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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
21:50 5th April 2016

Royals come back to fell Forest

Reading came from behind to clinch back-to-back wins in the Championship thanks to a clever finish from Matej Vydra and an absolute stunner from Ollie Norwood ten minutes from time, as Nottingham Forest were denied anything from a game the Royals bossed from start to finish.

Ben Osborn had given the visitors the lead against the run of play when he latched onto a Lansbury ball to slide home the opener late in the first half. But Reading drew level when Vydra was in the right place to help Ollie Norwood's drive past Dorus de Vries and inside the left upright and Norwood fired the winner with a superbly struck right-footed piledriver that flew in off the woodwork with ten minutes remaining.

Royals boss Brian McDermott made one change to the eleven that started at Bolton at the weekend, replacing Matej Vydra with Simon Cox up front, while Michael Hector came back into the squad to take a place on the bench after an injury picked up on international duty.

The opening stages saw the Royals play some neat stuff, but a series of final balls were not finding their intended targets - Obita not finding Quinn, Gunter over-hitting a pass for to Williams down the right, Piazon not finding Cox on the same wavelength.

With ten minutes played, Gunter found Cox with a cross from the right but the striker could only glance a difficult header wide of the near post and behind for a goal kick.

Three minutes later, McDermott's men came closer to opening the scoring. Obita darted down the left and delivered a deep cross that Kermorgant did well to win in the air and direct back across the face of goal. As it headed for the bottom corner, former Reading captain Matt Mills was in the right place at the right time to hook the ball away and keep the game goalless.

And the dangerous Obita - Kermorgant combination almost came off soon after, this time Dorus de Vries leapt to his right to brilliantly palm the Frenchman's powerful downward header wide of the right post.

Quick footwork from ex-Forest man Cox saw him open up a shooting chance, but he arrowed the ball wide of the woodwork with his left foot from the edge of the box. Then Piazon centred a low cross into the six yard box - but no-one in blue and white hoops was there to turn it goalwards.

Against the run of play, Ali Al Habsi had to produce an acrobatic save to deny Osborn's piledriver from 25 yards, but it was the home side who nearly opened the scoring soon after when McShane got his head to a near post inswinging corner from Norwood but headed inches over.

Williams made De Vries work at his near post when his overlapping run was found by Cox who had held the ball up well. But Williams' powerful drive was easily parried by the Dutch stopper as Reading again threatened.

Reading were using Obita's width well and the left-back crossed again from the touchline only for Williams to direct the ball over with a first time volley.

For all the Royals' pressure in the first half, it was Forest who broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time. Osborn ghosted in behind the back four to scuttle onto Henri Lansbury's pass and pass the ball beyond Al Habsi from eight yards out.

Cox saw a speculative drive deflect wide for a late corner that Cooper and Kermorgant rose for but couldn't direct on target, and after Kermorgant had fires a snapshot inches over from just inside the area, the whistle sounded and Paul Williams' men took a largely undeserved lead into the dressing room.

Half-time: Reading 0 Nottm Forest 1

Reading were on the front foot at the start of the second half too, Fox glancing a header behind as Cox lurked at the far post - and De Vries had to react sharply to deny Reading an equaliser as a bit of pinball inside the Forest box was eventually ended by an aerial claim from the stopper.

A quite spectacular leap from Kermorgant almost equalised when a cross from the right was met by the forward and the ball floated just wide via a glance off the outside off the right upright.

Then just before the hour, Forest skipper Lansbury came close to adding a second when the visitors dispossessed Kermorgant in midfield and broke in numbers, Lansbury latching onto a low ball across the box only to be denied a driven second by Al Habsi's diving save.

Kermorgant connected with yet another Obita cross but directed his header wide before Brian McDermott made a double change - bringing on Ola John and Matej Vydra for Piazon and Cox.

Williams tried his luck from 22 yards out and fizzed an effort just wide, but Reading were being frustrated by Forest. And as Ola John's low cross was collected by Williams, he pounded the floor as his stabbed effort took a deflection wide.

But with little more than 20 minutes left, Reading levelled. Norwood drove a powerful effort towards the bottom left corner and Vydra was instinctively in the right place to get an important touch and held the ball inside the upright.

The visitors took the sting out of Reading's momentum...but Ollie Norwood fired the hosts into the lead in spectacular style with ten minutes remaining. Winning the ball back brilliantly he was allowed to take a touch forward, take aim and sweep home a fantastic right-footed finish off the inside of the left post. 2-1.

Forest looked to respond and Osborn drilled an effort just wide of the bottom right corner with two minutes left. And a timely McShane challenge was enough to stop Blackstock in his tracks as the time began to tick away. And the Royals stood firm to earn back-to-back wins in the league.

Full-time: Reading 2 Nottm Forest 1

Reading: Al Habsi, Gunter, Obita, Cooper, McShane (c), Norwood, Williams, Quinn, Piazon (John 60), Kermorgant, Cox (Vydra 60).
Subs: Bond, Taylor, Ferdinand, Evans, Hector.

Nottm Forest: De Vries, Gardner, Mills, Wilson (Fox 32), Jokic, Burke (Ward 69), Vaughan, Cohen, Osborn, Lansbury (c) (Tesche 74), Blackstock.
Subs: Evtimov, Grant, Macheda, O'Grady.
Yellow: Gardner

Referee: Mr D Whitestone
Att: 15,678 (816 away)