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Match Reports

Stalemate against City

10 November 2012

Stalemate against City

After 18 goals in two very eventful Madejski Stadium games, this match was to end without one. 

Garath McCleary came closest in the first half, John Ruddy parrying his drive from range, before Jason Roberts' low cross was deflected into the side netting by a fortunate Michael Turner before the break.

Sean Morrison glanced a far post header inches wide early in the second half and Jimmy Kebe came off the bench to hit the crossbar with a looping cross that had a back-pedalling Ruddy beaten.

The winger also forced a near post save from the Canaries keeper as the Royals pressed for the breakthrough - and from the opposite wing Jobi McAnuff cut inside to arrow an effort just over the bar from the edge of the area.

But there was no way through and Reading had to settle for their first clean sheet of the campaign and a Barclays Premier League point.

First half
The opening throes were cagey, but Reading threatened first, Chris Gunter's cross from the right hacked behind for a corner by Bassong at the near post, and a recycled cross from the same side seeing Gorkss' deflected header loop just over. 

On the quarter hour mark, Tabb won the ball back and toed it inside to McCleary, who chested it down and unleashed a powerful drive from 20 yards, forcing Ruddy to make a good parried save.

Hunt was blocked off by Garrido as he tried to get on the end of an inswinging cross, Tabb's low centre midway through the half was scrambled clear by a Canaries leg and the Royals were causing problems.

At the other end, Bradley Johnson drove well over from distance and Morrison had to sweep up as Holt looked to sneak onto a ball over the top, but it was the home side pushing for the opener, Gorkss again heading just over from Shorey's free kick.

On the half hour mark, Hunt won the ball from a dallying Bassong on the byline and Roberts' low cross was turned into the side netting by the intercepting leg of Michael Turner, the centre back deflecting inches wide of the right post.

Steven Whittaker's low drive from distance was deflected wide by Gorkss' block as City threatened late in the half.

But it was Reading with the last chance of the opening period, McAnuff's floated cross sailing just over probably the smallest man on the pitch in Tabb, who was loitering on the edge of the six yard box.

Second half 
Wes Hoolahan arrowed an early second half effort wide of the right post, but Roberts continued to prove a thorn in City's side, winning a corner with a nifty piece of footwork inside the Canaries' area.

The overlapping McCleary then pulled a cross back looking for McAnuff and although Tettey got back to nod it behind for a corner, Shorey's low fizzed set piece whistled just in front of the diving head of Noel Hunt at the near post.

Shorey himself made a weaving run into the box, jinking through three challenges before being crowded out on the edge of the six yard box.

Hoolahan's inswinging cross floated just too high for Holt, while Shorey's set piece at the other end was glanced agonisingly wide by Morrison at the far post.

Then, moments later, Jobi McAnuff shuffled the ball onto his right boot and curled a 20-yard effort just over the stretching arm of Ruddy and the Norwich crossbar.

Kebe then struck the crossbar, with a floated cross from the right that looped over Ruddy and against the crossbar! Holt, meanwhile headed over at the other end, a vital touch from Gorkss preventing the striker from getting a clean contact on it.

Kebe on the break was denied by Ruddy at the near post with 15 minutes left on the clock and Turner was booked for halting Roberts run in from the byline as the Royals pressed and pressed.

Alfie tried an overhead but couldn't connect with Kebe's cross and injury time passed without a chance at either end.

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