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19:19 14th January 2012

Report: Le Fondre earns late win

Watford 1 (Cummings 28 (og))
Reading 2 (Kebe 41, Le Fondre 84)

A late goal from sub Adam Le Fondre gave Reading a hard-fought 2-1 win away to Watford live on Sky Sports this Saturday evening.

Reading came from behind to earn victory, having gone 1-0 down against the run of play when Shaun Cummings scored an own goal.

Adam Federici then made an important save from Troy Deeney, and Jimmy Kebe equalised after good work by Noel Hunt and Hal Robson-Kanu.

The second half was something of a battle - but a moment of excellence from Le Fondre gave Reading a fifth win in six League games. He swivelled marvellously following Ian Harte's corner, and sent our fans into raptures with his first real touch - a true striker's finish.

Watford (4-4-2): Loach; Hodson, Dickinson, Mariappa, Nosworthy; Buaben, Eustace (c), Yeates (Iwelumo 86), Forsyth (Jenkins 75); Deeney, Sordell
Subs: Bond, Doyley, Garner
Booked: Forsyth (foul 67)

Reading (4-4-2): Federici; Cummings, Harte, Gorkss (c), Pearce; Karacan, Tabb, Kebe (Antonio 86), Robson-Kanu; Church (Le Fondre 82), Hunt
Subs: Andersen, Mills, Gunnarsson
Booked: Robson-Kanu (foul 36), Tabb (foul 65), Le Fondre (celebrating 85)

Attendance: 11,291 (943 away)

Ref: G Salisbury

Starting XI team news:
Reading made three changes - Jimmy Kebe, Jem Karacan and Noel Hunt all came back after missing the Stevenage game. Jobi McAnuff and Mikele Leigertwood were injured, while Adam Le Fondre moved to the bench.

First half:
Reading made a good start, and Noel Hunt was inches away with a ninth minute header, his effort going just wide from Shaun Cummings' cross.

Another excellent Cummings cross nearly paid divideneds 11 minutes later, and Kebe almost got on it at the back post but Lee Hodson did enough.

Reading continued to press, and a superb Hal Robson-Kanu cross nearly found Hunt, who seemed to be pushed in the back but nothing was given. As play continued it broke to Jimmy Kebe, but Scott Loach saved his effort.

Then, well against the run of play, Watford took the lead. Marvin Sordell got away down the right and Cummings, with an attacker behind him, mistakenly stabbed the low cross into his own net.

As Watford found lead they had a spell of pressure, and the goal's creator Deeney hit a superb effort that Adam Federici did well to save.

But soon Reading were level.

We stopped a Watford attack, and Hunt took possession in midfield. The lively Irishman spread the ball well to Robson-Kanu on the left, and he broke nicely into space. The Welshman delivered a lovely ball to the back post and Kebe did the rest with a downward header.

Second half:
Reading were very close to taking the lead in the 47th minute, Robson-Kanu doing well down the left and seeing his cross cut out just as Simon Church prepared to tap home.

The opening exchanges of the second half were even, and on the hour Mark Yeates put a Watford free kick a couple of feet over the bar. Craig Forsyth then should have done better with a header - although he was incorrectly given offside.

Forsyth was then lucky to still be on the pitch when committing two fouls in two minutes. In fairness maybe some refs would have been harsher on Robson-Kanu in the first half when he was cautioned, but there is no doubt Forsyth's second challenge would normally bring a yellow card.

Hunt then wanted a penalty for a challenge from Hodson - but referee Sailsbury was not interested.

Just as the game looked to be petering out, Adam Le Fondre came off the bench to score with practically his first touch, finishing very well indeed at the back post after Hunt got a touch on Ian Harte's corner.

For a man who had not scored many in recent weeks, Le Fondre showed a real predatory instinct to expertly turn home with his heel on the turn. Even the most astounding of bookings for over-celebrating would not have affected his joy, or that of our 900+ supporters.

We saw out the final minutes very professionally - and it was a hard-fought three points indeed.

    Data provided by Press Association