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16:55 27th November 2010

Report: Leeds hang on for point

Reading 0
Leeds United 0

Leedssomehow came away from Madejski Stadium with a point after a dominant attacking performance by Brian McDermott's Royals.

Reading were on top throughout, and especially in the second half, raining shots in on Kasper Schmeichel's goal but somehow the visitors managed to keep a clean sheet.

Sub Michail Antonio hit a post late on, while Kasper Schmeichel made vital saves from Noel Hunt and Ian Harte.

United should have played half of the game with ten men but Max Gradel was somehow only booked when clearly kicking out at Andy Griffin; one of a series of decisions that we were left to rue.

With sub Jimmy Kebe in magnificent form at the end of the game, we completely dominated and our performance warranted all three points. Teams will play far worse than this and win, so we can take great heart from another positive display, but will rue not taking the extra two points we deserved.

Reading (4-4-2): Federici; Griffin, Harte, Khizanishvili, Pearce; Karacan (Tabb 60), Liegertwood (Antonio 77), McAnuff, Church (Kebe 60); Hunt, Long
Subs: McCarthy, Cummings, Armstrong, Robson-Kanu
Booked: Griffin (dissent 43), Karacan (foul 50), Hunt (foul 62)

Leeds (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel; Connolly, McCartney, Bruce, O'Brien; Johnson, Kilkenny; Snodgrass (Sam 87), Gradel (McCormack 77), Howson; Becchio (Paynter 77)
Subs: Higgs, Collins, Faye, Hughes
Booked: Gradel (foul 43), Connolly (foul 45), Johnson (dissent 68), McCartney (foul 72)

Attendance: 23,677 (4,213 away)

Starting XI team news
Mikele Leigertwood was handed his debut in the centre of midfield, taking over from Jay Tabb, while Zurab Khizanishvili replaced the suspended Matt Mills. We lined up 4-4-2 with Simon Church on the left of midfield.

Click here to see the teamsheet from the game.

The two teams were feeling each other out in the early stages and chances were hard to come by in the opening exchanges.

Soon after the midway point great endeavour from Noel Hunt saw him win the ball in a good position, and he whipped in a very dangerous cross that was just too far ahead of strike partner Shane long. Leeds then had a rare attempt but Adam Federici comfortably saved a free kick at goal.

As the game passed the half hour mark Reading began to take control and dominate proceedings. First Jem Karacan had a shot over the bar, then Long's goalbound effort could well have struck a hand inside the box but nothing was given despite our protests.

Moments later Zurab Khizanishvili had a great chance to open the scoring but headed agonisingly wide from close range after a Jobi McAnuff corner.

United winger Max Gradel should have been sent off just before the interval after kicking out in the direction of Andy Griffin. He was only booked, which was very generous on the visiting playter, and our misfortune was compounded when Griffin was also booked as a result of the ensuing handbags.

We were pushing for a goal as the half came to a conclusion - and the two minutes of added time was nowhere near enough after a long injury to a Leeds player and the aftermath of the Gradel kick.

Second half
Reading started the second half with the same vibrant tempo, and Ian Harte was desperately close to scoring against his former club but Kasper Schmeichel somehow kept it out with his feet.

On the hour mark Jimmy Kebe came on to a great ovation, and he gave us even more impetus, almost putting Hunt in for a chance but Schmeichel's presence put the striker off.

Leeds attacks were rare, but a cross from Robert Snodgrass caused us some bother and we had to defend well.

With 18 minutes left George McCartney was booked for a foul on the effervescent Kebe, and the on-loan Sunderland man was fortunate because he should also have been booked earlier for a foul on Karacan.

United looked happy to mount a rearguard action and Federici was a spectator; the visitors satisfied to run the clock down whenever they had a moment.

We hit the post with three minutes to go; sub Michail Antonio smashing an effort against the outside of the upright after excellent feet inside the area.

Long then stood up a lovely cross for the onrushing Kebe but Andy O'Brien defended superbly; only for the officials to incorrectly give a goal kick despite a clear and vital touch from the United man.

With 30 seconds left Hunt a cracking chance from Kebe's cross, but it was too close to Schmeichel and he was able to save.

We threw the kitchen sink at the visitors, and they got a breakaway right at the death from our corner but Federici saved well to deny sub Ross McCormack. It would have been a travesty if Leeds had scored.

So we had to settle for a point after a good display, and our fans saw a performance with excellent endeavour - but just missing the vital goal that would have sealed the win.

    Data provided by Press Association