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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
21:57 18th October 2011

Report: Alfie brace earns 2-2 draw

Reading 2 (Le Fondre 65, 77)
Derby County 2 (Robinson 59, Cywka 75)


Brian McDermott's men twice came from behind to earn a hard-earned point against Derby County this afternoon and extend their unbeaten league run to six.

The Rams opened the scoring against the run of play when Theo Robinson latched onto a near post flick and stabbed home from close range on the hour mark.

Five minutes later Reading were level. Adam Le Fondre collected a far post Karacan knock down and, after controlling it with his chest, hooked an exquisite right-footed effort inside the left post to make it 1-1.

Nigel Clough's side retook the lead through Tomasz Cywka who wrestled in ahead of Joseph Mills to restore the visitors' advantage, but again the hosts were not behind for long.

Le Fondre's near post run was found with a delightful Robson-Kanu cross from the left and the Royals frontman did the rest, glancing home with aplomb to net his second.

Reading pressed for a winner to replicate their last Tuesday night scoreline, secured at Bristol City before the international break, but scores were level as the final whistle sounded and the points shared.

Reading (4-4-2): Federici; Cummings, Mills, Gorkss (c), Pearce; Leigertwood, Karacan, Kebe (Manset 72), Robson-Kanu; Church (Hunt 79), Le Fondre.
Subs: McCarthy, Harte, Gunnarsson.
Yellow: Mills.

Derby County (4-4-2): Fielding; Anderson, Roberts, O'Brien, Shackell (c); Hendrick, Bryson, B Davies, Robinson; Cywka (Ball 82), Ward (Doyle 70).
Subs: Maguire, Kilbane, Legzdins.
Yellow: Anderson, Robinson.

Ref: R East
Att: 15,704 (717 away)

Starting XI team news
Brian McDermott was forced to make two changes to the side that beat Burnley late on at Turf Moor. Jem Karacan replaced Jay Tabb as a precautionary measure following Tabb's concussion at Turf Moor, while Jimmy Kebe returned after a month-long absence to take Jobi McAnuff's place on the wing - the skipper missing out with an ankle injury. Kaspars Gorkss took the captain's armband, while Brynjar Gunnarsson was restored to the substitutes' bench.

First half
Five minutes into the game and the home crowd came to life with a commanding piece of midfield play from Mikele Leigertwood. Winning the ball back on the edge of his own penalty box, he turned and raced through the Rams midfield but, with options either side of him he opted to shoot and scuffed an effort wide to end the move disappointingly.

Moments later, Simon Church did make Frank Fielding make a save, stabbing instinctively at goal only for Fielding to save easily at his near post.

And Church was causing more problems on the quarter hour mark, scuttling onto a low Mills inswinging free kick and hooking it back from the byline only for a Rams head to clear before Le Fondre could nod it home.

Leigertwood struck a difficult first time efort just over the bar after good work from Le Fondre and Church had teed him up, and with almost half an hour on the clock Jimmy Kebe's low drive through a crowded box was well blocked by Ben Davies.

And minutes later, Adam Le Fondre thought he'd opened the scoring. Hal Robson-Kanu won a free kick on the left, which Mills whipped in and Le Fondre rose highest directed a beautiful downward header towards the bottom right corner, only for Fielding to somehow keep it out with a brilliant left-handed save on his line.

Reading dominated possession and plied the Rams penalty area with a number of crosses from both flanks, but despite the home side's pressure the half grew scrappier and the two teams went into the break level.

Second half
The first chance of the second half fell to the feet of the fit-again Jimmy Kebe, who coasted through to the edge of the area but toed it on to Church too late for him to shoot first time and a Derby leg got back to break the move up.

Gorkss, as captain for the night, took it upon himself to force the issue, batttling for possession on the left wing before whipping a lovely ball into Kebe at the far post. But the linesman flag prevented it from producing a breakthrough.

On the hour, entirely against the run of play, the Rams took the lead and the game burst into life. An inswinging free kick was flicked on at the near post and Theo Robinson guided it home from five yards out with Federici unable to do anything about it.

With their tails up, Robinson tried a speculative overhead moments later which ballooned high over Federici's bar.

But the Royals hit back to level after only five minutes of being behind. A deep Church cross was headed back by Karacan at the far post and Le Fondre chested it down before cleverly hooking the ball over his shoulder, across Fielding and inside the left upright. Kebe was following it in but didn't need a touch.

Shaun Cummings tried his luck with a right-footed drive that a half-hearted appeal claimed, but before the Royals knew it they were having to come from behind again. Rams substitute Thomas Cywka wrestled in front of Joseph Mills to stab home a deep Connor Doyle cross from the left, finishing clinically into the bottom right corner.

But come from behind Reading did. Le Fondre was again the man in the right place at the right time, making a good run to the near post and glancing a good Hal Robson-Kanu cross inside Fielding's right hand post.

Reading pressed for a winner, but Noel Hunt's free kick sailed over and five minutes of injury time weren't enough for the Royals to complete another late league victory.

    Data provided by Press Association