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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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16 December 2017 Venue Portman Road Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

Ahead of the game | Suffolk awaits Stam's Royals

Ipswich test lies ahead for Reading

15 December 2017

Ipswich Town vs Reading
Sky Bet Championship
Portman Road
Saturday 16th December 2017 (3pm)

As we edge closer to the midpoint of the league season, we’re looking to make ground on some of the teams that sit above us in the standings; three points at Portman Road this weekend would go a long way.

After a bottom-half finish last term, Mick McCarthy’s men have made a decent start to the current campaign and lie five points off a play-off spot.  And the Royals lie five points behind the Tractor Boys ahead of the weekend… which we’d like to cut down to just two.

They were amongst the front-runners at the season’s start, winning five straight games in all competitions within a fortnight at the start of August, but confidence ebbed when they ended up losing eight out of eleven.  Only twice this season have they played out draws – the other 21 games have all have decisive results.

We’ve had mixed fortunes over the years – one of the more dramatic games game in 2011 when the Royals trailed in stoppage time and scored twice to overturn it and win 3-2!  And now it’s time for our current crop to make a memorable victory of their own.

Tickets

Tickets will be available on the turnstile at Portman Road on Saturday, through cash only turnstiles 10 and 11 from 1.30pm on Saturday 16th December. There will be no price increase on advance ticket prices either.

For all ticketing enquiries, follow the link to our Ticket Office page or contact the Ticket Office by phone on 0118 968 1313. Our official online ticketing service www.readingfcdirect.co.uk sells seats for home and away games, and email enquiries can be sent to ticketing@readingfc.co.uk

Travel

Supporters' Trust at Reading (STAR) offer travel to all away games, details of which can be found by following the link here.

Away ground guide

Click here for more information from Ipswich Town.

Pre-match chat

Odds

Hosts Ipswich are narrow home favourites according to EFL title sponsor Sky Bet, who give the Tractor Boys odds of 8/5 for a win, while the Royals are 17/10 and a draw is 23/10.

Our current leading scorer Mo Barrow is 2/1 to notch again at any time, while Yann Kermorgant is 15/8 to open his season account in Suffolk.

NB: All betting odds are subject to change, but are correct at the time of writing.

Officials

Peter Bankes is our man in the middle for the first time this season - we were defeated at Derby and Brighton last term when he took charge.  He had brandished 74 yellows and four red cards so far this season across 21 games.

Daniel Leach and Geoffrey Russell will be his assistants, while Ian Cooper steps in as fourth official. 

Reminder

We wish to politely remind supporters that the football club is responsible for their conduct at all matches (home or away) and any person committing a football-related offence or involved in serious misconduct at any match will result in a club ban. Examples of serious misconduct include discriminatory, offensive or abusive chanting, entering the pitch, persistent standing and throwing a missile. Supporters witnessing any incidents of serious misconduct are encouraged to report this to the football club by texting 80800, beginning your message with the word SAFE.

Follow it live!

Can't get to Portman Road?

If you’re based in the UK or Ireland and can’t make it to the match, you can listen to every pass, tackle and goal with live audio commentary on iFollow for as little as £4.49 per month or £45 for a season pass. Not only that, but our online subscription also allows you access to extended match highlights and exclusive interviews which you won’t see anywhere else.

And supporters based overseas will be able to watch live video of a majority of our games – including this one – by using iFollow.  Match passes are just £5, or you can sign up for the season for £110 (prices equated to your local currency).

As ever, we’ll also provide live updates on our Twitter and Facebook pages, and look out for our match photos on Instagram.  And head to Snapchat and find 'officialrfc' to follow our matchday story as it unfolds!

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Match Reports

Royals' unbeaten streak ended in Ipswich

Two first half goals enough to earn Mick McCarthy's

16 December 2017

A well-organised Ipswich outfit capitalised on two early goals to secure all three points at Portman Road this afternoon, as the Royals fell to their first defeat in four we

  • Connolly hands the hosts a third minute lead with a low scuffed finish
  • Against the run of play, Garner heads home a second for the hosts from close range
  • Aluko, Barrow and Edwards go close, but the Royals can't find a reply.

Royals boss Jaap Stam made one change to the starting line-up, bringing in Tyler Blackett for Liam Kelly who dropped to the bench. Omar Richards was also named as a substitute as Adrian Popa missed out. 

It took a diving header from Bartosz Bialkowski to cut out a ball from the back that looked to find the run of Kermorgant or Barrow in the openingf stages. But moments later, the hosts took the lead. Callum Connolly scuttled onto a one two and scuffed an early shot wide of the dive of Mannone and inside the bottom right corner.

Moments later, Martyn Waghorn muscled Aluko off theb ball swept a shot wide of the right post as Ipswich looked to capitalise further on their early advantage.

Two early bookings went against the Royals too - both Barrow and Bacuna being booked seemingly for showing their frustration at decisions by referee Peter Bankes. Aluko got the chance to deliver a meaningful inswining ball into the box from a set piece and duly did so, but no-one could get a touch as it bounced just wide of the left upright.

The visitors began to characteristcally dominate possession and a floated cross from the right found Kermorgant who teed up Aluko for a shot from the edge of the box - but the effort fizzed just wide of the bottom right corner.

Reading were playing some tidy football and worked a great opportunity when Moore swept the ball out to Gunter who beat his man and raced in behind the back line. He cut the ball back to Edwards who shot at goal and beat Bialkowski but Spence blocked it on the line to deflect it behind for a corner. That dead ball was delivered low into the feet f Kermorgant who hooked a first time shot at goal - which was charged down by a Town defence under pressure.

It was so close to 1-1 soon after, Barrow breaking the offside trap and playing an early ball across to Kermorgant to tap home - only for Webster to get a toe to the ball to turn it behind before it could arrive at the Frenchman's feet.



But completely against the run of play, Mick McCarthy's men had a second. A corner from the right was flicked on by an unmarked Webster at the near post and Joe Garner was in the right place at the right time to head past Mannone from five yards out.

Reding resumed total control off the ball again and Van den Berg wound up a shot that was half charged down, before Liam Moore tried a hooked overhead on the follow up to no avail.

Bacuna arrowed an effort from range harmlessly wide and in injury time in the first half drove over from 25 yards out, but Ipswich ended the half strongly with a left-footed effort flying over Mannone's crossbar.

Half time | Ipswich Town 2-0 Reading

Waghorn connected with a corner that dropped to him inside the Royals box in the opening minute of the second half, but an orange shirt was there to charge it down before Mannone could be forced into action.

Barrow was able to use his pace to beat his man down the left flank soon after, but Bialkowski showed firm hands to palm his low cross away to safety at his near post.

But Town nearly made it 3-0 when, after a lengthy stoppage for a head wound to McShane - who was off the pitch as a free kick was taken - it took a good Liam Moore block to repel a Celina drive from a cleverly worked set piece.

Bialkowski plucked a downward header from Moore out of the sky as it bounced up off the Portman Road pitch and floated towards goal. Then Bacuna played a nice cross to the far post where Barrow volleyed a difficult chance wide.



Mannone had to save well from Spence after he beat Barrow on the touchline and cut inside Moore to pull the trigger - the Italian stayed big to save well. And Connolly brilliantly danced his way into the Reading box before firing high over the crossbar from a good position.

The Royals threw on Liam Kelly and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in an attempt to find a route back into a game which was heading towards a home win.

But the home side defended their lead resolutely despite the Royals' best efforts to mount a comeback.

Full time | Ipswich Town 2-0 Reading

Ipswich Town: Bialkowski, Spence, Chambers, Webster, Knudsen, Ward, Garner (Sears 90), Skuse (Bru HT), Connolly, Celina (Iorfa 89), Waghorn.
Subs: Crowe, Smith, Bishop, McGoldrick.
Yellow: Waghorn. Knudsen, Webster
Goals: Connolly 3, Garner 26

Reading: Mannone, Gunter, Blackett (Kelly 74), McShane (c), Moore, Van den Berg, Edwards, Bacuna, Aluko (Bodvarsson 77), Barrow, Kermorgant.
Subs: Jaakkola, Richards, Ilori, Clement, Beerens.
Yellow: Barrow, Bacuna, McShane, Edwards

Referee: Mr P Bankes
Att: 13,832 (510 away)

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