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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:02 17th December 2011

Report: Historic win for excellent Royal

Leeds United 0
Reading 1 (Church 2)

Reading secured their first ever league win over Leeds United at Elland Road thanks to Simon Church's impeccable second minute lob this afternoon.

Church silenced a vociferous home crowd with the opener in only the second minute. He raced onto a well-weighted Karacan throughball and dinked a sublime lob over Andy Lonergan from a tight angle, dropping it under the crossbar and into the net for 1-0.

And Reading came close to adding a second when Jobi McAnuff arced a left-footed effort just wide and forced a smart low save from Lonergan with his right.

Federici had a McCormack header to stop just before the break and an Adam Clayton flick to keep out in the second half, but Brian McDermott's men were first class in defending their lead and Leeds eventually ran out of ideas.

It was a thoroughly deserved victory and a wonderful team performance that earns the Royals three valuable points.

Leeds United: (4-4-2): Lonergan, Connolly, Clayton (Keogh 68), Lees, Kisnorbo (c); Brown (Vayrynen 64), Pugh, Snodgrass, White; McCormack (Sam 64), Becchio.
Subs: Taylor, O'Dea.
Yellow: Vayrynen (foul 71)

Reading (4-4-2): Federici; Cummings, Griffin, Gorkss, Pearce; Karacan (Tabb 60), Leigertwood, Robson-Kanu, McAnuff (c); Church, Le Fondre (Antonio 90).
Subs: Andersen, Morrison, D'Ath.
Yellow: Griffin (foul 26), McAnuff (foul 30)

Ref: Mr C Webster
Attendance: 23,162

Starting XI team news:
Reading made three enforced changes to the side that beat West Ham, with Andy Griffin recalled to replace the injured Ian Harte at left back, Simon Church in for Noel Hunt up front, and Hal Robson-Kanu starting ahead of the injured Kebe.

First half:
All the talk had been about the Elland Road atmosphere, but after only two minutes Simon Church sent a deathly silence around the ground. The two-goal hero from last weekend ghosted into the box and coolly cushioned a sublime lob over Andy Lonergan from a very tight angle to give the visitors an early lead.

McAnuff, the provider for the opener, then came close to scoring a second. He weaved his way inside from the right, worked a shooting opportunity inside the penalty box and arced a left footed effort just wide of the far post.

And while Leeds were getting a fair slice of the possession, the Royals created another glorious opening after 20 minutes.

Robson-Kanu turned his man on the right wing and fed Le Fondre inside him, he in turn found McAnuff on the left side of the box and the Royals skipper touched it back onto his right boot and drilled a low effort that Lonergan did very well to keep out.

Church slid in with Kisnorbo to try to turn the rebound home but the ball bobbled just wide of the bottom right corner and Leeds breathed a big sigh of relief.

McCormack won and took a free kick on the edge of the area but the Royals wall held firm, and eight minutes before half time the Royals came close again - Kaspars Gorkss heading McAnuff's far post free kick over the crossbar.

Reading were snapping at ankles all over the field and not allowing their hosts to settle, but the last chance of the half fell to Leeds when Snodgrass' floated cross was met by the powerful head of McCormack at the far post, but Federici was behind it to save on his goalline.

Second half
The second half began with Leeds fired up but their home fans. And they almost profited from a freak effort from Connolly, who simply launched a cross high into the box and looping towards the far post, but a watchful Federici pushed it over his crossbar to concede an early corner.

And Federici was forced into a smart save on the hour when a well-worked Leeds move down the right ended with a canny flick from Clayton on the edge of the six yard box - but Federici was down well to save low to his right.

Jem Karacan was replaced on the hour suffering with a knock and Jay Tabb took up a central midfield role. And soon after Simon Grayson made a triple change - Sam, Vayrynen and Keogh on for Clayton, McCormack and Brown.

Keogh tried a speculative overhead kick on 68 minutes but it flew high over Federici's crossbar, while at the other end Mikele Leigertwood directed a difficult header wide.

Griffin hacked clear from inside his own six yard box as the Royals defended an up and under cross from the left wing, but then broke through Le Fondre and McAnuff, the latter looking to find Church with a low cross but seeing his centre intercepted.

With a quarter of an hour to go, Griffin found himself bombing onto a ball from Leigertwood at the other end, but his cross from the byline was blocked behind for a corner.

Great work from McAnuff and Cummings down the right saw Church head Cummings' pinpoint cross against the top of the crossbar, but the offside flag was raised against Church anyway.

The Royals were having to defend well, and defend well is exactly they were doing as a team.

And in seeing injury time out down the right end of the field they almost had a second when substitute Antonio raced along the byline and crossed for Church to flick goalwards, but he didn't get the right connection on it to trouble Lonergan.

    Data provided by Press Association