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18:37 21st January 2012

Report: Hull take win in tight game

Reading 0
Hull 1 (Brady 67)

Reading were beaten by a second half strike from Robbie Brady in a tight game at Madejski Stadium.

The Royals had the better of the first half, but neither team truly got going after the break and Brady scored in somewhat controversial fashion.

Both Brady and Aaron McLean ran for the same ball, and despite McLean looking offside the flag stayed down because McLean did not touch the ball - as the officials explained to our staff after the game. So Brady's goal was allowed to stand.

The closest we came was in the first half when Alex Pearce's effort caused a real goalmouth scramble as it was cleared off the line, perhaps via the post, and Shaun Cummings had a good sight of goal early in the second half but shot over.

So it was a disappointing afternoon when it always seemed likely that one goal would be crucial - and so it proved.

Reading (4-4-2): Federici; Cummings, Harte, Gorkss (c), Pearce; Karacan, Tabb, Antonio, Robson-Kanu; Church (Le Fondre 68), Hunt
Subs: Andersen, Mills, Gunnarsson, D'Ath
Booked: Hunt (dissent 69)

Hull (4-4-1-1): Mannone; Rosenior (King 86), Dawson, Chester, Hobbs (c); McKenna, Evans, Brady (Dudgeon 81), Stewart (Fryatt 64); Koren;, McLean
Subs: Carson, Cooper
Booked: Dawson (foul 20)

Attendance: 17,556 (1,016 away)

Starting XI:
Reading made one change, Michail Antonio starting on the right wing in place of the injured Jimmy Kebe. Jobi McAnuff and Mikele Leigertwood remained sidelined.

First half:
Simon Church did well to get a header on Michail Antonio's good cross in just the third minute, and City 'keeper Vito Mannone watched anxiously as it went two yards or so wide of his right hand post.

With 13 on the clock Robbie Brady tested Adam Federici with a good free kick, and then Jem Karacan broke down the other end but couldn't quite play Church in. It was a tight affair, and midway through the half Kaspars Gorkss almost profitted from an Ian Harte free kick but headed wide.

Another set piece was then inches away from leading to a goal - Alex Pearce got onto it at the back post and had two efforts at goal, one off the line and the other perhaps coming off the post. A melee ensued but City breathed a sigh of relief as they hacked clear.

Antonio continued to do well down the right and was causing City's defence problems with pace and power.

Reading ended the half strongly, and good team pressure earned applause from our home supporters. Into injury time a Harte cross and a Hal Robson-Kanu corner caused problems for Mannone, and City were the happier to hear the half time whistle.

Second half:
Shaun Cummings had a good chance five minutes into the second half, but didn't keep it down and a smart opportunity went begging. Had it fallen to a frontman they may have had an extra touch or just the tiny bit more coolness needed to keep it down.

A Harte free kick later gave Robson-Kanu what was perhaps a half chance, but the winger got his header wrong and couldn't direct goalwards.

Pearce then headed not too far wide from a Robson-Kanu corner, not a bad opportunity for our centre half. Reading seemed to be building a head of steam and Gorkss' header then caused City to defend well.

But, it was Hull who took the lead. Both Robbie Brady and Aaron McLean ran toward a ball over the top, and Reading wanted offside against at least one of the City attackers, but the flag surprisingly stayed down and Brady turned home. Manager Brian McDermott spoke to the officials after the game, and they explained that because McLean did not touch it, he was not deemed active, as per the most recent directives.

Reading were looking to get back into it, but were being frustrated by stoppages and therefore not able to find real fluency.

A trademark long throw from Antonio allowed Hunt to get a reaction header at goal, but it was sadly straight at Mannone in the 89th minute. Not an easy chance though.

Gorkss was thrown up front late on, and his knockdown almost saw sub Adam Le Fondre put Karacan in on goal but Mannone was out to smother. And that was that.

    Data provided by Press Association