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Kick off 12:30 (UK)

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05 May 2019 Venue Madejski Stadium Attendance

Kick off 12:30 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

Ahead of the game | Royals rounding off against Blues

A preview of a party atmosphere in RG2

3 May 2019

So after 45 league matches and 7,109 cumulative miles travelled on the road, the Royals return home for the final match of the season.

Reading vs Birmingham City
12.30pm kick-off

Sunday 5th May
Madejski Stadium
Sky Bet Championship

And it will be a chance to celebrate survival in the Sky Bet Championship in front of our home support, after safety was confirmed due to Rotherham's defeat at West Brom last weekend.

Not only that, you will be joining the party in RG2 in numbers this weekend - with Sunday's match likely to be our largest home attendance of the season.

Sunday will also be the swansong for one of the most respected players in Reading's ranks, as John O'Shea confirmed that he will be retiring this weekend after one of the longest and most distinguished careers a player could achieve.

José Gomes and his players are still hoping to finish the season on a high, however. Although both teams will be playing for pride, the Royals will still want all three points to be able to end the campaign with a flourish.

There's plenty happening at Madejski Stadium this weekend as we end the 2018-19 season, read on to find out more about this weekend's activities.

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What's on

There's plenty going on around Madejski Stadium on Sunday - particularly after the final whistle has blown. The Player of the Season presentations, a Lap of Appreciation and extended opening hours in our Fan Zone are all part of our final-day activities.

Not only that, a Portuguese street food stall from Serra Da Estrela will be on site at Gate 10 in honour of Portugal Day this weekend.

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To find out more about our full plans for Sunday's game, click here.

Match itinerary

Find out about our typical matchday schedule by clicking here.

Tickets

Tickets for our game against Blues are still available; click the link below for more information.

Birmingham City
Sky Bet Championship

Birmingham City

Sunday 5th May, 12.30pm (Madejski Stadium)

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Travel

All of our usual travel options are available for this match, with Park & Ride, matchday bus services and stadium parking all available.

Please note that shuttle bus services have been delayed by 15 minutes to their usual schedule on Sunday, in order to allow supporters to take part in the Lap of Appreciation by the Reading squad.

To see a full list of travel options, click here.

Follow it live

If you can't make it to Madejski Stadium, we've got you covered!

Keep up with minute-by-minute action through our live Match Centre, available on the club website prior to kick-off.

We'll have you covered on our Reading FC social media channels - on TwitterFacebook  and Instagram.

iFollow will also be available for fans who cannot make it to the game in the UK or around the world. You can take a look at our iFollow page and see how you can stay tuned for this match.

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 season closes in parity with Birmingham

Report from 0-0 stalemate

5 May 2019

Reading’s 2018-19 campaign came to a close in a party atmosphere at Madejski Stadium, as the Royals and visitors Birmingham City played out a 0-0 draw.

The result was of little consequence in the grand scheme of things, with both team’s involvement in the Sky Bet Championship already assured for another year, but it was an opportunity for players to express themselves. And that they did, with a young Royals side showing what a bright future the club can look forward to.

Almost three years to the day since his last start as a Royals’ first-team player, 20-year-old forward Josh Barrett was drafted into the starting XI as part of a homegrown front three, along with teenage duo Danny Loader and Michael Olise.

Andy Rinomhota was in the centre of midfield – the average age of the starting XI registering as 23 years, 3 months, 2 weeks and 6 days. Full-back Teddy Howe was also named amongst the substitutes for his first involvement in the senior team.

With a buoyant atmosphere bubbling up in Club 1871 – with Portugal flags on show and Yakou Méïté leading the chants from the stands – it was the Royals who created the first opportunity of note.

And it was a real opportunity too as Lewis Baker’s raking ball was met by the byline by Chris Gunter – a terrific cross was into the stride of Barrett at the far side, but a side-footed volley was blocked.

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Fellow youngster Michael Olise would also have to wait for his first senior goal as two chances came in quick succession; he couldn’t quite apply a flicked finish as a low corner came in, and then when Liam Moore recycled, the same outcome as the delivery just evaded his touch.

Birmingham’s first opportunity was created from next to nothing as Isaac Vassell flew down the right flank from half-way, cut inside and had a shot blocked; Che Adams could only steer wide on the follow-up.

After his stunning maiden goal at Middlesbrough a week ago, Loader was only denied goals in consecutive matches when Gunter – again supporting the attack – fizzed a low delivery across the six-yard box. On the far side, Loader met it well on the stretch but Blues goalkeeper Lee Camp scuttled back in time to block it out under the crossbar.

Olise was showing some of the subtle touches which had seen him elevated from a first-year Academy scholar to a first-team starter in a matter of months. And some quick thinking on the right-hand side saw him leave Kerim Mrabti on his backside, and it needed two firm palms from Camp to keep out a blistering effort at his near post.

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Down the other end, Reading stopper Emi Martínez was left untroubled when Blues centre-half Marc Roberts steamed onto a left-flank corner; he rose above the crowd but his header skewed into the stands.

With 22 goals to his name this season on arrival, Adams was the last person that the Reading defence wanted to gift a chance to – but when the ball was turned overly with some loose play on the edge of the Royals box, Matt Miazga reacted in time to keep out the front man.

Andy Yiadom had the opportunity to send Reading into the break with a lead; Barrett was bullish down the right and managed to dig out a cross to the far post, but the full-back’s shot was deflected off target.

Half-time: Reading 0-0 Birmingham City

The yellow-shirted visitors had an opportunity within two minutes of the restart as Jota played a series of exchanges before firing down the throat of Martínez with a stinging left-footed attempt.

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Yiadom was ever-increasingly involved in the attack and when he won the ball high in the left channel, he instantly slotted through to Loader. The youngster turned into space but his strike swerved past Camp’s far post.

Skipper Liam Moore took one for the team when he stepped in front of Mrabti’s blasted strike; on the follow up, Birmingham captain Craig Gardner leathered a half-volley from 25 yards, narrowly clearing the crossbar.

Reading’s youthful front three were full of gumption and guile, ready to put the pressure on the Blues back four. Defender Wes Hardin misplaced a defensive header, allowing Loader to nip in, and his half-volley was a whisker off target with Camp stranded.

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Barrett poked an effort goalwards with his last major involvement - and then he made way for John O'Shea, who was welcomed onto the pitch with a guard of honour from both sides. A fitting tribute for his 803rd - and final - game as a professional.

At the same time, Howe replaced Gunter - a 52nd Academy graduate. And he almost made an instant impact when he hung up a cross for sub Mo Barrow; an ambitious overhead kick flew over the bar.

The final action of a rollercoaster season - hearty applause at the full-time whistle.

Full-time: Reading 0-0 Birmingham City

Reading: Martínez, Yiadom, Gunter (Howe 89), Miazga, Moore (c), Rinomhota, Ejaria, Baker, Barrett (O'Shea 89), Olise (Barrow 71), Loader.
Unused subs: Walker, Baldock, McCleary, Ezatolahi.

Birmingham City: Camp, C.Gardner, Vassell (Jutkiewicz 71), Pedersen, Adams, Colin, Lakin (Davis 76), Roberts, Mrabti (Maghoma 84), Jota, Harding.
Unused subs: Weaver, Dacres-Cogley, G.Gardner, Mahoney.

Referee: Mr K Stroud

Attendance: 17,247 (2,112 away)

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