Skip to main content


17:03 29th October 2011

Report: Royals robbed at the death

Palace 0
Reading 0

The Royals were forced to settle for a goalless draw with Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon, after Kaspars Gorkss' late headed goal was controversially ruled out.

Jem Karcan forced a smart save out of Julian Speroni in the first half, whilst in the second period Hal Robson-Kanu headed a decent opening wide and Adam Le Fondre hit the bar from substitute Jimmy Kebe's cross.

Palace also showed some danger when pushing forward, with Federici's saving well from Mile Jedinak's header and Jem Karacan clearning a goalbound header off the line.

The sizeable visiting support may have thought they'd snatched the points in the dying seconds as Gorkss headed home a Joseph Mills corner, only to see his effort ruled out for a perceived foul on Speroni.

Palace: Speroni, Clyne, Wright, McCarthy (c), Gardner, Scannell (Ambrose 77), Jedinak, Murray, Williams (Parr 80), Moxey, Zaha.

Subs: Price, Parr, Ambrose, Dikgacoi, Easter.
Booked: Zaha (foul 44)

Reading: Federici, Cummings, Mills, Pearce, Gorkss, Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Robson-Kanu (Kebe 71), Le Fondre, Church (Hunt 71)

Subs: McCarthy, Harte, Kebe, Hunt, Manset
Booked: Mills (Foul 39), McAnuff (foul 56), Robson-Kanu (foul 65), Karacan (foul 66)

Referee: Mr. A Woolmer

Attendance: 21,002 (1,321)

Team News
Brian McDermott stuck with the same side that drew with Southampton last weekend, with Hal Robson-Kanu on the left wing and Adam Le Fondre partnering Simon Church up front.

First Half
A bright start from the Royals saw Hal Robson-Kanu's low cross into the box only half dealt with by the Palace defence, and Jem Karacan took advantage of the hesitancy by snapping in a low shot from 20-yards that was well held by Julian Speroni.

The next effort came from a more unlikely source, as Kaspars Gorkss mustered a rare shot on goal with a well hit strike from all of 30 yards, though once against Speroni was equal to it.

The width and trickery of Palace duo Wilfried Zaha and Sean Scannell was proving threatening in the opening exchanges, with Zaha giving Federici his first test of the afternoon after 17 minutes with a run and shot from the edge of the box.

Zaha caused trouble again just a couple of minutes later, this time coming even closer as he showed fancy footwork before whistling a low shot past the post.

The save of the first half was undoubtedly made by Speroni however, as he denied a rasping shot from Karacan - showing impressive reactions to tip over the bar.

Palace did respond by putting the ball in the net at the other end, but the linesman's flag was up for offside long before Jon Williams hooked home.

Second Half
Former EagleJobi McAnuff tried to lead by a captain's example in the early stages of the second period, as he slalomed his way to the 18-yard-box before slashing a left footed effort in on goal - though on that occasion it skied high over the crossbar.

Hal Robson-Kanu was then presented with a golden opportunity to grant Brian McDermott's side the lead, but after meeting McAnuff's pinpoint cross could only head wide from 10 yards out.

Shaun Cummings was offering good support for his skipper down the right, and shortly after the hour mark jinked into the box, skipping past his man before seeing his effort clutched into the chest of the unflappable Speroni.

There were certainly two top class goalies on show, as five minutes later Federici did brilliantly to back pedal and tip Jedinak's looping header over the bar.

As ever Brian McDermott was determined not to settle for a draw, and showed his intent by making a double change with 20 minutes on the clock - bringing on Jimmy Kebe and Noel Hunt for Robson-Kanu and Church.

It almost paid dividends moments later, as Kebe's cross from deep arrived perfectly for Le Fondre, who saw his header rattle the crossbar and fly away from danger.

The visitors did endeavour to make some more headway in the closing stages, though Palace substitute Jonathan Parr responded by flashing a volley just wide of Federici's near post with five minutes remaining.

The Eagles were to come even closer as Karacan did brilliantly to punt a header away from his own goalline, in what was turning out to be a bit of a frantic finish at Selhurst Park.

There was one last heart stopping moment for the travelling support as Parr went down in the area under a challenge from Federici, but referee Mr Woolmer gave nothing.

Finally Kaspars Gorkss found the net in the dying seconds of stoppage time from Joseph Mills' corner, but saw his effort ruled out for a perceived foul on the home 'keeper.

    Data provided by Press Association