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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
16:58 25th February 2012

Super Royals earn 12th win in 15

Boro 0
Reading 2 (Hunt 17, Harte 80)


Reading moved back up to third in the table with a twelfth win in 15 games, seeing off promotion rivals Middlesbrough in fine fashion.

After seeing out an early 'Boro spell, Noel Hunt scored with a good prodded finish from an Ian Harte corner, then Harte turned home a wonderful 80th minute free kick to secure the points.

Taking this result into account, Reading did not concede a goal in February, and they are in superb form at the moment. Performances like this give our fans great hope for the remainder of the campaign and the excitement among our supporters continues unabated.

Reading: (4-4-2): Federici; Connolly, Harte, Kaspars Gorkss, Pearce; Karacan, Leigertwood, Kebe, McAnuff; Hunt, Roberts
Unused subs: Andersen, Tabb, Robson-Kanu, Church, Le Fondre

Boro (4-3-3): Steele; Hoyte, Bennett, Bates (c), Hines; Robson, Williams, Arca; Haroun (Main 58), Emnes (Ogbeche 83), Jutkiewicz
Unused subs: Martin, McMahon, Smallwood
Booked: Hines (foul 79)

Attendance: 17,314 (271 away)

Referee: S Attwell

Starting XI team news:
Reading's starting XI was unchanged from the Burnley game, while Simon Church was back on the bench following an injury, Tomasz Cywka missing out.

First half:
It was 'Boro who started more comfortably, and a couple of short clearances from our defenders contributed to the home side's decent early pressure.

But after seeing out the early storm it was the Royals who took the lead. A right wing corner from Ian Harte was flicked on and found Noel Hunt at the back post - he prodded high into the net to break the deadlock.

'Boro then had to defend well to prevent Hunt getting another header at goal, but then Alex Pearce had to do the same in our box by diving superbly to clear.

Next to defend well was Matthew Connolly, doing excellently to block Lucas Jutkiewicz's effort on the spin.

The game had a similar pattern for the rest of the half, 'Boro shading possession but Reading keeping them at arm's length. We looked good going forward but it remained 1-0 when Stuart Attwell blew his half time whistle.

Second half
Julio Arca hit a decent effort soon after the restart but Adam Federici was able to see it over, and Reading had a couple of real chances in quick succession.

First Jobi McAnuff nicked possession inside the 'Boro box and probably should have shot but tried to pass infield.

Then Jason Roberts was in on Jason Steele after outmuscling a defender, but the keeper was able to make an important save one-on-one.

The game had opened up and Federici had a couple of shots to deal with, although fairly routine.

Jem Karacan then fashioned a decent chance with a lovely touch, but a defender got a good block on it and Hunt miscued the rebound wide.

Reading had been defending superbly, and with ten minutes to go they doubled the lead.

A superb break saw Roberts hacked down, and Ian Harte smacked home a simply brilliant free kick from 25 yards. It was unstoppable.

In injury time McAnuff should have had a penalty after being brought down in the box, but it was of no concern as the Royals saw out three points.

    Data provided by Press Association