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16:58 17th March 2012

Magnificent Royals hit Tykes for four

Barnsley 0
Reading 4 (McAnuff 47, Karacan 49, 65, Roberts 90)

A rampant Reading romped to their biggest win of the season, hitting Barnsley for four in a second half display that simply swept their opponents aside.

Brian McDermott's men totally dominated the first 45 minutes but an in-form Luke Steele had denied Noel Hunt, Jason Roberts and Mikele Leigertwood to take the teams in goalless at the break.

But the Royals came out of the traps so quickly at the start of the second half that Barnsley were two goals down before they could catch their breath. Jobi McAnuff latched onto Roberts' low cross to drill the ball low into the bottom right corner to break the deadlock.

And only two minutes later, Jem Karacan doubled the Royals' advantage by smashing high past Steele from 8 yards out.

Reading didn't look like settling for 2-0, and Karacan thundered an unstoppable 25-yard drive into the top right corner to add a spectacular third and send 678 away fans wild in the Oakwell stands.

And Jason Roberts added a fourth in the final minute of normal time, turning his man on the right side of the box before calmly passing it into the Tykes net with his left foot.

Barnsley (4-4-2): Steele, Doyle (Dawson 69), McNulty, Foster (c), Collins; Wiseman (Stones 52), Smith, Davies, Done; Rose (Cotterill 69), Nouble.
Subs: Lidakevicius, Dawson, Cotterill, Gray.
Yellow: Smith, Rose

Reading (4-4-2): Federici; Mullins, Harte, Gorkss, Pearce; Karacan (Tabb 76), Leigertwood, McAnuff (c) (Robson-Kanu 67), Kebe (Church 83); Hunt, Roberts.
Subs: Andersen, Le Fondre.
Yellow: Mullins

Attendance: 9,381 (678 away)
Referee: Mr D Sheldrake

Starting XI team news:
New loanee Hayden Mullins came straight into the side at right-back, replacing Shaun Cummings at right-back in one of two changes made by Brian McDermott. The other saw Jimmy Kebe return to the side after injury, coming in for Hal Robson-Kanu on the wing.

First half

The Royals were on the attack from the very first minute - literally. Noel Hunt scampered onto a lovely ball through the Barnsley back line and was one-on-one with the keeper, but Luke Steele raced from his line to parry Hunt's attempted dink and the Tykes survived an early scare.

Ten minutes in and Jimmy Kebe announced his return to the starting line-up with a characteristic burst from the edge of our own penalty area and through the Barnsley midfield to earn a free kick 30 yards out and earn Korey Smith a yellow card for clipping him.

Minutes later, Kebe was slid in on goal but Steele raced off his line to force the winger wide and snuff out another Royals attack.

At the other end, Frank Nouble headed a deflected stooping header just wide of the bottom left corner and Danny Rose fired a speculative effort well wide from distance.

Superb work from Hunt and Roberts earned Jobi McAnuff the opportunity to cut inside from the left and bamboozle his marker before arcing a right-footed effort just wide of the right post.

Midway through the first half and Steele could only half punch a cross clear under pressure from Hunt, and the ball dropped to the feet of McAnuff. He tried to chip the out of position keeper from the edge of the area, but it sailed agonisingly over the Barnsley bar.

Roberts then saw his first glimpse of goal, shielding the bal well inside a crowded Barnsley area before swivelling to sweep a left-footed effort at goal, but Steele gathered it into his body well.

Leigertwood was then denied by the in-form Steele, who athleticlly pushed a powerful left-footed 22-yard drive from the midfielder wide of the top left corner.

And Leigertwood came even closer when a deep Harte corner was headed back across goal by Pearce and then Roberts for Mikele to volley a dropping ball inches wide.

Second half
Two minutes into the second half, and Reading had their breakthrough. Roberts wriggled free on the right side of the box, slid a beautifully weighted pass inside. Karacan skipped over it to leave it for Jobi McAnuff who placed a sublime shot low into the bottom right corner for the lead.

A shell-shocked Barnsley defence couldn't handle the pace at which Reading had raced out of the blocks and minutes later it was 2-0.

Persistent work from McAnuff on the left led to a low far post cross that Kebe tried to wrap a leg around. His stab goalwards was blocked but the ball bobbled loose and Jem Karacan smashed it high into the Tykes net from 8 yards out.

Reading wanted more and Karacan thundered home a third from 25 yards out, leathering an unstoppable effort into the top right corner for 3-0.

Jason Roberts toed a left-footed effort wide as Barnsley failed to clear their lines and late on almost got his name on the scoresheet again when sidefooting a Hunt header the wrong side of the right post.

Leigertwood curled a late chance inches wide of the top right corner but there was still time for a fourth, Roberts turning his man on the right before comfortably passing it past Steele.
    Data provided by Press Association