Royals end winless run with comfortable victory
Saturday 25th October 2014
Reading ended their seven-game winless run, with a comfortable and convincing 3-0 victory over struggling Blackpool at the Madejski Stadium.
Nigel Adkins still kept the same back five that had conceded nine games in three games before this one, mainly through lack of options than choice. Glenn Murray coming in was the only change from the thumping at Bournemouth, as Nick Blackman was dropped to the bench. Blackpool started the game the better, keeping the ball well and trying to frustrate the home crowd, but the fans remained rightly patient.
We eventually got into our flow though and a lot of the play was coming down the right wing with Jamie Mackie, who was looking lively. This led to our first shot on goal, as he laid the ball back to Oliver Norwood, whose technique was good, but failed to get his long-range effort on target. He did the same minutes later, but found the target this time round, forcing Joe Lewis into palming his stinging drive away.
Jordan Obita has already assisted two of Glenn Murray`s three Reading goals so far, and he made a third in this one. The young-left back had the beating of Daniels, delivering a well-heighted cross for Murray to head into the ground, which found its way into the net. Joe Lewis would have been very disappointed with his role in the goal, as it seems he should have got a stronger hand on it to keep it out.
A first goal was going to crucial in this nervy affair and it was very important that we got it early on. Blackpool were having decent spells with the ball, but the likes of Delfouneso and Miller were not getting the supply lines from midfield, starving them of any space or chances. To be honest, we were far from inspiring in terms of attacking play in the first half, but it was clear we had enough to win this game eventually.
Jose Riga`s side improved in the second period and made Federici work for the first time in the game, as Miller did well to work some space for a shot, but a deflection made it easier for the Aussie keeper to collect. The away side were clearly trying to play more offensively, which left space in behind their backline, and if Mackie and Gunter had improved their end product, we could have heaped the benefits.
The Royals were getting deeper, as Blackpool were getting more of the ball in our attacking third. Oriol`s strike from range deflected just wide of Federici`s post, as the Seasiders were forcing a few set pieces, but unlike previous games, we stood firm and defended them well. This would seem to be Blackpool`s last push of the match though, as Reading pushed through to see the game out in comfortable fashion.
Hal Robson-Kanu was largely anonymous on the left wing, but nearly asserted himself on the match with a good, powerful run and shot, but his effort dragged easily wide of Lewis` left-hand post. The Welsh international had a decent chance soon after, as Gunter`s cross found his compatriot, but couldn`t get his header on target. You could feel that a deserved second goal was imminent for the Royals and it came.
Norwood`s free kick wide on the left was whipped in with power and Blackpool didn`t clear their lines well enough, as Mackie kept the ball alive and as Lewis came to punch, it was in the back of his net before he had a chance - Jake Taylor was off celebrating, but it was an own goal from Peter Clarke. The goal came twenty minutes from time and you couldn`t see Blackpool making a comeback from two goals down.
Jamie Mackie then had a fantastic chance to add gloss to the scoreline, as Lewis` poor clearance allowed Robson-Kano to pull it across goal, but the on-loan Forest man blazed over an effort from ten yards. Miller had half a chance to get Blackpool back into the game though, as our only moment of defensive insecurity allowed the ball to roll across the six-yard area, but the forward could only hit the post from a tight angle.
Nick Blackman has probably been treated harshly to have been named on the bench for a few of the previous games, but will have made a point to Nigel Adkins in his good cameo appearance. He showed good strength and trickery on the right to beat his marker, who in response brought him down in the area, with the referee rightly awarding a penalty, which he converted in nonchalant fashion.
That goal rounded off a comfortable victory for Reading, against a Blackpool side, who despite their recent resurgence, looked derived of confidence. Irrelevant of what side it was against, we needed a win, when you consider our recent winless run. A clean sheet will also have boosted the defence`s confidence, who for the most part, looked very comfortable - Blackburn away next week will be a massive test though.
Reading - 4-2-3-1: Federici; Gunter, Pearce, Hector, Obita; Norwood, Akpan; Mackie, Cox, Robson-Kanu; Murray.
Subs: Andersen, Cooper, Kelly, Kuhl, Taylor, Blackman, Pogrebnyak.
Blackpool - 4-3-3: Lewis; Daniels, Clarke, Rentmeister, Perkins; Oriol, Orlandi, Lundstram; Zoko, Miller, Delfounso.
Subs: Parish, Dielna, Mendy, Blackman, Mellis, Cywka, Ranger.