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17:29 13th August 2011

Report: Classy Royals beat Foxes

Leicester City 0
Reading 2 (Hunt 64, Robson-Kanu 87)

Reading claimed their first victory of the season by beating big spending Leicester City on their home turf this afternoon.

Brian McDermott's men deservedly took the lead thanks to a second half header from Noel Hunt, the Irishman powering home a header from Ian Harte's outswinging corner.

Leicester had struck the post through David Nugent, but Kasper Schmeichel had to pull off excellent saves from Jobi McAnuff and Jimmy Kebe keep the visitors at bay.

The Royals were the better side throughout an entertaining affair and the victory was complete when substitute HalRobson-Kanu smashed home a second near the end - a wonderful strike that Kasper Schmeichel had no chance of keeping out of his top right corner.

Leicester City: Schmeichel; Pantsil, Konchesky, Bamba, Mills (c); Wellens, Fernandes, Abe (King HT), Danns (Gallagher 71), Schlupp (Waghorn 59); Nugent.
Subs: Weale, St. Ledger.

Reading: Federici; Griffin, Harte, Pearce, Khumalo; Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff (c), Kebe; Hunt, Manset (Robson-Kanu 69).
Subs: McCarthy, Gunnarsson, Howard, Obita.
Yellow: Manset

Ref: K Stroud
Attendance: 23,399

Starting XI team news:
Mathieu Manset started up front alongside Noel Hunt in the only change to the line-up that began the opening game of the Royals season - the departed Shane Long the obvious omission allowing last Saturday's two-goal hero Manset to claim a starting berth. Brian Howard was named on the substitute's bench, but Jay Tabb missed out as he served the second game in his two-match suspension. Matt Mills led Leicester out as captain - the Foxes making two changes to their first league line-up, John Pantsil and Jeffrey Schlupp coming into Sven's starting eleven.

First half
The Royals began very brightly in their all read away strip. Noel Hunt won an early free kick, being bundled over by Bamba, and a quickly taken set piece was fizzed across the face of goal with Manset lurking.

Then with almost a quarter of an hour gone, Mikele Leigertwood saw a left-footed strike from the edge of the area bravely charged down and a composed Reading pressed patiently for the opener.

Manset came inches away from setting Hunt on a chase into space with a good ball from midfield but a last ditch Leicester leg just cut it out before the ball could squeeze through into Hunt's path.

Midway through the half, the lively Manset was give the space to turn and run at the Foxes defence, and he breezed past Mills and shot early, driving a left-footed effort just wide of the bottom right corner.

And moments later a quite sublime passing move in the final third saw Manset tee up McAnuff, whose low arrowed 12-yard effort was somehow kept out by Schmeichel to the disbelief of the vocal travelling away support.

Reading continued to dominate. Karacan won the ball in midfield just before the half hour mark and Manset toed the ball into space for Kebe to run down the middle. But he couldn't find McAnuff and could only win a corner, from which Pearce headed just wide.

The home side were struggling to trouble the Reading goalmouth but as the half drew to a close, Alex Pearce did well to block a Danns effort and then a combination of Khumalo and Leigertwood slid in to charge down a good effort from Schlupp that would have tested Federici had it got through.

Yuki Abe raced onto a loose pass from the back and lashed a speculative effort well wide of Federici's left upright and then Nugent whistled a good low effort across Federici's goal and inches wide of the bottom left corner. Despite City's late pressure, the Royals had bossed the opening 45 minutes, but the teams went into the dressing rooms with the game still goalless.

Second half
The hosts began the second half well and Nugent came within inches of opening the scoring. Reading lost possession on half way and Leicester broke quickly, placing a throughball into Nugent's path down the left side of the penalty area. He touched it back onto his right boot and fizzed a low effort past Federici and against the base of the right post.

Jimmy Kebe, moments later, was released by Karacan and his pace saw him get to the ball well before Kasper Schmeichel. But the Danish stopper did well to block Kebe's low shot and arguably Reading's best chance of the game went without reward.

The explosive start to the second half continued - Federici tipping over a powerful effort from substitute Andy King before Danns dragged a shot wide and Nugent headed just over.

And just after the hour mark, the deadlock was broken. Ian Harte's beautifully delivered corner was watched all the way by Noel Hunt, who raced untracked into the Foxes box and powered an unstoppable header past Schmeichel and through a couple of players on the line from about eight yards out. City skipper Mills complained to the referee about something, but his protests went unheard and Hunt had given McDermott's men the lead.

Leicester were rattled. Kebe drove a powerful shot just wide of the bottom left corner and the impressive Manset was replaced by Hal Robson-Kanu with 20 minutes remaining to add fresh legs.

As time began to run out, City pressed and pressed. Sol Bamba - thrown up front for the dying stages - headed a deep cross just wide of the top left corner as the Royals dug in to try to hold on to their lead.

That lead was doubled and the win sealed moments before the end, as Kebe found Hal Robson-Kanu in the box - allowing the Academy graduate to hold off his man and unleash a stunning strike into the top corner of the net, one that no 'keeper in the world would have got a hand to.

The full time whistle signalled raucous celebrations in the away end, with a number of players hurling their shirts to the delighted visiting supporters.

    Data provided by Press Association