- Murray heads Royals into first half lead
- Clarke own goal doubles hosts' advantage
- Miller hits the post with 15 mins left
- Blackman earns and scores injury time penalty
The Royals strolled to a comfortable 3-0 win over Blackpool this afternoon to get back to winning ways and earn three points that never looked in any doubt from the moment Nigel Adkins' men took the lead.
Glenn Murray opened the scoring when he arrowed a superb downward header past Joe Lewis in the Blackpool goal midway through the first half.
Then Blackpool skipper Peter Clarke got the decisive touch six yards out when Jamie Mackie had recycled a half-cleared Norwood set piece and Lewis had unsuccessfully raced off his line looking to punch the ball clear of his six yard box.
The lively Jamie Mackie had a great chance to add a third but skied an effort over after good work from Robson-Kanu, and although the two-goal cushion was more than comfortable late replacement Nick Blackman won and converted an injury time penalty to make it 3-0.
Reading: Federici, Gunter (c), Obita, Hector, Pearce, Norwood, Akpan, Robson-Kanu, Mackie (Blackman 86), Cox (Taylor 62), Murray (Pogrebnyak 79).
Subs: Andersen, S Kelly, Cooper, Kuhl.
Yellow: Taylor, Hector
Blackpool: Lewis, Daniels, Clarke, Rentmeister, Perkins, Orlandi (Mellis 75), Lundstram, Zoko (Ranger HT), Delfouneso, E Oriol (Mendy 62), Miller
Subs: Parish, Dielna, Cywka, Blackman.
Yellow: Perkins, Miller
Referee: Mr G Ward
Attendance: 15,625 (442 away)
The Royals started the game well, Jamie Mackie beating his man down the right and crossing well only for the ball to fall to the feet of Norwood whose drive from distance deflected just over the bar.
Norwood then tried another effort from the edge of the area and this time Joe Lewis was called into action, parrying his bullet drive well and Mackie's recycled cross looked for Murray at the near post only for a Blackpool leg to intervene.
Mackie had begun the game very brightly and he wormed his pay past David Perkins on the byline only to be pulled back by the Blackpool midfielder on the edge of the box.
Obita had threatened with a good cross from the left side moments earlier and midway through the half Reading took the lead through that exact avenue. The left-back swung a cross in and Glenn Murray
did brilliantly to arch his back and plant a downward header on target. Keeper Lewis couldn't keep it out and the ball nestled in the back of the Seasiders' net to the home fans' delight.
On the half hour mark, Gunter fed Akpan who deftly flicked the ball into Murray, but his cross from the byline spiralled up off a Tangerines boot and into Lewis' arms.
At the other end Ishmael Miller beat Adam Federici to a dangerous cross but used his arm to deflect it goalwards and subsequently booked. Otherwise, the Royals' back line were comfortable in dealing with the threat of Miller and Delfouneso.
Reading almost stole a second before half-time. Perkins failed to deal with a high ball dropping 25 yards out and Mackie muscled in to control it and rifle a low effort at Lewis' goal, only for captain Peter Clarke to block brilliantly with a sliding challenge.
The visitors began the second half on the front foot and it took good defensive headers from Jordan Obita and then Hope Akpan to see off early Blackpool crosses into the box.
Miller wrestled his way into a shooting position but clean hands from Federici held onto the striker's slightly deflected effort.
Akpan won possession in midfield and Murray kept the ball to begin a break, but Mackie's low cross was cut out before it could reach Robson-Kanu arriving into the box.
But Blackpool were showing more promise and Edu Oriol's shot deflected just wide of the right post before Clarke's header bounced up and over the other from the resultant corner.
Robson-Kanu drilled a shot wide from range before Jake Taylor was introduced for Simon Cox. Mackie and Murray bore down on a deep far post cross from Obita but couldn't trouble the Blackpool stopper.
Good work down the right led to another chance, but Robson-Kanu couldn't get the right direction on a header in the middle as the Royals looked to seal the points with a second goal.
And that goal came from the head of Blackpool captain Peter Clarke
in the form of an own goal
. An inswinging Norwood free kick was only half cleared, Mackie nodded it back into the danger area and Lewis came floundering off his line only for Clarke to head it past his stopper and over the line.
Soon after, it should have been 3-0. Pressure on Joe Lewis forced the Blackpool keeper into a mistake with his clearance and Robson-Kanu's first effort was saved but the forward found Mackie with a low cross only for the Nottingham Forest loanee to fire high over the bar from 10 yards out and with Lewis out of position.
Miller had a difficult chance to pull one back when a mix up at the back saw the ball roll across the six yard box and Miller pivoted and shot past Federici's dive at the far post, the ball ricocheted off the woodwork, against Federici and behind for a goal kick.
Akpan sweetly struck a low effort that was blocked as we entered the final five minutes of the game, then Taylor had the ball in the back of the net but the goal was disallowed after a push by Pearce had set the substitute up.
In injury time, substitute Nick Blackman
earned the chance to add some gloss to the scoreline when his run in from the right ended in a foul just inside the box. The referee pointed to the spot and after Lewis had tried his best to distract the Royals forward, he cheekily paused to send the keeper the wrong way before passing it into the gaping net to make it 3-0.
The three points looked like staying in Berkshire from the moment Glenn Murray broke the deadlock and a much-needed victory was secured when the final whistle sounded.