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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
21:30 11th September 2015

Five star Royals sweep Ipswich aside

A hat-trick from Orlando Sa helped Steve Clarke's side destroy thrid-placed Ipswich Town with a free-flowing, attack-minded performance that saw them score five past a helpless Dean Gerken.

The brilliant Nick Blackman got his name on the scoresheet once more, while Olly Norwood capped off a wonderful night at Madejski Stadium with a top corner finish that had everyone on their feet, four minutes from time.

Sa's treble was the first hat-trick in the division so far this season, and Reading's first hat-trick since Adam Le Fondre's three against Blackpool here back in January 2014, and with three more points on the board the home faithful headed home with broad smiles across their faces.

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Steve Clarke made two changes to the side that picked up our first league win of the season before the international break - opting to rest Danny Williams after the exertions of international duty and stary Aaron Tshibola in his place, whilst handing loanee Matej Vydra a debut up front.

Sa header 468

Only eight minutes in, Reading took the lead in the same fashion they had before the international break - from an Orlando Sa header. Nick Blackman found a yard to cross from the right and Sa rose high to brilliantly direct a header inside the left upright for 1-0.

The lead only lastes a matter of minutes though as Ipswich were on level terms courtesy of their in form frontman. Ryan Fraser evaded the tackles of Ferdinand and Gunter and shot towards the far corner. Jonathan Bond leapt to his left, pushing it clear well, but the ball flew into the chest of an onside Freddie Sears who bundled it over the line.

In a frenzied opening quarter of an hour, Sa struck again with a wonderful right-footed drive that crept past Gerken and nestled in the bottom left corner for 2-1. Vydra fed his new strike partner who did well to control it, turn towards goal, beat a man and rifle a low effort across the Ipswich keeper's body and perfectly into the back of the net.

Sa celebration 468

It didn't let up as Town sought another equaliser - Jonas Knudsen arrowed an effort just wide before Sears showed quick feet to skip past the byline tackle of McShane only to sky a right-footed effort high over the bar from close range.

Eight minutes before the break, Reading broke. Quinn intercepted the ball, fed Blackman who found Quinn again scampering through midfield. He threaded the ball into the feet of Sa who turned it on first time into the path of Vydra, but Gerken was out quickly to snuff out the threat.

Vydra 468

Moments later another lovely piece of intricate passing on the edge of the area so nearly released Blackman, but again Gerken was alive to the danger, diving at the Royals forward's feet.

Blackman tried a cheeky dink from the corner of the box but it sailed off target this time without troubling the Ipswich stopper, then a well-timed slide tackle from Norwood dispossessed Fraser to concede a corner. Fraser's set piece was curled into McGoldrick who got his head to the ball six yards out but couldn't get enough on his header to direct it on target.

Half-time: Reading 2 Ipswich Town 1

The first opportunity of the second period came from the right boot of Brett Pitman who instinctively lashed a first time strike over the bar from the edge of the Royals box.

But that acted as an early warning that was swiftly heeded and Nick Blackman's left foot produced the fourth goal of the game less than five minutes after the resumption. Sa had weaved a lovely reverse ball into his fellow forward and Blackman had picked out Sa with a low cut back but Sa couldn't get his feet organised in time to pass it towards goal.

Blackman celebration 468

No matter though, because Vydra pounced on a dallying Town defender to force the clearance to only go as far as Blackman and the striker ruthlessly hammered the ball high into the net to make it 3-1 with an absolute thunderbolt.

Again, Ipswich reminded the home side they were still in the encounter, Fraser floating the ball into the box and Pitman rising to glance the header over Bond and flush against the crossbar. Tshibola muscled out McGoldrick to clear the ball from the Royals box.

Again, Reading paid attention to the warning to score a stylish fourth. Blackman broke down the left, did superbly to edge his way to the byline and cut the ball back for an unmarked Sa to passed the ball into the net from six yards out for his hat-trick!

It was the first hat-trick scored in the Championship this season and Reading's first treble since Adam Le Fondre's hat-trick here against Blackpool in January 2014.

With such a cushion, manager Steve Clarke introduced two more debutants in Lucas Piazon and Ola John with less than 15 minutes of the match remaining. And Piazon threaded a nice pass in for Quinn to run onto, the Irishman earning a corner as he looked to find a cross.

Norwood celebration 468

And with four minuted remaining, Reading added a spectacular fifth. Oliver Norwood received the ball 25 yards out and picked out the top left corner with a quite fantastic right-footed shot.

Confidence was flowing and everyone wanted a piece of the action, Obita drilling just wide, then John firing over from range. But 5-1 it would stay and the rampant Royals had earned plenty of admirers watching here as well as live on Sky Sports.

Full time:Reading 5 Ipswich Town 1

Reading: Bond, Gunter, Obita, McShane (c), Ferdinand, Norwood, Tshibola, Quinn, Blackman (John 78), Vydra (Piazon 77), Sa (Robson-Kanu 82).
Unused subs: Al Habsi, Hector, Williams, McCleary.

Ipswich Town: Gerken, Knudsen, Chambers (c), Smith, Berra, Skuse, Douglas, Fraser (Maitland-Niles 66), Pitman (Murphy 66), McGoldrick, Sears.
Unused subs: Bialkowski, Parr, Coke, Malarczyk, Toure.
Yellow: Chambers, Skuse, Fraser, Knudsen.

Referee: Mr Roger East

Att: 16,809 (1,682 away)