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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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25 November 2020 Venue The Den Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

🔜 Ahead of the game | Into the Lions’ Den

Our preview of our game against Millwall

25 November 2020

The Championship campaign rolls on in midweek as we visit Millwall – our next opportunity to get that points tally ticking over again.

Our trip to the Den on Wednesday gives us a chance to set the record straight, following a few disappointing fixtures on the spin. It’s all about using those setbacks as motivation, and putting it into play when we head to South London.

It’s been few years since we’ve got the better of the Lions on their own territory, but that’s the aim when we travel there in midweek.

iFollow

There’s no TV coverage of this one – we’re not on Sky Sports or the red button. The only place to watch live is on iFollow, by getting a Match Pass.

Royals supporters based in the UK can get a Video Match Pass for £10, while overseas fans get a pass for the equivalent of £7 in your local currency. There is also the option of getting audio commentary only, as well as packages available for international fans.

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Make sure you also get hold of the new EFL iFollow app if you want to watch on your iOS or Android device.

Get your iFollow Match Pass (or view other games available) by clicking here.

The opposition

Without their partisan home support, the Lions have been better on the road than on their own patch so far this season.

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Their only win from half a dozen Championship games at the Den came against Luton Town; last Saturday, they were ahead against Cardiff before being pegged back by their visitors to take just a share of the spoils.

Gary Rowett, who has been in charge just over a year, led the side to eighth in the table last year, just two points off the play-off places - and in the early stages of this season, they are again in the top half of the table and threatening to push upwards.

Pre-match chat

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Ref watch

Leigh Doughty takes charge of just his fifth Championship outing this week – his first match involving the Royals and his second for Millwall. He was in position when the Lions won 1-0 at Rotherham United back in September as he made his bow in English football's second tier.

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It has been a sharp rise for the official, who was a National League referee until 18 months ago – he oversaw the play-off semi-final where Salford defeated Eastleigh en route to the EFL, and last year was spread across Leagues One and Two and included taking a League Two play-off semi between Northampton and Cheltenham.

Assisting Mr Doughty are linesmen Mark Russell and George Byrne, as well as fourth official Gavin Ward.

Reminder

A polite reminder to all of our supporters that no unauthorised access at all will be permitted to any of our home or away fixtures while games remain behind closed doors, so supporters must not travel to stadia on matchdays. All supporters have the opportunity to watch via iFollow.

We can’t wait to see you all soon – but for now it’s important that when we play, please stay away.

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Match Reports

📝 Match report | Royals battle back to earn point from The Den

Joao cancels out Jed Wallace's first half opener..

25 November 2020

Reading came from behind to deservedly take a point from a topsy-turvy affair at The Den. Jed Wallace's first half free kick had handed the hosts the lead, before Lucas Joao levelled at the start of a second half that saw both sides earn good chances to win it.

Rafael was the first of the two goalkeepers to get a handle of the ball, the Brazilian carefully watching a bobbling strike from Murray Wallace into his arms.

Holmes then did well to clear a dangerous cross from the right, conceding a corner as his left-footed swipe clear ricocheted into a red shirt and flew behind. Rafael won a free kick from the set piece as he was fouled as he rose fo claim the ball at the back post.

Ten minutes in and Meite won a free kick as he ran at Jake Cooper - the Millwall defender dragging him down as Yakou got away from his man and scurried towards goal. Ejaria's deep set piece was met by Holmes at the back post but he couldn't heep a difficult header down as he looked to test Bialkowski.

Semedo's slide took the sting out of a Shaun Williams drive from 25 yards out and Rafael smothered in well with a low dive to his left. At the other end, a Holmes cross from the right wasn't dealt with and it almost fell for Joao who was caught off guard and couldn't control the ball as it skidded through the Millwall box.

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Midway through the first half, Meite and Semedo combined from a throw in for the former to drive left-footed at goal from distance - but Bialkowski was down well to save it to his left.

Millwall enjoyed a good spell of pressure but an organised Royals defence refused to offer them an opportunity and Joao nearly set Meite in on goal with an early pass that was just over-hit to allow the Millwall keeper to come off his line and claim ahead of the Royals forward.

On the stroke of half time, Rinomhota bundled Parrott over as he looked to shoot at goal. Jed Wallace took aim and lashed a lovely free kick over the wall and into the top left corner to give the hosts the lead.

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Half-time: Millwall 1-0 Reading

Reading began the second half on the front foot, Michael Olise entering the fray in place of Semedo. Laurent's low ball into Meite created an opportunity for Ejaria to shoot but he didn't get enough behind it to trouble Bialkowski too much.

And their positive start paid off. Olise played a lovely flicked ball in behind the Millwall defence for Joao who strode onto it. He stabbed it goalwards with his left foot from a narrow angle and it came off the keeper's legs and rippled the net for 1-1.

The home side looked to respond and Rafael did well to cling onto a Cooper header, the former Royal connecting with a corner but directing his downward header straight at the Reading keeper.

He made a much more important save with just over 20 minutes remaining, finger-tipping a Bodvarsson shot over his crossbar when it seemed the former Royals striker would hand the hosts the lead.

In response a powerful direct run from Joao was halted illegally by Hutchinson on the corner of the Millwall area. Ejaria lined it up but arced his free kick just over the top right corner.

Bodvarsson found some space in behind the Reading back line again but this time from an impossible angle skied his effort high into the stands.

And Ryan Leonard had a great chance to give Millwall the lead with ten minutes remaining when he arrived unmarked in the box to arrow a diving header over the crossbar from six yards out.

Millwall started to go aerial and trouble the Reading defence in the dying stages and in the first minute of injury time Wallace came close to stealing it. He slid onto a low cross from Bodvarsson but Rafael got down well to save it. 

Reading then came a whisker away from taking victory with the last kick of the game. Joao with the ball at his feet on the right side of the goal, had it all to do - he dragged a shot across Bialkowski but inches side of the left post. 

Full-time: Millwall 1-1 Reading


Millwall: Bialkowski, M Wallace, Hutchinson (c), Cooper, Williams, J Wallace, Thompson (Smith 75), Malone (Ferguson 75), Leonard, Woods, Parrott (Bodvarsson 63).  
Unused subs: Fielding, Smith, Ferguson, Pearce, Brown, Skalak, Burey, Muller.
Yellow: Cooper, Williams, Hutchinson, Leonard.
Goals: J Wallace (45)

Reading: Rafael, Holmes, Richards, Moore (c), Morrison, Rinomhota, Laurent, Semedo (Olise HT), Meite (Baldock 90), Ejaria, Joao.
Unused subs: Walker, Esteves, Watson, Gibson, Tetek, Aluko, Onen.
Yellow: Semedo, Morrison, Ejaria, Holmes.
Goals: Joao (53)

 

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