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16:51 10th September 2011

Report: Royals undone by Watford

Reading 0
Watford 2 (Yeates 12, Eustace 51)

Reading's disappointing run of results continued as Watford battled to a 2-0 victory at Madejski Stadium this afternoon.

The Hornets opened the scoring early with a sweetly struck free kick from Mark Yeates before John Eustace sidefooted home a close range second six minutes into the second half.

Madejski Stadium debutant Joseph Mills whistled a first half free kick just wide and fellow new boy Adam Le Fondre headed a difficult far post header over in the second half, while both Leigertwood and substitute Robson-Kanu smashed powerful efforts just the wrong side of the woodwork.

But in truth the home side didn't create enough clear cut chances or sustained periods of pressure in the attacking third to trouble Watford keeper Scott Loach.

The Royals will now look to put things right at home to Doncaster Rovers next weekend.

Reading (4-4-2): Federici; Griffin (Robson-Kanu 58), Mills, Gorkss, Pearce; Karacan (Cummings 81), Leigertwood, Kebe, McAnuff (c); Manset (Church 76), Le Fondre.
Subs: McCarthy, Gunnarsson.
Yellow: Pearce (foul), Manset (foul)

Watford (4-4-2): Loach; Doyley, Taylor, Dickinson, Mariappa; Yeates (Deeney 81), Eustace (c), Forsyth, Hogg; Weimann (Iwelumo 89), Sordell (Garner 76).
Subs: Gilmartin, Mirfin.
Yellow: Sordell (timewasting)

Ref: J Linington
Att: 17,128 (1,338 away)

Starting XI team news
Brian McDermott made three changes from the side that lost at Hull before the international break, handing full debuts to Joseph Mills and Adam Le Fondre and restoring Mathieu Manset to the starting line-up. Hal Robson-Kanu dropped to the bench, while Noel Hunt missed out with a sore back.

First half
A scrappy start saw neither side create much in front of goal until Watford opened the scoring. Alex Pearce was penalised for tugging on a yellow shirt and Mark Yeates curled the 25-yard free kick up and over the wall and inside the bottom left corner for 1-0.

Reading responded - McAnuff did well on the left and deliverd a delightful far post cross that a diving Manset came so close to connecting with.

Then Jem Karacan won a free kick in a similar position to that which Watford scored from. Mills stepped up and his arced set piece took a slight deflection which was enough to send it whistling inches wide of the right post.

At the other end, Yeates forced a solid save from Federici after another well-directed free kick.

But Reading were looking to get back into the game, a good run from Karacan in from the right wing allowing Manset to win a corner with a deflected shot. And Leigertwood glanced the resultant inswinger just wide of Scott Loach's goal.

Yeates was proving Watford's main attacking outlet, bursting from midfield, nutmegging Leigertwood before firing a effort from distance that Federici did well to gather mid-air.

With five minutes of the half remaining, Reading carved out their best opportunity. Leigertwood finding Manset, who beat his man to the byline and fizzed a low cross into the six yard box that Le Fondre almost got on the end of. Good defending from the visitors preserved their lead into the break though.

Second half
Less than six minutes after the break, Watford doubled their lead. Mills conceded a free kick on the right which was swept into the Royals box. Reading only managed to half clear their lines and the ball fell to John Eustace free at the far post, who calmly slotted it home from six yards out.

Patiently the hosts tried to forge a route back into the game, Mikele Leigertwood smashing a left-footed effort just wide of the top left corner.

And Brian McDermott introduced Hal Robson-Kanu for Griffin before the hour to try to exert more pressure on the Hornets defence.

But instead, Watford kept pressing for more, Craig Forsyth arrowing a good left-footed effort wide with the help of a deflection.

Reading grew more and more frustrated as the second half wore on, although substitute Hal Robson-Kanu's left-footed thunderbolt came close to reviving the Royals, Scott Loach's goal remained untroubled.
    Data provided by Press Association