MATCH REPORT & GALLERY: Reading 1 Ipswich Town 0
Reading v Ipswich: One lapse of concentration, in a stalemate of a game, ended up costing Ipswich Town as they went down 1-0 at Reading this afternoon.
The Blues were slow in getting out after clearing a corner midway through the first half, David McGoldrick mis-judging the flight of the return ball into the area and Jake Taylor nipping in to score with a cute finish.
Neither keeper had to make a save of note throughout, though it was Town who had the better goalscoring chances.
Twice they had attempts cleared off the line following corner kicks – McGoldrick’s inventive flick denied in the 10th minute and Tyrone Mings’ header diverted onto the bar in stoppage-time. Daryl Murphy also failed to hit the target from a good position midway through the second half.
Blues boss Mick McCarthy reverted back to the starting XI that lined up in last weekend’s 2-1 home win over Fulham, following the midweek 1-0 extra-time Capital One Cup exit at Crawley Town, the exception being McGoldrick in for Balint Bajner.
Reading almost caught the visitors cold in the opening minute, debutant Simon Cox shrugging Tommy Smith off the ball far too easily in the box only for Christophe Berra to race back and produce a vital block.
Town quickly put that moment behind them and were the better side in the opening 15 minutes, passing the ball around crisply and patiently. They looked destined to break the deadlock in the 10th minute when Jay Tabb’s corner was flicked on by Smith and then nodded towards goal by Berra, but Reading somehow survived an almighty goalmouth scramble with McGoldrick’s inventive back-to-goal flick diverted over the bar by Jordan Obita.
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With big Russian striker Pavel Pograbnyak a handful for the hosts, Reading began to grow into game and they became an increasing threat on the counter-attack.
There were a series of mistakes from the Blues leading up to the moment they fell behind in the 26th minute, Luke Chambers robbed of possession in the build-up to Taylor winning a corner. The subsequent flag kick was cleared, Town were slow in getting out and, when Chris Gunter pumped the ball back into the danger zone McGoldrick completely mis-read the flight of the ball. The alert Taylor nipped in and produced a cute finish across Dean Gerken with the outside of his boot.
There had been very little incident in the first half and the second half was even more of a stalemate.
A goalscoring opportunity finally arrived just after the hour mark when Tyrone Mings’ deep free-kick was flicked on by Smith. The ball fell perfectly for Murphy at the back post but, on the angle, he put the ball wide with the outside of his left foot.
New loan signing Conor Sammon replaced McGoldrick in the 69th minute, but Town – huffing and puffing with a series of long balls – did not really threaten an equaliser until the final moments.
Paul Anderson’s corner was met well by the head of Mings in stoppage-time, but Shaun Cummings, jumping on the line, diverted the attempt onto the underside of the bar and Smith missed the follow-up. Cummings was mobbed by his team-mates, the Royals – who, with a host of first team players injured, had 12 academy graduates in their squad – seeing out the win.
– Reaction to follow.
READING (4-4-2): Federici; Gunter (cpt), Pearce, Hector, Cummings; Taylor (Stacey 90), Obita, Akpan, Blackman (Cooper 85); Cox (Edwards 68), Pogrebnyak.
Subs: Tshibola, McCarthy, Tanner, Kuhl.
Booked: Cox (60), Gunter (60), Pearce (81)
IPSWICH TOWN (4-4-2): Gerken; Chambers (cpt), Berra, Smith, Mings; Hewitt (Anderson 46), Skuse, Hyam, Tabb (Bajner 83); McGoldrick (Sammon 69), Murphy.
Subs: Bialkoswki, Parr, Bru, Wordsworth.
Booked: Berra (39), Mings (60), Smith (72)
Referee: Mr S Hooper away.
Attendance: 17,198 (1,581)