Ipswich 1 (Wickham 90)
Reading 3 (Long 18, Harte 86, Hunt 88)
The Royals earned a superb 3-1 victory away to Ipswich Town on Tuesday evening, and three Irishmen found the back of the net to give us a wonderful win; our third in a row.
We came into the game without Jimmy Kebe and Jay Tabb, then lost skipper Matt Mills early on, adding to an injury list that already includes Adam Federici, Shaun Cummings, Andy Griffin, Alex Pearce and Jobi McAnuff - but we showed the quality in our squad with a great team display.
Shane Long headed home early on from Brian Howard's corner, and we continued to play well, sealing the points late on with a sensational Ian Harte free kick and a solo finish from Noel Hunt.
Connor Wickham's late volley was a mere consolation - make no mistake; Ipswich were well beaten.
We moved up to eighth in the table with this win, and are building good momentum going into the tail end of the season.
Last but not least, Mikele Leigertwood also deserves a mention for setting a new club record - he is now unbeaten in an incredible 17 games in a Reading shirt, a quite sensational effort.
Ipswich (4-2-3-1): Fulop; Edwards, O'Dea, Delaney, McAuley; Leadbitter, Norris (c); Drury (Civelli 70), Martin, Wickham; Scotland (Priskin 62)
Subs: Lee-Barrett, Smith, Peters, O'Connor, Hyam
Booked: Norris (foul 90)
Reading (4-2-3-1): McCarthy; Gunnarsson, Harte, Khizanishvili, Mills (c) (Ingimarsson 15); Karacan, Legiertwood, Howard; Hunt, Robson-Kanu, Long (Church 89)
Subs: Andersen, Morrison, Taylor, Antonio, Manset
Booked: Hunt (unsporting conduct 18), Robson-Kanu (unsporting conduct 77)
Attendance: 17,308 (247 away)
Ref: D McDermid
Starting XI team news
Reading made two changes to their starting XI; Jimmy Kebe missed out through injury and Jay Tabb was ill, so Jem Karacan and Brian Howard came in as we lined up 4-2-3-1. Ivar Ingimarsson was back on the bench after injury, while young Jake Taylor was also among the subs.
The Royals started positively with good attacking intent, but an already quite substantial injury list had another name added to it when skipper Matt Mills was forced off in the 15th minute.
We responded superbly though, and immediately went on the front foot to win a corner. Brian Howard's delivery to the back post was excellent, and Shane Long shrugged off his marker to power home a very good header, taking him to 20 goals for Reading this season.
The Royals continued to dominate possession, and on the half hour nearly made it 2-0 as we had one cleared off the line. A cross saw Zurab Khizanishvili win a header that fell to Noel Hunt, and the Irishman's effort had beaten 'keeper Marton Fulop but was cleared right on the line by a defender.
Ipswich then had a few decisions in their favour, and Grant Leadbitter tried to profit from a free kick 25 yards out but put it just wide after a neat touch to flick it up and then volley goalwards. Andy Drury then had an effort from similar range but it was straight at Alex McCarthy.
Down the other end Long danced into the area from out wide but the home defence did enough, then Jason Scotland slashed one well wide at the near post after another free kick was awarded to his team.
Ipswich had the first moment of note into the second half, but Drury shot well off target on the slide.
Reading continued to look dangerous, and once again Long did brilliantly to win possession, turn and unleash a very powerful shot. Fulop could only parry it back out, and Jem Karacan did very well to find Howard, whose effort was agonisingly wide. It was a good chance and so close to a second goal.
Just past the hour mark Mikele Leigertwood won an excellent challenge to give Hunt a crossing opportunity down the right, and his delivery was very good; Long doing well to get there but heading narrowly over. Town sub Tamas Priskin then headed straight at goal from a Lee Martin cross.
Midway through the half Long looked to have a reasonable penalty claim, and perhaps suffered from not going to ground, admirably deciding to stay on his feet. Gareth McAuley then came close with a header from a corner that was only narrowly over the bar.
Inside the last ten minutes, Reading put a fabulous seal on the game to earn a wonderful victory. First Ian Harte curled home an absolutely brilliant free kick; Fulop had no chance as he registered his eighth goal in a Reading shirt this season. It was some goal.
And then Hunt ran clear on goal, showing wonderful composure to round Fulop and slot home.
Wickham smashed home a very good late volley on the angle to give Town a mere consolation, and sub Simon Church nearly added a fourth but it was inches wide.
When the full time whistle came it secured a third straight win for Brian McDermott's side, and bearing in mind the number of injuries it was a fabulous display.
We are building momentum at just the right time, and continue to look a the rest of the season in a positive manner.