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16:42 28th November 2015

Oliveira double denies Royals

Nottingham Forest came from behind to earn all three points against the Royals this afternoon. The visitors opened the scoring when Matej Vydra brilliantly controlled Ollie Norwood's miscued shot and stabbed the ball past Dorus De Vries.

But Chris O'Grady thundered a right-footed effort past Al Habsi to level and Reading were caught on the break on the half hour mark to allow Nelson Oliveira to hand the hosts the lead with a well-executed top corner finish. O'Grady hooked an early second half cross into the middle where Oliveira made it 3-1 early in the second half and although Forest were reduced to ten men late in the game following a second yellow card for Jack Hobbs, there was no way back for the Royals.

Steve Clarke made just one enforced change to the side that started at home to Bolton the previous weekend, replacing slight hamstring injury absentee Garath McCleary with Matej Vydra in his eleven, while bringing Anton Ferdinand back into the squad on the bench.

The game began evenly, with both sides enjoying spells of possession. Nick Blackman cut in from the right to get Reading's first crack at goal, but his left-footed effort was charged down on the edge of the box before it could get to Dorus De Vries in the Forest goal.

Minutes later, he had an other go. This time no defender could get in the ball's way en route to De Vries who gobbled the ball up with relative ease.

At the other end, a fantastic sliding tackle from skipper Paul McShane denied Oliveira an attempt on goal, but the ball was worked out to Chris O'Grady on the left side of the box and Al Habsi had his first meaningful touch of the game, diving low to his left to save with comfort.

Then with 13 minutes on the clock, the visitors opened the scoring. McShane's deep free kick was headed down to Norwood on the edge of the Forest box, and his miscued first time shot was controlled brilliantly by the lurking Matej Vydra who then swiftly passed the ball beyond De Vries with a right-footed effort from eight yards out.

Danny Williams did well to head clear a corner moments later that caught a swirling wind on its way into the Reading penalty box, then O'Grady did well to beat his man on the left, bear down on goal but then drag a right-footed effort wide of the bottom left corner.

However, O'Grady wasn't to be denied with 20 minutes gone. A good pull back from Mendes couldn't be cut out by the outstretched leg of McShane and O'Grady powerfully swept an effort at goal from 12 yards out. Al Habsi got a hand to it but couldn't prevent the ball squirming over the line inside his right post for 1-1.

The game opened up. At one end a floated free kick was headed down by Sa but Blackman couldn't react to hesitation between defender and goalkeeper. Then O'Grady saw a deflected effort spin wide of the target.

And on the half hour mark, Forest took the lead. A Reading corner was cleared by the speedy Mendes who burst down the right. He swept a crossfield ball to Oliveira on the left who unleashed a powerful right-footed effort that flew beyond the dive of Al Habsi and into the top right corner.

Reading looked for a second of their own. Norwood's throughball looking for Vydra rolled through to De Vries, then his floated cross towards the far post was nervously headed behind by Mills.

Jack Hobbs then saw yellow for scything down Vydra, who had skipped past him a little more than 25 yards out. And from the resultant free kick it took a wonderful save from De Vries to tip a brilliant Norwood set piece away from his top corner.

De Vries was in action again in the second of two minutes of injury time, palming away Williams' swerving effort from the edge of the area and finding a safe spot to push it clear to with Vydra ready to pounce.

Half-time: Forest 2 Reading 1

Minutes into the second half and Forest had a decisive third. O'Grady cushioned a throw in and turned Hector to hook a ball into the middle, where Oliveira volleyed home from close range.

Full of confidence, Eric Lichaj tried his luck from range, fizzing an effort just wide of the right post. Reading refused to give in and Danny Williams won a free kick ten minutes into the second period, which Blackman struck against the top of the Forest wall and behind for a corner.

Blackman tested De Vries' handling soon after with a thunderous left-footed effort that looked for the bottom right corner. Then Piazon did well to work the ball into the feet of Sa whose shot on the turn cannoned into a Forest back and ricocheted wide of the target.

With 65 minutes on the clock, Forest were unlucky not to score a fourth when a low cross was by by Mendes at the far post but he couldn't turn it home from close range. Then as Reading broke from that attack, Hobbs tripped Vydra 25 yards out and was shown a second yellow card as a result.

Clarke immediately added two new attacking options to his side, bringing Paulo Hurtado and Ola John off the bench in an attempt to get back into the game. But Forest responded by bringing Kelvin Wilson on at the back and the home side defended their lead in numbers.

John did well inside the box to find an intricate pass inside to Vydra who took aim inside a crowded box only to see it charged down before De Vries could be troubled.

Paul McShane had to come off after picking up an injury piling into the box looking to get his head to a free kick late on, Rowan Liburd replacing him as the visitors' last throw of the dice.

Seven minutes of added time were signalled as De Vries parried a Williams drive from range, and John weaved his way to the byline to cut the ball back for Liburd whose toed effort was deflected behind for a corner.

Blackman arrowed high over the bar late on, but Forest defended their lead well and held on to claim a home victory.

Full-time: Forest 3 Reading 1

Nottingham Forest: De Vries, Lichaj, Pinillos, Mills, Hobbs, Lansbury (c), Vaughan, Osborn, O'Grady (Trotter 88), Mendes (Mancienne 78), Oliveira (Wilson 69).
Subs: Evtimov, Grant, Williams, Blackstock.
Yellow: Hobbs, Vaughan.
Red: Hobbs

Reading: Al-Habsi, Gunter, A Taylor, Hector, McShane (c) (Liburd 84), Norwood, Piazon (John 69), Williams, Blackman, Vydra, Sa (Hurtado 69).
Subs: Bond, Obita, Cooper, Ferdinand.
Yellow: Hector, Williams, John.

Referee: Mr K Hill
Att: 18,128 (972 away)