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21:42 18th August 2009

Report: Federici save earns point

Adam Federici's first half penalty save earned the Royals a point away to Swansea City this Tuesday evening.

Federici was in superb form throughout, the highlight his 24th minute save from Mark Gower's well-struck spot kick; Kalifa Cisse having been adgudged to have handled.

It was a tight game that neither side quite did enough to win, but Swansea may feel they had the best chances and will rue the brilliance of our 'keeper.

Brendan Rodgers gave a first League start to Matthew Mills, and his presence was important, especially in the second half when we had more defending to do.

We could have nicked it in injury time when sub Jay Tabb dragged wide from a good position, but a draw was probably fair in the end.

Swansea: de Vries; Rangel, Tate, Monk (c), Williams; Britton, Orlandi, Gower (MacDonald 90), Dyer (Richards 90), Morgan; Dobbie (Pintado 80)
Subs: Cornell, Painter, Bond, Thomas
Booked: Orlandi (foul 44), Williams (dissent 56), Rangel (dissent 56)

Reading: Federici; Rosenior, Bertrand, Mills, Pearce (c); Cisse, Karacan (Harper 58), Davies (Hunt HT); Henry (Tabb 77), Robson-Kanu, Church
Subs: Hamer, Gunnarsson, Long, Mooney
Booked: Bertrand (foul 53), Cisse (dissent 56), Rosenior (foul 74), Pearce (foul 83)

Attendance: 12,775 (452 away fans)

Referee: S Hooper

First half
Both sides enjoyed plenty of possession in the early stages, but the only real shot of note was a Scott Davies effort that fizzed not too far wide of the woodwork.

With 24 minutes gone the game exploded into life when Kalifa Cisse was penalised for handball inside the area; Mark Gower's corner hitting our midfielder's arm as it fizzed at him via a header. Gower himself stepped up, but Adam Federici made a cracking save, diving away to his right to push it wide.

Federici had to be alert again ten minutes later when frontman Stephen Dobbie turned on the edge of the area, unleashing a good half volley that our 'keeper pushed wide.

Second half
Brendan Rodgers made a change at half time, Noel Hunt on for Scott Davies to bolster our options in the final third.

Hal Robson-Kanu went on a cracking run on 56, going 35 yards in possession and seeing a chance open up for him on the edge of the box. It was a good sight of goal, but our winger shot off target as he cut onto his right foot.

Soon afterwards the game took a rather unsavoury turn when Swansea reacted strongly to a challenge by Robson-Kanu on Nathan Dyer. It was a late challenge from our winger, and as he lay on the floor Alan Tate kicked the ball at his head, then fellow defender Angel Rangel ran a considerable distance to become involved. Both sets of players and a few personnel from the Swansea bench then waded in, and referee Hooper spoke to his linesman before booking Rangel, as well as Cisse and Ashley Williams. While neither set of players covered themselves in glory, the incident did serve to open up the game somewhat and brought proceedings to life.

Hunt was very close with a header from inside the six yard box, and down the other end Liam Rosenior made a great block on the line, Dobbie then close from the follow-up.

Swansea were on the up, and Federici had to make another top class save, pushing wide from the lively Dobbie. It was clearly a cracking stop from our 'keeper, but the referee surprisingly gave a goal kick.

We had plenty of defending to do, and debutant Matthew Mills was in the right place at the right time on more than one occasion. He also nearly had a debut goal, but his goalbound header hit a teammate.

With six minutes to go Federici made another stupendous stop - keeping out Tate's close range header in incredible style. The defender was actually given offside, which made the save even better in some ways because he had no right to keep it out as he headed goalwards from only two or three yards out.

There was nearly a sting in the tail when Robson-Kanu did very well down the right, working enough space to get in a good hanging cross. Hunt rose to head it, but was unable to get enough power to beat Dorus de Vries.

After the lengthy delay for the free-for-all, six minutes of time were added on, and sub Jay Tabb should have done better went bursting down the left, dragging wide on his left foot when very well placed to cross or shoot.

Then Dyer had a cracking chance from eight yards but slipped at the key moment, and it was a wonder how it had stayed 0-0.

Both teams will feel they could have won the game, and our goalkeeper was certainly the busier of the two - but thankfully in wonderful form.

    Data provided by Press Association