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16:53 16th October 2010

Report: Royals edged out by Swans

Reading 0
Swansea 1 (Sinclair 35)

Reading fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat at home to Swansea City in a very tight game at Madejski Stadium.

The Royals were on top for the majority of the game, but couldn't find that elusive goal, and this was the first time we have not scored at Madejski Stadium since Brian McDermott took charge last year.

Swansea scored with their very first shot, Scott Sinclair rounding off a nice team move on 35 minutes. For the next ten minutes before and after the interval the visitors were on top, hitting the bar through Nathan Dyer, but we soon wrestled control of the game once again.

We had three very good headed chances late on, Shane Long and Simon Church unfortunate not to keep headers down and then Noel Hunt heading a very good opportunity wide right on 90 minutes.

City were holding on at the end, and a draw would have been a fair result, with both teams having had good spells.

Reading (4-2-3-1): Federici; Griffin, Harte, Khizanishvili, Mills (c); Armstrong, Karacan; Kebe, Robson-Kanu (Hunt 66), McAnuff; Long (Church 76)
Subs: McCarthy, Cummings, Pearce, Howard, Antonio
Booked: Armstrong (foul 49)

Swansea (4-1-4-1): De Vries; Rangel, Tate, Monk (c), Williams; Gower (Cotterill 20); Orlandi, Pratley, Dyer (Serran 85), Sinclair; Dobbie (Nouble 76)
Subs: Ma-Kalambay; Taylor, Van Der Gun, Beattie
Booked: Rangel (foul 32), Pratley (foul 75), Cotterill (unsporting conduct 88)

Attendance: 18,418 (2,199 away)

Ref: O Langford

Our official teamsheet is online here.

Starting XI team news
Reading made three changes to the team that drew at Preston; Andy Griffin, Matt Mills and Hal Robson-Kanu coming in for Shaun Cummings, Alex Pearce and Simon Church.

First half
Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers was greeted with a warm embrace from Brian McDermott as the teams emerged for kick off, and the visiting manager applauded to the lower west stand and received a good ovation in return.

Inside the first couple of minutes Reading had a decent shout for a penalty, and Shane Long made a vociferous claim as his header seemed to hit a Swansea arm but nothing was given.

We had started the brighter of the two sides, and Long flicked a half decent chance over the the bar with his head from Jem Karacan's right wing cross.

Midway through the period Swansea began to get a better feel of the ball, but we responded positively and Chris Armstrong then Karacan saw efforts deflected wide from 20 yards.

Long went on an excellent run 12 minutes before the break, and was brought down by Angel Rangel, who was rightly booked. Jobi McAnuff took the resulting spot kick and forced Dorus De Vries to tip over the bar.

Then, ten minutes before the interval, Swansea took the lead with their first shot. In fairness the visitors had enjoyed spells of possession but it was against the run of play when they opened the scoring with a nice goal.

After a series of passes David Cotterill, on for the injured Mark Gower, slipped a nice pass forward for Scott Sinclair, and he finished excellently, holding off a defender and rounding Adam Federici.

The goal gave City a real boost, and a minute later Nathan Dyer flashed a dangerous ball right across the goal.

As the interval approached Rodgers' side looked much more comfortable than at any point before, and were keeping the ball well.

Second half
Reading made a positive start to the second half, Hal Robson-Kanu getting a good cross in from the left but it just evaded everyone. We then created some confusion in the visiting defence with another cross but they managed to clear.

City then entered a period in which they were on top, and Dyer was very close to a second goal, cutting in from the right and smashing a shot against the bar and down.

Stephen Dobbie then forced Adam Federici into a save after getting into the box from the right, before Zurab Khizanishvili and Chris Armstrong headed wide and over their own goal.

Just past the hour we began to up the tempo in our favour, and Long was sent on a good break down the right wing but his cross was just about defended.

We had another penalty claim waved away as we looked for a handball inside the area, referee Oliver Langford ignoring loud protests from a number of our players.

Long then headed a decent chance over at the back post from another corner, before Noel Hunt was sent on in search of an equaliser.

Jimmy Kebe then flashed a shot over the bar from the corner of the box, and the majority of the play was in the City half, although we had to be mindful of a breakaway.

A Kebe cross saw Hunt flick a header goalwards, and although 'keeper Dorus De Vries backtracked right onto his line, he kept it out relatively comfortably.

With ten minutes to go Ian Harte's excellent corner was turned back across goal by Khizanishvili, and it was only a foot or so away from being turned home by a Reading leg.

It was one way traffic, and a Hunt cross was just inches too high for fellow sub Simon Church, who was desperately unable to keep his header down.

As the game ticked into injury time Hunt had a fantastic chance from a Harte corner, but diverted it off target from six yards and you got the feeling it would not be our day.

Adam Federici went up for a late corner as we pushed for what would arguably have been a deserved equaliser, but as De Vries punched clear the final whistle blew and City had held on for all three points.

Credit Swansea because when they were on top they did play some very good stuff, but we will be disappointed not to have taken something from the game having created a number of good opportunities.

We cannot be too harsh on our players, who have scored in their last 25 home games but just didn't get the single goal we so craved to earn us a positive result.

    Data provided by Press Association