Reading fail to beat eight-man Yeovil
Saturday 1st March 2014
Reading's home woes continue, as they failed to beat bottom-of-the-table Yeovil Town at the Madejski Stadium, with the visitors also having three players sent off.
Nigel Adkins had to name a changed line up for the first time in nine games, with skipper Jobi McAnuff having a head injury, so Hal Robson-Kanu started in his place. As we have the past few games at home, we started well, but couldn`t maintain the high tempo. Le Fondre was denied a tap-in by a Yeovil defender in the opening exchanges, after a good cross from Robson-Kanu.
Yeovil were growing into the game and broke the deadlock in Berkshire and it was another unlikely mistake from the usually reliable Alex McCarthy. A ball was pumped into the area from a free-kick and the keeper came to punch the ball away, only for defender Shane Duffy to get there first and make a connection with into an open goal - another individual mistake letting us down at home.
The away side`s confidence was sky high and McCarthy partly made amends when he had to make a good stop from a rasping Holmes effort, palming the ball away for a corner. The performance from the Royals was once again lacklustre and a disallowed header for Pavel Pogrebnyak was the only good move from us in the first half, which was hugely frustrating to say the least.
Into the second period, Nigel Adkins brought on Danny Guthrie for the ineffective Hope Akpan. Adkins obviously got his teeth into the players at the break, as they marginally improved after the restart, as Pogrebnyak had a good chance, when a ball whipped from the right side was attacked by the big Russian, but his header luckily went into the grasp of Yeovil keeper Stech.
Adam le Fondre is usually a reliable figure in front of goal, but today was not going to be his day. Firstly, the striker missed a header from five yards as the Glovers couldn`t clear their lines, then he had a great opening when Gunter`s bursting run and pull back was blasted over by Alfie. Unfortauntely, it was only going to get worse for him just minutes later.
Substitute Royston Drenthe looked lively when he came and earned his side a penalty, with Byron Webster getting the wrong side of the winger, before bringing him down in the area. As well as the spot kick, Scott Mathieson sent the defender off as he was the last man. As you would expect, le Fondre stepped up to the spot kick, but saw it saved by Stech, getting down to his right well.
It wouldn`t cost his side too much though, as an equaliser came just second later, as his left-footed effort comically went in off Yeovil midfielder John Lundstram, as Reading found themselves level. Yeovil then found themselves down to nine men shortly after, as Joe Ralls came in with a reckless challenge on Garath McCleary under the linesman`s nose and deservedly saw red.
As you can imagine, it was one-way traffic with ten minutes remaining. Yeovil were setting up very narrow, sacrificyign space on the wings, but Reading were struggling to find a breakthrough. Danny Guthrie firmly-hit effort tested Stech`s reflexes, before Pog had an effort blocked away. If nine men wasn`t bad enough for the visitors, they were down to eight men just before the 90 minute mark.
Keiffen Moore was shown a yellow card just a minute previous to his second - the first being for timewasting and the second for a late challenge on Gunter who was about to stride into the area. Another good decision from the referee, but Yeovil now had to survive seven minutes of additional time at the Madejski Stadium if they were to take a point back to Somerset.
You have to say that Yeovil battled and defended tremendously well in the closing stages, with Drenthe forcing a good save out for Stech, before scrambling the ball away. That was the only notable effort on goal in the final minutes of the game, as Reading couldn`t break down the eight-men of Yeovil Town, who before this game, sat bottom-of-the-table.
The boos did ring out of the Madejski at the end, after another frustrating home performance, which now means we are winless in three at home. We have also dropped out of the play-offs, with Wigan taking our spot. This really does make the Wigan and Brighton away games must win, or at the very least not lose - there is a long way to go, but confidence just isn`t there at the moment.
Reading - 4-4-2: McCarthy, Gunter, Pearce, Gorkss, Obita, McCleary, Akpan, Williams, Robson-Kanu, Pogrebnyak, Le Fondre
Subs: Federici, Hector, Kelly, Guthrie, J.Taylor, Drenthe, Blackman
Yeovil - 4-4-1-1: Stech, Ayling, Duffy, Webster, McAllister, Holmes, Ralls, Edwards, Lawrence, Hayter, Moore
Subs: Dunn, Lundstram, Nana Twumasi, Dawson, Palazuelos, Grant, Morgan