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16:56 30th January 2010

Report: McDermott's men beat Barnsley

Reading 1 (Long 29)
Barnsley 0

Brian McDermott picked up three points in his first game in charge as permanent manager, as Shane Long's first half strike gave Reading a 1-0 win over Barnsley.

The Royals grabbed the only goal of the game as Ryan Bertrand dragged back a looping Andy Griffin cross, allowing the Irish international to smash home from close range.

The lead could have been doubled in the second period as Jobi McAnuff saw his fizzing drive come back off the inside of the post and across goal, but the single strike would prove to be enough as Reading got back on track in the Championship.

Reading: Federici; Griffin, Bertrand, Ingimarsson (c), Mills; Gunnarsson, Karacan (Howard 84), McAnuff, Sigurdsson; Church (Bignall 74), Long
Subs: Hamer, Khizanishvili, Kebe, Rasiak, Thorvaldsson
Yellow: Gunnarsson

Barnsley: Steele, Dickinson, Foster, Moore, Shotton, Hammill, Doyle, Colace, Da Silva (Hallfredsson 74), Hume, Macken (Bogdanovic HT)
Subs: Preece, Gray, Butterfield, Potter, Adam
Yellow: Anderson

Att: 15,580 (591 away fans)

First Half

The first chance fell to the Royals, as a Ryan Bertrand corner dropped on the head of the returning Brynjar Gunnarsson at the near post, however Iva r Ingimarsson could only scoop over the bar from his international compatriot's flick on.

Moments later some tenacious closing down by Gylfi Sigurdsson forced the Tykes defence to spill the ball into the path of Simon Church on the edge of the 18-yard-box, though the young striker shot wide after shifting onto his weaker left foot.

The early stages belonged to Reading, as they began to test the Barnsley defence with plenty of pressure, with Ryan Bertrand continuing his recent rich vein of form with some ambitious offensive play down the left flank.

There was a response from Adam Hammill, as the former Liverpool man showed blistering pace to drive into the heart of Reading area, before seeing his shot just cleared off the line by Bertrand.

It was only momentary respite, a nervy header from Stephen Foster granted Long a free passage in on goal, but with an awkward bouncing ball to deal with the Irish international saw his effort blocked away by Steele.

After a plethora of missed chances in midweek the home support may have been getting a sinking feeling, but that was sharply put to bed as a cross from the right hand side was scooped back into the danger zone by Ryan Bertrand, allowing Shane Long to lash home his first league goal of the season.

The visitors main threat was still emanating from the irrepressible Hammill, who ended another solo run with a 20 yard looping drive over the bar with after 32 minutes.

At the other end Brian McDermott's men had another chance to extend their lead, as a zipping pass from McAnuff was magnificent dinked on by Church - though on his weaker foot Karacan could only drag sheepishly wide.

Second Half

The home side again looked composed at the beginning of the second period, despite substitute Alex Bogdanovic lashing a volley over the bar just a couple of minutes after entering the fray.

Shane Long nodded over a Bertrand cross shortly afterwards, whilst Ian Hume's fizzing free-kick plenty of hearts fluttering as it flew over Federici's bar.

Long was having a fine game for the blue and white hoops and with an hour on the clock brought down a heavy Brynjar Gunnarsson pass with aplomb, before turning his man to test Steele with a 25-yard drive.

There was a magnificent tempo to proceedings as a nifty Sigurdsson dink set away Bertrand on the left side of the box, and the Chelsea loanee's daisy cutter cross fell to McAnuff at the far post.

The former Watford man did well to get his head down and drive in a low shot, but somehow the ball smashed against the inside of the box, across goal and away from danger.

New full time boss McDermott wasn't sitting back on his lead as he through on Nicholas Bignall for his league debut with fifteen minutes left to play, as the academy product replaced fellow youth team veteran Simon Church.

The game became scrapping in the closings stages, although there were plenty of nervy moments as the Tykes through everything forward in four minutes of stoppage time.

Thankfully the home side held on and bagged a vital win under a new managerial era.

    Data provided by Press Association