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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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20 February 2018 Venue The City Ground Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

Ahead of the game | Back to action at the City Ground…

Preview of our midweek visit to Nottingham

19 February 2018

After a spell away from action and some hard work on the training field, our boys are back in action on Tuesday evening in the Midlands as we visit Nottingham Forest.

Nottingham Forest vs Reading
Tuesday 20th February 2018, 7.45pm
Sky Bet Championship
The City Ground

Only one place separates us in the table – and three points for the Royals would take us just a point behind the Reds.

A win for Reading would also make it a double for the season – we were 3-1 winners on home turf earlier in the year, with John Swift’s brace and Sone Aluko’s sole strike enough to secure us the points, despite Ben Osborn’s left effort for the visitors.

With 15 games left to play, they’re all important – and we’re going for the win this week!

Tickets

Royals supporters will be able to buy tickets on arrival at the City Ground – click the banner below for information about prices and other information for this fixture against Forest.

Travel

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

Officials

Stephen Martin is the man in the middle for our match against Forest… the fourth time he’s overseen one of our games this season.  We won our first, away at Birmingham, and he also oversaw home draws with Hull and Cardiff.  It’ll be the first time he has refereed Forest this term.

Andrew Fox and David Avent are the assistants, and Simon Hooper the fourth official.

Odds

EFL title sponsors Sky Bet have Nottingham Forest as home favourites at odds of 23/20, while the Royals can be backed at longer odds of 12/5 and a draw is priced 23/10.

A repeat score of 3-1 to the Royals, like earlier this campaign, is available at odds of 16/1.

Follow it live!

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. 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 (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!

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.

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Match Reports

Royals pegged back late and denied Forest win

Academy graduate Richards scores first senior goal before Tomlin equalises six minutes from time

20 February 2018

The Royals were denied victory at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night following Lee Tomlin's late equaliser, after Omar Richards had opened the scoring.

  • Omar Richards scores first senior goal
  • Forest have an early Brereton header ruled out for offside
  • Forest denied by the woodwork and goal-saving block from Richards
  • Tomlin fires in late to peg back to 1-1

The Royals started the game dominant in possession on Forest's turf, forcing the first chance just three minutes in. Leandro Bacuna lofted a pass over to former Forest man Chris Gunter on the right, who played first-time into the path of Chris Martin, whose effort sailed over the bar.

Forest had the ball in the net soon after, with Joe Lolley's ball finding Ben Brereton at the back post to nod home, but the assistant referee's flag was already up for offside in a let-off for the Royals.

Liam Kelly, playing in an advanced role, looked to link up with Martin at every opportunity going forward. The youngster threaded a ball through to a sprinting Martin into the Forest area, who cut across goal but it was cleared away by Jack Colback.

Gunter, who has already scored against his former side in a previous encounter, almost opened the scoring on the night as a Barrow cross was palmed out into his path. The full-back shot first time but Danny Fox intervened two yards out to put it behind for a corner.

The ball broke forward from the Forest back-line and the home side were on the break. Lee Tomlin picked it up in midfield and drove on towards goal, shooting from 20 yards out and drifting wide of Mannone's post.

The home side begun to exert pressure, with Brereton getting an effort away in the area, blocked by a blue and white shirt with Joe Lolley getting back into the area, aiming for the top corner but Mannone was level to it to catch.

With 10 minutes remaining in the first half, Reading had the opener. Solid build-up play from the Royals saw Aluko play to Kelly, who in turn found Gunter on the overlap.

Gunter crossed deep and it was blocked into the path of Richards 15 yards out, who didn't hesitate as he powered high into the net to score his first ever senior goal.

Forest were keen to square proceedings before the half-time whistle, a Tomlin free-kick from 25 yards was curled around the wall and Mannone flew to his left-hand post to save and preserve the lead going into the break.

Half time | Nottingham Forest 0-1 Reading

The hosts started the second half as they finished the first to try and force the initiative while a goal behind, Lolley dancing and stumbling through the Royals' defence from close range, but his off-balance shot was tame and Mannone gathered.

With Forest piling on the pressure, the Royals had the woodwork to thank after Tendayi Darikwa's leathered shot rattled the crossbar. The ball soon found its way back into the area, with Richards making his presence felt at the other end with a goal-saving block on the line from Darikwa's follow-up.

Tomlin fired in a dangerous corner and Tobias Figueiredo glanced a header across goal and wide of the upright, the Royals steadfast in keeping the advantage on the hour mark.

Under pressure, though, the Royals broke with Bacuna skipping past his man on the right on the half-way line. He ran on with only the goalkeeper to beat, his effort was spilled but a hooped shirt was not there to bundle in the loose ball.

The game became more fraught as the home support raised the volume at the City Ground, with challenges flying in from both sides as the match opened up.

Osborn played a cross-field ball for substitute Matty Cash to receive, he cut inside and let fly, only for his effort to float into the higher rows of seats.

Reading's resistance was finally broken five minutes from time, the ball squared across to Tomlin to bury in the bottom corner from 12 yards to draw the hosts level.

Forest were buoyed by the home faithful and gunning hard for a second and certain winner, Cash shooting with power rather than accuracy from the right hand side of the area, Mannone holding well and the Royals returning home with a point.

Full time | Nottingham Forest 1-1 Reading

Nottingham Forest: Pantilimon, Figueiredo, Osborn, Fox, Tomlin (Guediora 90), Brereton, Colback, Dowell (Cash 66), Lolley, Darikwa, Watson (c).
Subs: Kapino, Bridcutt, McKay, Fuentes, Bouchalkis.
Goals: Tomlin 85
Yellow: Osborn, Tomlin, Figueiredo

Reading: Mannone, Gunter, Ilori, Moore, Richards, Van den Berg (Evans 80), Bacuna, Kelly (Edwards 90+1), Barrow (McCleary 71), Aluko, Martin.
Subs: Jaakkola, Clement, Bodvarsson, Blackett.
Goals: Richards 36
Yellow: Richards, Gunter

Referee: Mr S Martin
Attendance: 21,846 (356 away)

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