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16:55 3th December 2011

Report: Blackpool win tight game

Blackpool 1 (McManaman 55)
Reading 0

A second half goal from Blackpool's on-loan Wigan winger Callum McManaman consigned Reading to a 1-0 defeat at Bloomfield Road this Saturday afternoon.

Blackpool during a spell in which they were on top - unfortunately Reading had not been able to do the same when on top in the first half, and had a Simon Church goal cruelly disallowed just before the break, while Alex Pearce also had a very strong penalty claim denied.

Adam Le Fondre had a great chance at 0-0 but headed wide from close range, and Blackpool took advantage of their first half breaks to take control of the game after the interval.

Adam Federici made some good saves after the break, and we were unable to create a further chance to get us back in the game.

After two comebacks in the last two matches we could not find another late goal, and despite the excellent backing of 600+ Royals fans we suffered a narrow defeat which left boss Brian McDermott seething.

Blackpool (4-4-2): Gilks; Eardley, Crainey, Cathcart, Evatt; Ferguson (c), Sylvestre (Angel 87), McManaman (Basham 80), M Phillips; LuaLua (K Phillips 75), Taylor-Fletcher
Subs: Howard, Ince
Booked: Evatt (foul 24)

Reading (4-4-2): Federici; Cummings, Harte, Gorkss (c), Pearce; Karacan, Leigertwood, Kebe (Antonio 70), Robson-Kanu; Church (Manset 70), Le Fondre
Subs: Andersen, Griffin, Tabb
Booked: Pearce (foul 47), Gorkss (foul 63)

Attendance: 11,656

Ref: M Brown (Bartlett 42)

Starting XI team news:
Reading made two changes, Adam Le Fondre and Hal Robson-Kanu coming in to replace the injured Noel Hunt and suspended Jobi McAnuff - and also getting their rewards for scoring in midweek. Kaspars Gorkss was named captain against his former club, while Andy Griffin and Michail Antonio took places on the bench. Young Academy prospect Lawson D'Ath travelled with our squad, good experience for the midfielder even though he did not make the final 16.

First half:
The game was preceded by a minute's applause held in honour of both Gary Speed and long-serving Blackpool employee Bill Dickie.

The home side had the first notable venture into either penalty area, but Shaun Cummings did well to avert the danger from Lomano LuaLua.

With 12 minutes gone Callum McManaman went through on goal, and went down under a challenge from Cummings. Referee Mark Brown was close at hand and didn't give a free kick - which was a relief to Reading as a foul could well have led to a red card in that position.

Cummings was heavily involved, and five minutes later he gave Adam Le Fondre a great chance with a header, but he put it just wide of the upright. Jimmy Kebe then went on an excellent run from Jem Karacan's pass but stabbed not too far wide, possibly via a deflection.

Le Fondre then turned brilliantly to set Kebe away down the wing, and his low cross was very nearly turned in by Hal Robson-Kanu at the back post but it was inches ahead of him.

Simon Church then had a goal disallowed as he pounced on Matt Gilks' save from Le Fondre's header - and our striker was very unhappy with the decision from the linesman.

Le Fondre then played a wonderful ball through for Church, and it was just too strong for the Welshman to control - otherwise he was in on goal.

Just before half time there was a change to the referee, Mr Brown off injured and replaced by one of his assistants for the last action of the half.

And Alex Pearce then had a penalty claim waved away - bizarrely penalised when Ian Evatt appeared to have his hands around Pearce's neck.

Second half:
The Royals needed very good goalkeeping from Adam Federici in the 47th minute, and he saw smartly out at Gary Taylor-Fletcher's feet as a long ball threatened to catch out our defence. Five minutes later Federici was again out well to deby Sylvestre.

But there was nothing Federici could do moments later as Callum McManaman produced an excellent turn and finish inside the area after a nice team move down the left. 'Pool had started the second half as the better team and capitalised through the on-loan Wigan man.

Robson-Kanu was close to an immediate equaliser from Church's cross but put it not too far over, then Federici made another good save to keep out LuaLua.

Reading were being kept at bay by the home side, and with 20 minutes left Brian McDermott made a double change, bringing on Mathieu Manset and Michail Antonio for Church and Kebe. 'Pool soon responded by introducing Kevin Phillips.

Ten minutes passed without any real incident, then 'Pool centre half Ian Evatt had a decent chance from a corner but headed off target.

Antonio then got in a header from Ian Harte's deep cross, but Matt Gilks was able to gather with Le Fondre lurking. Soon after Harte had a free kick chance but put it over the top, and 'Pool held out for three points.

    Data provided by Press Association