn`t cleared by Rangers and it fell kindly to Pavel Pogrebnyak, but could only toe it wide under pressure from ten yards.
The right hand side was being favoured by the home side, who had another good sweeping attack. The ball was worked out to Chris Gunter and the Welshman`s cross was attacked by the inform Pogrebnyak, but he headed well over the bar. Green was soon forced into a save though as Reading were taking a stranglehold, as Baird`s close range header was kept out well by the former England international.
It look the Royals a while to get going, but were finishing the first half the stronger, but QPR were always a threat when they ventured forward. McCarthy had to be on hand to deny Austin once more, as his header needed to be parried away from danger. Hoilett then tried his luck again after some good stuff on the edge of the box, but a strong hand from Macca denied him again.
Into the second half, it was a very slow start and both sides failed to carve out any clear cut chances. It seemed as if it was going to need a piece of quality to break the deadlock and it was exactly that which happened, thanks to Garath McCleary. The winger picked the ball up 30-yards out from goal and fired an effort from long-range, which found itself in the bottom corner of the net.
This forced Redknapp into bringing on another striker in Andy Johnson, in support of Charlie Austin, who had another effort saved by McCarthy from the edge of the area. With Rangers going for an equaliser, they left themselves open at the back and Obita could have sealed the points when he was found in space on the left after a sweeping break, but his low shot was saved Green`s left leg.
We said how it was going to take a piece of quality to break the deadlock in the game and it took another one to bring the scores level. Gorkss fouled a Rangers man on the edge of the area and Joey Barton stepped up to dispatch the free kick past the impressive McCarthy, to give QPR a crucial equaliser with twelve minutes to play in the game.
Both sides seemed sceptical to go for all three points and seemed quite content with just one to take from the game. It finished level and probably deservedly so, in a quite entertaining game. A point against a very good QPR side is good, but to lose another two points at home late on is frustrating, we need to try and find the second goal in games to finish off the opposition.
Reading - 4-2-3-1: McCarthy, Gunter, Gorkss, Morrison, Kelly, Baird, Guthrie, McCleary, Robson-Kanu, Obita
Subs: Federici, Pearce, Cummings, Akpan, McAnuff, Sharp, Le Fondre
QPR - 4-5-1: Green, Simpson, Dunne, Hill, Assou-Ekotto, Phillips, Barton, O`Neill, Jenas, Hoilett, Austin
Subs: Murphy, Onouha, Traore, Henry, Kranjcar, Johnson, Chevanton