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Cherries triumphant

7 December 2013

Two goals in four first half minutes down Royals

Reading 1 (Le Fondre 90)
Bournemouth 2 (Grabban 37, Ritchie 41)

Reading relinquished their unbeaten home record thanks to two Bournemouth goals scored within the space of four first half minutes.

Lewis Grabban stole in to smash home from yards out after an Andrew Surman header had been scrambled off the line but not cleared just before the break.

And before the interval could arrive, Reading had conceded a second, a well-placed low drive from Matt Ritchie finding the bottom left corner of Alex McCarthy's goal.

Adam Le Fondre came off the bench to pull one back in injury time, hammering past Lee Camp after fellow substitute Royston Drenthe's drive had been charged down.

But the goal came too late for the Royals to mount any sort of comeback and Nigel Adkins' men will look to travel to Huddersfield next weekend to swiftly make amends.

Royals: McCarthy; Gunter, Cummings, Pearce, Gorkss (Le Fondre 80); Guthrie (c), Williams, Obita; McCleary (Drenthe 66), Robson-Kanu (Pogrebnyak HT), Sharp.
Subs not used: Federici, Kelly, McAnuff, Blackman.
Yellow: Gunter, Guthrie, Drenthe.

Bournemouth: Camp, Francis, Daniels, Elphick (c), Cook, Arter, O'Kane (MacDonald 90), Ritchie (Fraser 76), Pugh, Surman, Grabban (Pitman 80).
Subs not used: Flahavan, Harte, Yennaris, Rantie.
Yellow: Cook, Surman, Camp.  

Referee: Mr D Coote
Attendance: 20,944 (2,338 away)

Only five minutes in and Reading twice came close to opening the scoring with headers by Billy Sharp. A corner swung in from the left was nodded goalwards by the Royals striker but Andrew Surman headed it off the line. 

Then, from the resultant corner, Obita delivered a lovely set piece into a similar area and again Sharp got his head to it, this time only able to glance it just wide of the left upright.

McCleary then nearly picked out Obita with a low cut back cross from the byline as the home side dominated, winning corner after corner.

At the other end, Harry Arter jinked towards the Royals box but took a tumble just on the edge of it, appealing for a block and a free kick but given nothing in return.

Grabban turned 30 yards out and tried his luck from distance but his right-footed strike whistled harmlessly high and wide of Alex McCarthy's goal.

But Bournemouth did break the deadlock moments later. A free kick floated into the box was headed down by Surman and scrambled off the line by a combination of McCarthy and Cummings, but Grabban followed it up and hammered the loose ball high into the Royals net from only a yard or two out.

And before half time could arrive, the visitors added a second. A low ball inside from the right was left to run to Matt Ritchie who, on the edge of the area, had time to turn onto his right foot and arrow a low drive inside the bottom left corner for 2-0!


The Cherries picked up where they left off in the second half, Ritchie curling an early effort just over as they looked for more goals to seal the three points.

But Reading began to pick up some momentum, Gunter's low cross just intercepted by an outstretched Bournemouth leg before it could find second half substitute Pogrebnyak, then McCleary's low drive charged down.

Pearce had to track a Grabban run and deflect a speculative shot wide for a corner, the set piece almost falling for the sliding Marc Pugh at the far post on the hour mark, thankfully skidding out for a goal kick instead.

Pogrebnyak and Sharp were combining well and Russian's flick found his striker partner with back to goal, hie swivel and shot fizzing across the face of goal but not troubling Lee Camp.

Pugh dragged an effort well wide as the Cherries looked to hit Reading on the counter attack and Cummings had to backtrack to block a Grabban shot.

Nigel Adkins threw Royston Drenthe on for Garath McCleary but it was Grabban who almost slid onto a scuffed Surman strike at the other end that almost forced another goal.

With 20 minutes left, Obita's dinked cross was just glanced away from the head of Pogrebnyak in the middle, then Drenthe recycled it and whipped it dangerously into the middle from the byline but again no Reading head was able to get a touch.

Adam Le Fondre was introduced with ten minutes to go, replacing Kaspars Gorkss as Reading threw caution to the wind. And in injury time the strike star was on hand to hammer past Camp, after Drenthe's low drive had ricocheted kindly into the substitute's path.

But it was too little, too late. And the Royals' unbeaten home record had been lost to Eddie Howe's hard-working Bournemouth side.

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