Youthful Royals get first win
Saturday 16th August 2014
Reading got off the mark with their first three points of the season, as Jake Taylor`s first half goal secured a victory over Ipswich Town.
Nigel Adkins was forced into one change from the side that beat Newport on Tuesday night, as Sean Morrison`s departure to Cardiff meant Michael Hector slotted back in at centre back, with Hope Akpan coming into midfield. It was nearly the perfect start for the Royals too, as Cox robbed the away side of possession and bore down on goal, but Gerken palmed away his effort from a tight angle.
The first real scare of the afternoon for us came from an Ipswich set piece, as Jay Tabb`s outswinging corner was flicked on and attacked by McGoldrick, but Obita was about to wits to block his goalbound effort on the line. Every good piece of good play from us came through Pogrebnyak, as good wing play from the forward nearly set up Cox, but his pull-back was intercepted just in time.
The big Russian then set up Jake Taylor from ten yards on only his second league start, but his effort was weak and was easily blocked away by an Ipswich defender. Taylor would get his dream moment minutes later though, as he put the Royals in front, as Berra`s header was too short for his keeper and the young midfield nipped in to poke the ball past the onrushing Gerken to score the opener.
The goal seemed to settle us down, after the opening twenty minutes was very erratic, with neither team getting a good hold on the game. We nearly had a good break late on in the first half, as Blackman skipped away from the Ipswich defence, only to be hauled down before he could play in Obita - Berra went into the book for it, but Pog`s powerful free kick was easily blocked away by the wall.
Ipswich`s dangerous forward McGoldrick threatened to get in behind Pearce on a few occasions, but managed to keep him out well in the first period. As we got into the second half, it was that man who nearly gave Daryl Murphy an opening in our area, but our defenders managed to close the shot down. While there were no real clear cut chances, Ipswich certainly upped it a gear from the first half.
Mick McCarthy`s side struggled to find the key chance to unlock our defence and it came just past the hour mark, as an unmarked Murphy latched onto a flick on from a set-piece, but on the stretch, couldn`t beat Federici from ten yards. It was the golden chance that the visitors had been pressing for, but couldn`t take advantage - it was a needed wake up call for the Royals to invite too much pressure.
A second goal was required to fend off the threat from Ipswich and we nearly got just that, as Obita`s deep cross was the right was kept alive by Nick Blackman, but big Pav couldn`t get in front of Tommy Smith to make connection with it. McCarthy was throwing everything at it, bringing on two big forwards in Bajner and Sammon, with Adkins responding by bringing on youth defender Jake Cooper.
Just when we didn`t want to be sitting deep and inviting pressure, we did just that, as the pressure was increasing from the away side. As we got into injury time, Ipswich couldn`t have come any closer, as we struggled from another set piece, as Ming`s header was touched onto the bar by Shaun Cumming`s head and was somehow cleared away from danger - by now we could tell it was going to be our day.
The final whistle was blown to much relief to the Royals fans at the Madejski Stadium, as we escaped with our first three points of the season. It wasn`t the prettiest performance, but the effort and determination from the young side was superb, and eventually got us through the game. Four points from six is a good start, and with players to come back from injury, certainly something to build on.
Reading - 4-2-3-1: Federici; Gunter, Pearce, Hector, Cummings; Akpan, Obita; Blackman, Cox, Taylor; Pogrebnyak.
Subs: McCarthy, Cooper, Kuhl, Tshibola, Stacey, Edwards, Tanner.
Ipswich - 4-4-2: Gerken; Chambers, Smith, Berra, Mings; Hewitt, Skuse, Hyam, Tabb; Murphy, McGoldrick.
Subs: Bialkowski, Bru, Parr, Wordsworth, Anderson, Bajner, Sammon.