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16:58 1th January 2011

Report: First defeat in nine

Swansea 1 (Pratley 66)
Reading 0

Reading suffered a first defeat in nine games as Swansea edged a 1-0 victory at the Liberty Stadium.

Home keeper Dorus De Vries made a string of important saves to keep the score at 0-0, we a very strong penalty shout and Simon Church also had a golden chance to equalise but headed over in the dying minnutes.

Pratley scored midway through the second half after a shot fell into his path, and City could have added to their lead on the break late on when Reading threw everybody forward, including goalkeeper Adam Federici.

Only QPR have a better home record than City, who moved up to second with these three points.

The result was harsh on the Royals, who were missing the injured Mikele Leigertwood and ill Jobi McAnuff - they gave all they could and a draw would not have been unfair by any means and it's a cruel end to the unbeaten run.

Swansea (4-2-3-1): De Vries; Rangel, Taylor (Serran 28), Monk (c), Williams; Allen, Pratley; Dyer, Sinclair, Orlandi (Gower 23); Dobbie (Easter 71)
Subs: MaKalambay, Agustien, Cotterill, Beattie
Booked: Serran (foul 44)

Reading (4-4-2): Federici; Griffin, Harte, Mills (c), Pearce; Howard, Tabb (Hunt 80), Kebe, Robson-Kanu (Antonio 71); Church, Long
Subs: McCarthy, Cummings, Khizanishvili, Karacan, Taylor
Booked: Griffin (foul 8), Pearce (foul 53), Howard (foul 64)

Attendance: 14,329 (580 away)

Ref: S Hooper

Starting XI team news
The Royals made four changes to their starting XI. Jobi McAnuff was ill so was replaced by Hal Robson-Kanu. Mikele Leigertwood was injured and Jem Karacan rested so Brian Howard and Jay Tabb started in midield. Noel Hunt was also rested so Simon Church started up front. Young Jake Taylor was on the bench after an injury lay-off.

First half
Swansea's Andrea Orlandi had the first couple of efforts on goal, but Adam Federici made simple saves from his side-footed effort and then a powerful header from the edge of the box.

Alex Pearce was first to have a sight of goal for Reading, a Simon Church left wing corner causing real problems but the Swans were just about able to scramble away for a corner; blocking Pearce's goalbound shot.

Brian Howard took responsibility for the ensuing corner on the other wing, and again our delivery caused real problems, Ian Harte winning possession and wanting a penalty as his cross hit a defender. The ball fell loose to Howard, and he hit an excellent drive but Dorus De Vries palmed around the post at the second attempt.

City then had to make two substitutions through injury, losing Orlandi and left back Neil Taylor, and the stoppages took the sting out of the game somewhat. Church and then Stephen Dobbie had efforts but neither 'keeper was troubled.

The Royals were then desperately close to opening the scoring, JImmy Kebe's low cross not properly dealt with by De Vries, who allowed it to bounce off his chest. Shane Long was on hand, and got a touch but De Vries was just about able to scramble away.

Second half
De Vries made yet another important save at the start of the second half, keeping out Church's close range effort after good play by Hal Robson-Kanu down the left.

From that chance City broke quickly, and Alex Pearce was booked for a very meaty challenge on Nathan Dyer as the game's tempo was raised a couple of notches.

Church's corners were very good and giving City plenty to think about, and Long headed narrowly over from another of his set pieces but was harshly punished for a supposed foul on De Vries anyway.

Just before the midway point City took the lead. Pratley was award a free kick that looked a touch generous, Brian Howard harshly booked as well in the process. Sub Mark Gower took the piece, and found Angel Rangel in plenty of space at the back post. He fired in a shot, and it was blocked but fell straight to Pratley, who did the rest.

Reading looked to respond immediately, and Kebe got in on goal. A City defender slid in, and our players and supporters desperately wanted a penalty for handball as Kebe tried to take it round him, but nothing was given. The ball fell to Robson-Kanu on the edge but his effort was excellently blocked and City had just about done enough to keep us out.

Matt Mills then got on the end of a Howard corner but was crowded out and couldn't get a full purchase as his effort went wide of the near post.

With 15 minutes to go Adam Federici had to make an excellent save to deny Scott Sinclair after the wideman did well to win possession on the edge of the area and unleashed a stinging effort.

Brian McDermott brought on Noel Hunt as we went 4-3-3 in the final stages, and a poor back header was so close to giving Long a real chance but De Vries got there first by a matter of inches. Michail Antonio was also brought on for Hal Robson-Kanu.

We created a glorious chance for an equaliser on 84 minutes, Kebe doing superbly down the left, Church in acres in the middle but as he threw himself at the cross he headed a wonderful opportunity over the bar.

We were throwing everyone forward, and City got a three-on-one break and will feel they should have scored - but Long defended briliantly and got a block in on Dyer's effort.

Mills was then inches away from an equaliser after another corner, although again a hugely questionable free kick was awarded in the home side's favour.

Federici went up for an injury time free kick, but Swansea were able to break away and somehow Sinclair failed to score.

And so that was the end of the game, and our eight-game unbeaten run came to an end. We had done our level best to get something from the match, creating some good chances, and to come away with nothing was harsh.

    Data provided by Press Association